Has there ever been a mirror store on the planet earth?

At some point during the 1964 film The Last Man on Earth, Vincent Price, who portrays a character by the name of Dr. Robert Morgan, has to leave his fortress of a home, and head into the city in order to restock his vampire repellant supplies. [A virus has swept across the word, killing everyone, and then bringing them back to pseudo-life as kind of slow-moving, murderous, non-blood drinking, night-walking vampiric zombies. Morgan, having once been bitten by a bat while conducting scientific research in Paraguay, is apparently the only human on earth with immunity from the disease.] On this one particular trip into the city, he needs to acquire two things — garlic and mirrors. [He nails both to his front door in order to repel these creatures. Over time, however, they smash the mirrors (as they can’t stand to see themselves as vampires), and the garlic loses its potency.] Both, thankfully, are easy to come by, as he keeps a great deal of garlic inside a gas-powered freezer at a local grocery store, along with several sides of beef, and has access to a local mirror store. And it’s that last thing that I’d like to talk about today… Has there ever, in the history of the earth, been a store that just sold mirrors? And this, for what it’s worth, is a serious question.

[above: Dr. Robert Morgan, portrayed by Vincent Price, loots his local mirror store… or, possibly, one of his many local mirror stores.]

And, yes, I realize there are probably other things that many of you would rather discuss, like the fact that fact that these vampire-like creatures can actually see their own reflections, unlike other vampires in American cinema, but I am curious about the idea of the mirror store. It kind of feels like Spatula City to me, but, as I wasn’t around in the early days of mirrors, I don’t want to just assume that it’s total bullshit. If I had to guess, I’d say that there was no such thing as a “mirror store” in 1964, but I suppose it’s possible that, in the early days of our country, a city like Chicago, on the edge of the frontier, may have had a mirror store for a little while, before Sears Roebuck & Company put them out of business. Anyway, if you’re a professor of American studies who has researched the history of retail, I’d be curious to know your thoughts.

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  1. Eel
    Posted June 26, 2019 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    The bigger issue with “The Last Man on Earth” is that he keeps making new stakes on his lathe to drive through the hearts of these creatures instead of reusing them.

  2. Jcp2
    Posted June 26, 2019 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    I remember Materials Unlimited having a section that resembles a mirror store, but in color.

  3. iRobert
    Posted June 26, 2019 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    It seems to me there would have almost certainly been stores specializing in mirrors (and likely frames) back in the 19th and early 20th century. I would like to see an early photo of one though. That would be reassuring.

  4. Anonymous
    Posted June 26, 2019 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    I think that iRobert and Mark are both elderly. They don’t seem to know what google is.

  5. iRobert
    Posted June 26, 2019 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    I know iRobert and Mark are both elderly.

  6. iRobert
    Posted June 26, 2019 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Have you googled it yet, Mark?

  7. Anonymous
    Posted June 26, 2019 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    I did and found an approximate answer.

  8. iRobert
    Posted June 26, 2019 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Anonymous won’t help us, Mark. We geezers are on our own.

    Anonymous is a geezer teaser…and not the good kind.

  9. Kim
    Posted June 26, 2019 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Where did the whole “vampires can’t see their own reflections” thing start anyway?

  10. Kim
    Posted June 26, 2019 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Mirror Store = Spatula City

  11. Anonymous
    Posted June 26, 2019 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    I’ve heard it said that the “no reflection” thing was an invention of Bram Stoker, whose book “Dracula” came out in 1987. Before that, there was no mention of this particular characteristic in the lore. Whether he thought to add this to the vampire mythology on his own or if it was merely based on a bad translation from older texts is unknown.

  12. Eel
    Posted June 26, 2019 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    They should have put the mirror store next to the the garlic shop.

  13. Anonymous
    Posted June 26, 2019 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Vampire lives matter.

  14. anonymous
    Posted June 26, 2019 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    I found this online: “Chinese vampires are terrified of their reflection because they are reminded that they have no soul.”

  15. iRobert
    Posted June 26, 2019 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    What has your google search yielded, Mark?

  16. Posted June 26, 2019 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    Even more rare we’re the one-way mirror stores.

  17. Anonymous
    Posted June 26, 2019 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    Yes, but the bottom really fell out of the mirror market when people started getting grotesquely ugly.

  18. Jean Henry
    Posted June 26, 2019 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    There are still mirror stores. Mirrors are big business, especially the giant ones used for gyms and yoga studios. There is one near my daughter’s place in what’s left of the industrial section of Greenpoint. There are glass shops that do mirror but this place is a mirror specialty store. The cut and install custom mirrors and repair old ones. In the past mirrors were made with hand applied silver gilt. In the past more distant than the 60’s, before modern furniture production, there were certainly stores like the one shown. On a related note, while in a neighborhood of NYC that I used to frequent a couple decades ago that is now very swanky, I told my son about a store that sold only lampshades. It was still there. It’s amazing what kinds of business a dense population can support. I mean until the Vampires take everyone out.

    I wrote all that with nary a google. I’m older than Mark by quite a bit. Probably most of you. I’m silvered like a mirror now, but avoid them like a vampire.

