The History of Department Stores

Under the clock: Let's talk



Almost every city had one department store with a big corner clock where people met, perhaps to talk over the events of the day. Do you have opinions about department stores, shopping, about the "olden days" -- or about stores now? How has your city changed since the days when there were one, two, maybe three department stores downtown? Did you used to "meet under the clock?"

I, Jan Whitaker (JW), and department store book author and aficionado Michael Lisicky (ML) will try to answer your questions ABOUT DEPARTMENT STORES. Also, if you are on Facebook consider joining the group called The Golden Age of the Department Store.


Click and type in a question or comment

Where was Goofs located in the 1980's? -- There were no department stores of this name that I know of, but maybe you are thinking of a clothing store in Mobile AL that sold factory seconds and closeouts in Springdale Plaza. -- JW
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Was Holthausens in Union City New Jersey a full line department store and if so what year did it close ? I came across this name recently but had never heard of it. -- One of the most under appreciated department store websites is run by David Sullivan of the Philadelphia Inquirer. A passionate fan of the department store and newspaper industries, David has documented many former stores in the Mid Atlantic. He did an entry for Holthausen's back in 2008. Yes, it was a department store and yes, it's gone. Read about it at: http://davisullblog.blogspot.com/2008/10/department-store-building-of-week-vol_26.html. -- ML

It was founded in 1877. It was indeed a full-line department store and even sold major appliances in the 1960s, at which time the store's top execs were still from the Holthausen family. -- JW

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I lived in Yorktown Heights, NY in the late 1960s--early 1970s, and we used to shop at White's Department Store, quite often. I know that they had a downstairs with a beauty salon where my mother got her hair done, while I was glued to the book section of the store. Where was the store located and do you have any photos of it? Thanks. -- I'm having trouble finding out much about White's. I can only tell you that there was a White's Department Store in Yorktown Heights on Route 202 just west of the Taconic Parkway which in the 1980s closed and became the Mall for Home Decorating & Remodeling. -- JW
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In the mid 1970s I worked at an Associated Dry Goods store named Stewarts in Louisville, Ky. Is there any information on this department store? -- The Stewart Dry Goods Co. grew out of a Durfee, Heath & Co. store established in 1846. It became part of the H. B. Claflin empire headquartered in NYC in the 1880s and was known as "the New York Store." Louis Stewart acquired it in 1892 and it was renamed Stewart Dry Goods. The building at 4th and Walnut was constructed in 1907. In 1923 it had over 500 employees. In the 1950s and 1960s it established branches in KY and Indiana, totaling 7 stores in all. After shifts in ownership the chain began to be downsized in the 1990s, with the flagship store closing in 1990 and the last Stewart's closing in 1992. You can find out more about Stewart's and other Louisville stores at the site: http://pastperfectvintage.com/louisvillestores.htm. -- JW

There is a perfect book for you but it's a matter getting a hold of it! "Stewart's: A Louisville Landmark" was written by Kenneth L. Miller in 1991 and published by Carraro's Art-Print & Publishing Co., now defunct. It's a nice book with lots of pictures, stories, and recipes. But it is no longer available. (Trust me, I pride myself in my department store book collection and I only have a personal photocopy of it.) But I would go to your local library and do an interlibrary loan. It is relatively simple to use. This book can be found at the main Louisville library and the Indiana University Library Southeast. They will help you. It's the only way to get it (it's how I did it) and well worth it. But don't try the Library of Congress. They've lost their copy. -- ML

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One other suggestion about the ad from Gimbels. As ML noted Gimbels only had 1 store in Northern NJ, and the NJ paper that they would advertise in was the Bergen Record, both before and after the Garden State Plaza store opened. That paper is now known as The Record, you may want to inquire to see if they have digital archives available. 1 Garret Mountain Plaza 8th Floor P.O. Box 471Woodland Park, NJ 07424-0471 (888)-460-5322, for The Record, KA -- Thanks for the suggestion, KA!
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Hello, I'm looking for an ad from the newspaper (Star Ledger ) newark nj around 1955 t0 1960 ..that Gimbels was advertising .. ad went something like this.. A woman was writing how satisfied she was with Gimbels .. and signed her name as Miss F. Collier.. I got to have this.. it's a child memory .. Thanks -- I don't think you'll have much luck finding that newspaper in that period among digitized collections, so your best bet might be calling the main library in Newark to see if they have microfilmed copies of the Star Ledger. If they do and you are not in Newark, you might be able to hire a local researcher. -- JW

