When memories trigger the senses

My Aunt recently posted a very old advertisement of an American variety store called Woolworth’s. Apparently, she thought they were all out of business – and in America, they are. But not in Germany, as this snap shows:

The key point here is a different one. The advertisement for Woolworth’s – as indeed this real store – immediately triggers a flood of memories involving sights and smells. And not just for me: when I shared this photo with my family, they also mentioned this effect.

There is something about the old “Woolworths” that is hard to put into words. You would walk into one of these stores and be hit by the smells of their inside cafeteria — “back in the day” it was common for any large store to have a cafeteria – but also the sights and sounds.