A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from September 28, 2011
“A quick nickel is better than a slow dime”

“A fast/quick nickel is better than a slow dime/quarter/dollar” means that a smaller profit (with greater volume) can be better for business than a potentially larger profit (with less volume).  “My Motto: ‘Fast Nickels Are Better Than Slow Dimes’” has been cited in print since at least 1896, when it was used by The Nickelodeon museum in Boston, Massachusetts—where the term “nickelodeon” was first used.
Wikipedia: Nickelodeon (music theater)
The Nickelodeon (AE: nickel = 5ยข-coin, Greek: Odeion = roofed over theatre) was a multi-purpose theater that was popular from about 1900 to 1914. Usually situated in converted storefronts, the Nickelodeon featured motion pictures, illustrated songs, slide shows and lectures. Nickelodeons were one of the two main exhibition venues for motion pictures, apart from Vaudeville theaters.
Nickelodeons declined with the advent of the feature film, and as cities grew and industry consolidation led to larger, more comfortable, and better-appointed movie theaters.
The name “Nickelodeon” was first used in 1888 by Austin’s Nickelodeon, a dime museum located in Boston, Massachusetts.
30 August 1896, Boston (MA) Daily Globe, pg.19, col. 7 ad:
My Motto: “Fast Nickels Are Better Than Slow Dimes.”
(The Nickelodeon, “Boston’s Greatest, Neatest, and Finest Museum”—ed.)
16 March 1899, Daily Kennebec Journal (Kennebec, ME), pg. 11, col. 1 ad:
A Quick Nickel
Slow Dime.
R. W. SOULE “The Hustler”
Augusta, Maine
9 January 1904, Olympia (WA) Record, pg. 1 ad:
...a quick nickel suits us better than a slow dime…
(Mottman Mercantile Co.—ed.)
21 January 1907, Manitoba Free Press (Winnipeg, Manitoba), og. 16, col. 3 ad:
Quick Nickels
Beat Lazy

(Gibson, Gage Co.—ed.)
3 March 1916, Rockford (IL) Republic, “Dollars and Sense”(The New York Evening World), pg. 6, col. 8:
Fast nickels are better than slow dimes.
Google Books
Jackson’s Real Estate Directory
Kansas City, MO: Jackson Publishing Co., Inc.
Pg. 693, col. 1 ad:
Quick nickels in preference to slow dollars is our motto.
(Ft. Peck Land Co., Popar, Montana—ed.)
23 September 1920, Atlanta (GA) Constitution, pg. 16 ad:
I believe that a quick nickel is better than a slow dime.
Google Books
November 1920, The Painters Magazine, pg. 33 ad:
“Fast nickels beat slow dimes.”
(Sanitas Modern Wall Covering—ed.)
Google Books
December 1920, Good Furniture Magazine, pg. 34 ad:
“Fast nickels beat slow dimes.”
(Sanitas Modern Wall Covering—ed.)
11 January 1924, Boston (MA) Daily Globe, pg. 22 ad:
We are satisfied with a fast nickel profit rather than a slow dime.
Google News Archive
20 August 1926, Newburgh (NY) Daily News, pg. 11, col. 3 ad:
Furthermore, we believe in the policy that “Fast nickels are better than slow dimes”, thus benefiting both the public and ourselves.
(Epstein’s Photo Studio—ed.)
Google Books
Early to Rise
By Arnold Grisman
New York, NY: Harper
Pg. 4:
“Fast nickels,” he said. “I leave the slow buck to the next man.”
Google News Archive
4 February 1976, Charleston (SC) News and Courier, pg. 8A, col. 3:
How do we sell so cheap? You see. we’d rather make a quick nickel than a slow dollar.
(Nice Stuff—ed.)

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • Wednesday, September 28, 2011 • Permalink

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