You might think about adjusting your search. Gimbels only North Jersey store, located at the Garden State Plaza in Paramus, did not open until September 1960. I would be surprised if Gimbels ran a separate ad in the Star Ledger for its New Jersey customers than from what they ran in the New York Times. Also the Newark Evening News, now defunct, was a much larger paper in circulation than the Star Ledger, which is not digitized, period. However, a New York Times search using "Gimbels" and "Collier" does not provide adequate matches. -- ML

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JC Penney in Big Rapids, MI was still employing sales clerks showing merchandise upon request in 1975. The sale was written up, in pencil, into a sales book. The paper invoice, together with payment, was sent to accounting, which was located on the mezzanine, by pneumatic tube. The tube would return with the invoice/receipt stamped "paid" along with any change due. I bought a pair of gloves there, and the saleslady placed several styles onto the counter for me to inspect. They and most store items were not on general display and available for inspection without help. 'Kind of like the service at Selfridge's in the PBS series. -- Kind of unbelievable, isn't it?" I suppose the company didn't think it merited updating. Seems very charming today, though. -- JW
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Demery's Department Store was at Woodward & Milwaukee in the New Center district of Detroit. I believe they went under in the late 1960s.
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There was a People's Outfitting store in Lincoln Park, MI at the SW corner of Fort St. and Emmons. It opened as the major anchor store of the new Lincoln Park Plaza in the mid-1950s. The chain went out of business around 1960, and the new occupant was JL Hudson's Budget Store. Hudson's closed in the 1970s, and the new tenant was Farmer Jack grocery store. I moved to California in 1989, so I don't know what occupies the site now. People's Outfitting had a store on West Warren in East Dearborn. When the company went out of business, the building became JL Hudson's Warehouse. -- Well, there's not much going on at the SW corner of Fort and Emmons. The building is there but the store is empty. The Park Plaza Shops still exists, to some degree, but the only active business is a Dollar Tree. People's Outfitting filed for bankruptcy in 1969. -- ML
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Names of furniture stores in Schenectady, NY during the 1950's? -- I'm sorry but this site is devoted to traditional department stores that carry a full range of merchandise. I suggest looking in city directories from that decade which would probably be available in the main Schenectady library or you might find them on a subscription website such as Ancestry.com. -- JW
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Besides Macy's, Hudson's, and Marshall Field's, is there a listing of department stores in sales volume in the US before the coming of the suburban branch stores? Say the top 10 in the US? Thanks, Dave -- The only list I know of is in Inside the Fashion Business, Text and Readings, edited by Jeannette A. Jarnow and Beatrice Judelle (John Wiley and Sons, Inc. 1965), which gives the approximate sales of 100 top stores in 1963/64. -- JW

Before the era of the suburban branch boom, most department stores did not release sales figures. It was an in-house secret because competition was becoming tight and stores were cautious about looking vulnerable to changing trends. As a kid, I really enjoyed Robert Hendrickson's book "The Grand Emporiums." Written in 1979, it is a comprehensive yet at times flawed book that chronicles these stores. It was one of the first books to do so. It lists the 10 biggest volume stores as of 1977. In order: Macy's, Hudson's, A&S, Broadway, Marshall Field, Korvettes, Bamberger's, Alexander's, May Co. (CA), and Bloomingdales. Even if you are looking at pre-branch volume stores, you would have to pull out Korvettes and Alexander's and replace it with Rich's and Wanamaker's. Jordan Marsh and Gimbels (NY, Phila) would be close by. But never forget the volume that A&S and Bamberger's produced in Brooklyn and Newark. -- ML

