Looking Back on January 17

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100 years ago, 1918
A warning to Lewiston-Auburn grocers who force their customers to purchase other goods in order to obtain sugar was issued Wednesday morning by Henry A. Free, Androscoggin County chairman of the federal food administration, who points out that such action is in direct violation of federal law. “I know of one instance,” said Mr. Free, “in which a woman who does not keep house was required to purchase a dollar’s worth of groceries before she could get a pound of sugar. She told the grocer that the sugar was urgently needed — it was in case of illness — but was told that she couldn’t have it without buying the groceries, too. The sugar seemed to her rather light weight so she took it to another grocer, and found that the “pound” was in reality 14 ounces.

50 years ago, 1968
Robert Negele, president of the Philips Elmet Corporation of Lewiston, said Wednesday that the firm is planning to expand its manufacturing facilities in the very near future. Negele stated that the parts division of the Lewiston firm is being enlarged to include the production of tungsten and molybendum parts formerly made in new Jersey. A gradual phasing out of the New Jersey branch is currently under way, and the entire operation will soon be moved to Lewiston. Negele noted that the firm’s expansion in Lewiston will benefit the twin cities through increased employment.

25 years ago, 1993
As Wal-Mart’s Jan. 30 opening in Auburn nears, several local businesses are looking forward to its arrival. “We expect them to help us,” said Mike Bailey, manager of the Center Street Kmart store. Throughout its existence, the Wal-Mart chain has been accused of drawing consumers away from local businesses. But many Auburn businesses see the giant department store at Mount Auburn Avenue and Turner Street as a magnet that will draw more customers to the area. “I guess my attitude is that Center Street is a big retail area, and Wal-Mart can only improve the area’s image as a major shopping district and draw more customers to Auburn,” said Tim Colby, regional director of the Auburn Mall. The Kmart and mall managers agree the new store will assist Auburn’s efforts to compete with Portland as a Maine shopping mecca.

The material in Looking Back is reproduced exactly as it originally appeared, although misspellings and errors made at that time may be corrected.

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