You could hear the squawking parakeets the minute your entered Woolworth's store. The hamsters and white mice running on their wheels, the large tanks full of goldfish and guppies.
|Looking south-west from the corner of Devon and Western Avenues, Chicago. The F. W. Woolworths had entrances on Devon and on Western. The Western Avenue entrance was in the Pet Department. Circa 1950s.|
The small green turtles, young "Red-Eared Sliders" with pretty markings, didn't often live very long, no matter how careful you were caring for them... which I’m afraid was the fate of most of the turtles that kids carried home from Woolworth’s.
|Live Turtle Box.|
While Woolworth’s pet departments survived until the entire chain closed in 1997, little green turtles ceased being part of the stock in 1975, when the Food and Drug Administration banned pet stores from selling turtles smaller than four inches in length because children picked up salmonella from playing with their pets and failing to wash their hands.
Compiled by Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D.