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Where can I find all the dept store pictures of Evansville Ind 60s & 70s? Only found a few. -- If you have already checked with local historical societies, you might need to take the next step, which is slow, and that is to create a want list on eBay for each store by name. Or, if you still have a local newspaper, see if they have a pictures archive and will sell you prints. -- JW
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I will give a talk on the history of department stores for the Greenfield Community College Senior Symposia from 2 to 4 pm on November 20 in Greenfield MA. Preregistration is necessary. -- JW
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The other downtown department store on Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis was JC Penney. Penny's occupied the northwest quadrant of the circle from the late 1940's until it closed in the late 1970's or early 1980's. -- Thanks for this info!
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What were the flagship department stores in downtown Indianapolis in the 1960's? I remember L.S. Ayres and Wassons, but do not remember the other one or two that were on Monument Circle. Thank you! -- The largest department stores in Indianapolis were Ayres', Wasson's, and Block's, the latter located on the corner of Illinois and Market. Another store in the area, on West Washington, was L. Straus & Co. Outside that area, at 360 West Washington, was Effroymson & Wolf. -- JW
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Need to know what year Miller's Department Store opened in Greeneville, TN and what year they had a grand opening. -- I don't have anything in my sources, but if I were you I would go to the Miller's Department Store page on Wikipedia and check out all the sources given there. Another method might be to contact a reference librarian in the Greeneville public library. -- JW
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Re: bell or gong sound.. this was a paging system for management... the combo of sounds corresponded to the managers employee number. when a manager heard their number ring they would go to the nearest phone and call the switchboard who would then dispatch them tot he appropriate location... this system was the precursor to the paging system we hear now. I personally liked it better, less "chatter," more serene shopping experience. -- I agree. -- JW
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Looking for the correct spelling of a now bankrupt men's clothing store named Vaughn's Men's Clothing. Formerly located on Broadway in Oakland, CA. -- Sorry we do not have the time to research these questions about retailers that are not department stores. I suggest looking in a city directory for the time period in question. -- JW
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What was the name of the men's clothing store in Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, IL that sold Z. Cavarrici's and had Street in the name? Thanks, TI -- Sorry once again. (see above)
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What new concept became popular with department stores? If you are referring to retailing ideas, one was that of the ensemble costume in which dresses matched shoes, coats, and handbags. --JW

I guess that I could think of the slow emergence of ready-to-wear clothing and the practice of returning and exchanging goods as new concepts. However it wasn't until the early 1970s, if then, that most department stores finally embraced or succumbed to the concept of trading and serving customers regardless of race. Some of this was due to social changes, some of this was due to the need to increase sales figures. --ML

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To answer the question about Sunday openings in New York City, it was not until the late 1970's that blue laws were lifted, and stores could be open in full. Stores in Manhattan and The Staten Island Mall benefited from this as it kept people from traveling to NJ to shop since most Northern and Central New Jersey counties did not repeal blue laws until 1980 and 1981. Bergen County, NJ still has blue laws in place to this day. Ken

Does anyone remember what year department stores first opened on Sundays in New York City. I think it was the late sixties but not sure of the year. > Surprisingly, most large New York City department stores did not have Sunday openings until mid 1976. Macy's, Gimbels, and Korvettes were the first group of stores, followed by A&S and Alexander's to initiate the change. This was in response to the repeal of New York state's Blue Laws in June 1976. The stores were concerned that the Sunday openings would be "an abrupt social change [that] would require a prompt attitude check with unions and employees as to their feelings on working Sundays." Macy's spearheaded the Sunday openings in response to its success with the extra day in San Francisco. Sunday openings were initially scheduled "to start after normal church services were over." Before the stores opened on Sundays, many NYC retailers took Sunday phone orders from 1pm to 5pm since the 1950s. -- ML
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My first job was a H. Leh & Co. (Leh's) in Allentown, PA in 1989. I left the state in 1990 and didn't go back for 21 years. When I did go back I was really sad to see nothing left of Leh's. I would love to see any pictures from the 80's on up. The only picture I have is one of my grandparents sitting in the restaurant on the last day before they closed. I would also love to talk to anyone that worked there in 1989. Thanks, Derek -- Do a quick search of Leh on e-Bay and you will see a couple of news photos that look as though they are from about that time period. -- JW

