The national rail system enabled businessmen to devise new distribution systems. Meat came from the stockyards (by refrigerated railroad car) to regional distributors for delivery to local butchers. Growers sent fruits and vegetables to wholesalers for resale to retailers. National brands came into being to take advantage of national advertising and distribution networks.
Wholesale businesses near Center Market on Louisiana Avenue at 9th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., about 1900
Business card for William Dix, dairyman, Washington, D.C., 1890s
Business card for Andrew Wonder, fishmonger, Washington, D.C., 1890s
Independent grocers established stores near their customers homes. Although there were tensions between public market officials and neighborhood shopkeepers, the businesses complemented each other. People could shop at the corner store when the markets were closed, and shopkeepers often tailored their stock to the needs, economic level, and ethnic character of a neighborhood.