OED editors are investigating the word doorbuster, referring to a special limited-time sale which is designed to draw in customers. The earliest evidence we have found thus far dates to 1917:
1917 Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Republican 28 Aug. 6 (advt.) Here are Wednesday’s eight o’clock door-busters. It is bargains such as these, that are sold for tiny fractions of their original prices, that bring people down to the store doors.
However, a 1925 article relates an anecdote suggesting that the word doorbuster may have existed as early as 1895; the ‘inquiring reporter’ pins its origins to the Philadelphia-based department store Wanamaker’s, 30 years earlier:
1925 Davenport (Iowa) Democrat & Leader 20 Apr. 15 (via Newspaperarchive.com)
Is there any truth to this story? An earlier quotation could help us find out. Can you help us find one?
Posted by OED_Editor on 20 November 2012 15.33