    So, Mark, your issue with the believability of Last Man on Earth is the existence of mirror stores???

  19. Jean Henry
    Posted June 26, 2019 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    PS I just heard blogs referred to on Marketplace as an outmoded media form. So I’m wondering what all us geezers are doing here in this virtual mirror store.

    Also what takes the place of blogs? Podcasts? Twitter? Snapchat? Are people disinclined to write more than 280 characters anymore? (Actually, only 1% of tweets exceed 140 characters, much less 280. The average tweet is 33 characters.– I googled that.)

  20. Jcp2
    Posted June 26, 2019 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    Facebook is where it’s at for oldsters. Snapchat and Instagram if you’re not. The kids are largely on private IM groups.

  21. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    AG Barr crushes the pipes


  22. Sad
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    I wonder if the Dolt will be pleased with himself when he looks in the mirror this morning and hears that Tulsi was the big winner last night?

  23. Frosted Flakes
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    I only saw one clip. Tulsi made Ryan look like a fool. Cross him off the list, obviously. She is going to shine in debate formats because she is intelligent and has a backbone.

  24. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 8:52 am | Permalink


    Hahaha I love this President! Are you fucking kidding me?! Crazy Train??? OMFG!!!


  25. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Gabbard projected power with her sober demeanor. She seems to lack a certain spark or something though; robotic and flat.

  26. John Brown
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    “Treasonous Rapist, 2020!” – HW

  27. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Problem with you is everything you say is wrong. Collusion is done. Latest Trump rape accuser to Anderson Cooper: “I think most people think of rape as sexy. Think of the fantasies.” Koo koo time.

  28. Sad
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    All the spark will be coming from Mayor Pete tonight. Tune in and turn on.

    Plus for no extra charge you can see Joe Biden stick his foot in his mouth.

  29. Jean Henry
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    I hope Dogmatic Dolt is noting how Fox News and it’s monkey see; monkey repeaters here love Tulsi too. Right after the debate, she was live with Breitbart. She’s not a grassroots peace loving candidate; she’s a populist– old school. Populists are dangerous. Period.


    Sad– we’ll see if Pete has the chops to slay Biden. If not, he’s a solid choice for VP.

  30. Jean
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    TG was the most searched name after Dem debates… by Republicans.

  31. Jean Henry
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Sad- Although Warren’s seems to be whispering in Castro’s ear post debate: ‘You’re my guy.’


  32. Anonymous
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Jean is against Tulsi because she feels threatened by strong women.

  33. Frosted Flakes
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    I am not conservative, Jean. I just can’t stand sold out liars and in your case lame shit slingers. Tulsi seems like an honest person with a backbone. She tries to avoid being partisan for its own sake–I think this is one of Warren’s main mistakes. What exactly do you think Tulsi is conservative about? Because she is willing to talk to the president? The perverted identity politics your favorites practice will not move us all forward. Period.

  34. Frosted Flakes
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Right! Jean hates Tulsi because Jean can’t stand minority women who don’t know their place.

    Seriously though, Jean will make up any sort of vile bullshit about anybody if she thinks she might be able to gain an advantage over them.

  35. EOS
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    I thought Castro was obnoxious. Constantly talking loudly and trying to drown out other speakers comments. And not very sincere – “thank you for that question.”

    Warren’s voice is as shaky as a 90 y/o. Sounds like she’s about ready to cry every time she opens her mouth.

    Was surprised Beto didn’t bring his skateboard or stand on any tables.

    It was really disheartening watching the whole charade. Everybody is socialist, hates the capitalists that made our country the envy of the world, and thinks it it is the right of every woman to kill her baby and the rest of us should pay for it.

    There was a glimmer of hope when a couple persons thought there should be Medicaid for anyone who wants it and allow those who have good health insurance to be able to keep it. But then they admitted that it was only a first step in forcing everyone into a single payer system. Then everyone will only get the healthcare the government deems is appropriate. Abortions will be free and transgendered persons get surgeries to mutilate their genitals, but a 65 y/o won’t be able to get a hip replacement.

    Free tuition for everybody, minimum income for anyone who doesn’t like to work, and anyone who crosses our borders gets a bridge card, free education and healthcare.

    But what happens to our nation when no one buys our T bills and our printed money is worthless? It will be a Progressive’s utopia where everyone is equally broke and unable to exercise any freedom or own any possessions.

  36. Anonymous
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Free education, minimum income, available to all who make it in. Isn’t that close to heaven?

  37. Dogmatic Dolt
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Aloha, Tulis visiting the Homestead Trump concentration camp

  38. iRobert
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Fox gives lots of attention to Tulsi for the same reason MSNBC gave lots of attention to Trump in 2016. They know she’s a thorn in the side of party leadership, and they assume she can’t win the general.

    I like Tulsi because she’s honest and honorable. She’s also realistic in her policy promises and is not a one trick pony like so many of the others.

  39. EOS
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 3:20 pm | Permalink


    Heaven? No. It’s a recipe for disaster. It cannot be sustained.

  40. EOS
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 3:23 pm | Permalink


    Why is Tulsi a thorn in the side of Dems?

