Berkeley Landmarks :: Call Me Joe Store Ads


Call Me Joe store ads

Berkeley Daily Gazette, 1930

Daniella Thompson

Berkeley Daily Gazette, 3 September 1930 (image courtesy of Steve Finacom)

18 January 2005

Beginning in 1923 and for several decades thereafter, Call Me Joe was one of Berkeley’s best-known men’s and boys’ clothing stores. Founded by Joseph William Harris (1897–1978), the original store was a 10’ x 14’ leased space at 200 Shattuck Avenue, on the corner of University Avenues.

By 1929—a year before these newspaper ads were published in the Berkeley Daily Gazette—the store had mushroomed to 50x100 feet and was occupying a triple address: 2008–10–12 Shattuck Avenue.

Berkeley Daily Gazette, 3 September 1930

As is evident from these newspaper ads, Joe Harris was an aggressive promoter and a regular advertiser in the local press. Every conceivable occasion was seized upon to publicize the store, including the 80th anniversary of Admission Day (California entered the Union on 9 September 1850 as the thirty-first state).

Berkeley Daily Gazette, 8 September 1930
(image courtesy of Steve Finacom)

Berkeley Daily Gazette, 30 October 1930

Berkeley Daily Gazette, 30 October 1930 (image courtesy of Steve Finacom)

The urgent tone reached an even higher pitch on 30 October. On that day, Call Me Joe, “the price wrecker,” declared a “2-day offensive when former prices will be shot to pieces.” One wonders how Harris managed to keep it up over the years.

It is therefore not surprising that when the store was reopened as House of Harris in December 1939, the Gazette featured the event in an eight-page spread chock-full of ads and advertorials.

Berkeley Daily Gazette, 8 December 1939

See also:
Call Me Joe/House of Harris store

Joseph W. Harris house



Copyright © 2005–2011 Daniella Thompson. All rights reserved.