Examination of newspaper ads and store records of available products combined with data generated from the archaeological record provide insight into how individuals and communities kept pace with national and global trends in medicine and advertising. Decades of archaeological investigation in Springfield, Illinois, by Fever River Research have yielded a rich data set that provides diverse insights into the community. The goal of this case study is to apply a commodity access model to the Springfield, Illinois, data to examine the accuracy of modern researchers’ ideas about the impact of market access on consumer choice. The combination of archaeological artifacts and archival data forms a compelling picture of a community that took advantage of unprecedented access to medicine and commodities during the rise of America's Gilded Age. In contrast to the original results of the commodity model, the results of this analysis indicate that the expansion of trade networks and interaction spheres may not have been the critical factor in consumer choice. Instead, social structures on a local level—between neighborhoods, competing stores, and the consumer—become more important in areas with diverse product access.

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