  41. iRobert
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 3:37 pm | Permalink


    Tulsi isn’t on board with the war mongering, and doesn’t pander to the entitled. She understands those things are bankrupting the country. Her realistic objectives and promises don’t jive with the new identity politics of the left.

  42. Frosted Flakes
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    I am asking because I don’t know: Does Tulsi just get coverage where she can? I imagined her being shut out by CNN and MSNBC. I remember a few month back somebody from CNN, I think it was, insinuated she was an agent of Putin…I thought that was a pretty quick and reckless dismissal….

    I realize when I point out that Tulsi strikes me as the best of the Dems that I am probably hurting her, a bit, amongst the more suspicious and less thoughtful crowd. I sincerely think she is the best of the Dems, though…

  43. John Brown
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Hopefully Gabard’s call to stop endless wars makes it into the party platform. The wars are a huge factor in the radicalization of the domestic right wing. Acculturation to war predisposes our ever growing population of veterans, and their supporting cast of characters, to fascism. Musollini 101.

  44. EOS
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    The neo-conservatives are warmongers, but not conservatives. Veterans are the most likely not to want war. When you watch your friends die so deep state can enact regime change it makes one realize how they have been used.

  45. John Brown
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    What is this strange feeling? Could it be a bit of common-ish ground with EOS?

    Agreed that veterans are all over the spectrum with great conviction. But it only takes a minority segment of these highly effective vets to promulgate fascism with a devious leader at the helm.

  46. Dr. Robert Neville
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    In this scene, Mark Maynard, played by a shirtless Charlton Heston, is trying to blog from his third-floor apartment fortress in downtown Ypsilanti. A gang of Trump-supporting commenters has gathered in the street outside, taunting and teasing him, calling him insulting names such as “Neville.” One particular commenter, Hyborian Warlord, can be heard especially clearly. Mark finally snaps under the strain.


  47. Jean Henry
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    I don’t dislike Gabbard. I’m prepared to criticize all candidates and have. Female or not. Because I’m a feminist. I just think the way she’s being embraced by the right is interesting and feels strategic. I think populism is as dangerous as corporate influence in politics; it’s just on the rise right now v the devil we know, so it’s harder to see– until one looks at history. I am concerned with populist tendencies even when I agree with politicians on many points. TG’s following of primarily white men who are anti-war and afraid of ‘identity politics’ concerns me. I like a lot of what Yang says too but again who he appeals to and the rhetoric they use is a concern.

    I’m not sure TG is really liberal. I think she’s anew populist breed.That will appeal to many but not to me.

  48. Frosted Flakes
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    Tulsi’s foreign policy positions are informed by her experiences at war. The people we need to worry most about are the people whose foreign policy positions are informed by the monetary and political gains they make from other people going to war.

    I hope most of us can agree on how unethical most of these wars have been…It makes me cringe when people on here paint Wobblie out to be some kind of dreamy hippy idiot because he speaks out against corrupt, unnecessary and unjust wars.

    Think about who try to make fun of Wobblie and why…It is the average democrats among us.

  49. EOS
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 7:45 pm | Permalink


    None of her positions are aligned with a conservative view except for opposing war. I just watched her on Fox and she only spoke against neo-cons and avoided all liberal issues. She saw war firsthand and is opposed to never ending wars. In that one issue, she agrees with Trump. However, she won’t be able to pull any conservative votes from Trump. I think the Dems hate her because she was the only one who stood up to Clinton’s manipulation of the Democratic Party in the last election.

  50. Frosted Flakes
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    When a white woman (with sociopathic tendencies) fails to become president we ought to conclude that her failure was caused by the racism and sexism of white men?

    When white men, who are undoubtedly racist and sexist, see redeeming qualities in a minority woman running for president we ought to be suspicious of the minority woman running for president?

    Is it even true that Tulsi is primarily followed by white men? The only people I know personally that follow Tulsi are a black man and his wife. It kind of feels like Jean will just use made up identity politics nonsense when she feels it will give her an advantage. She loved the term “Bernie Bro”. I’m sure she will soon be using the not-yet-invented-catch-phrase-smear to senselessly demean Tulsi–if she thinks she can some kind of advantage for her favorite candidate.

  51. wanna be me
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    they’ve branched out a bit – have some picture frames (empty mirrors?) too

  52. iRobert
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    I was wondering where Jean was getting her data on that one too, FF. I assume it was pulled from the usual place all those other BS concepts were. We’ll call it “from Jeans imagination” so as not to be vulgar.

  53. Anonymous
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    Jesus, fuck off every single one of you. This post was about something fun.

  54. Dr. Robert Neville
    Posted June 27, 2019 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    That hurts, Anonymous. I felt I was getting into the fun spirit of it.

  55. iRobert
    Posted June 28, 2019 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    Anonymous: “Jesus, fuck off every single one of you. This post was about something fun.”

    Is Jean mad at us for challenging her on her claims about the demographic of Tulsi’s support? Is she then expressing that anger while also attempting to divert attention by pretending to be angry that we’re not staying on topic? Just wondering if that’s what anyone else got from that.

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