Back in 2007, I was an active contributor to the website “Labelscar.” It was a great site that documented and featured shopping malls that have struggled over time. Lately, the site has become more of a chat room, to the dismay of some of its founders. However, I had posted some Leh’s images during Labelscar’s own heyday. Check the following addresses for photographs: http://www.labelscar.com/pennsylvania/whitehall-mall and http://www.labelscar.com/retail-stores/merry-christmas-from-labelscar (Image #11). And as Jan said, check eBay. The Morning Call has been selling off its photo archives on eBay during the past several years and Leh’s images frequent show up for sale on that site. -- ML

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Hello. I have a picture of my mom in San Francisco in the late 1930's. Behind her is a store called Benard's Furs. I'm curious to know where Benard's Furs was located, at that time, in San Francisco. Do you know of such a store and its location? Thank you. J. P. -- I don't know of the store. Unfortunately we are unable to conduct research on stores other than department stores, but I think you could find the information by searching through old city directories. You might contact the San Francisco public library and talk with the research librarian. Best of luck. -- JW

I second Jan's statement regarding our ability to answer and address questions outside of department stores. I also second her suggestion to research city directories for specialized questions regarding small businesses. Luckily, the San Francisco Public Library has Polk's City Directories accessible on its free online database. Benard's Fine Furs had an agency during the first half of the 20th century at 704 Market Street and/or 760 Market Store. Its longtime factory was at 3474 Mission. The store eventually relocated to the Stonestown Mall. Never forget the power of a city directory when researching the past. -- ML

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I have a question, I have a piece of Haviland Limoges that has the department store name S.R. James on the bottom. I was told it is for S.R. James co. in Schenectady NY and is dated to the late 1800's. Is there any information on a SR James Co back then? -- S. R. James was not a department store, but a china and crockery store located at 202-204 State street around the turn of the last century. You might learn more by contacting a local historical society. -- JW
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Does anyone remember "stor". It was later reopened as IKEA -- IKEA bought Stor Furnishings International Inc around 1992. Stor then had four locations, three in the Los Angeles area and one in Houston. IKEA, which had entered the US market in 1985 at Plymouth Meeting PA, was then mainly in the East (seven stores) and had only one in the West, in CA, and it wanted to expand into the West. -- JW
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In the '50s and '60s on the east coast (Baltimore, Philly, NYC, Boston, Montreal) in big department stores you would occasionally hear a bell or gong, usually repeated two to four times. I always assumed this was some sort of signaling system (like "Code Blue" in hospitals), but I never knew exactly what it was about. Does anybody know? -- Yes, they were signals. The gongs or bells sounded in patterns, a different one one assigned to each employees who were buyers, department heads, or other store management personnel who often spent time on the selling floor. They recognized when their signals were sounded and responded by going back to their offices, or telephones, etc. -- JW
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What was the name of the men's store in South Park Mall, Charlotte NC, during the mid 70s? -- This site is dedicated to department stores. We would like to answer questions about all kinds of stores but that would take a lot of research since it is beyond our knowledge base. -- JW

For information on shopping malls and their specific in-line stores, check out the website http://mall-hall-of-fame.blogspot.com. Your question MAY be answered here. But if you have a question regarding DEPARTMENT STORES, bring it on. -- ML

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I would like to purchase hardback versions of Michael Lisicky's Hutzlers, Where Baltimore Shops for Gifts, and am having difficulty finding them in stores or online. Only the paperback versions seem to be available. Can someone share a resource for the hardcovers? Thanks. Melanie -- The Hutzler's book never was released in hardback. The only book of mine that was published in hardback by History Press was 'Wanamaker's: Meet Me at the Eagle'. That hardback printing was a limited edition release for Mother's Day 2012 and can be difficult to find. -- ML
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Does anyone remember a clothing store at Great Lakes Mall in Mentor Ohio that had a large tree as part of their decor? They sold children's clothing in the 90s. -- Have you tried calling the mall's office for that information? -- JW
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I am curious what a "rectifier" did in the department stores around 1920. I had an aunt who had this listed as her occupation in a census and I have not been able to get an answer to date. -- I can't say for sure how the position of "rectifier" would fit into a department store, other than being an appliance part. A rectifier is somebody who blended and refined alcohol that was purchased in bulk from a distiller. If the store was large, like R.H. Macy, Gimbels, or Hudson's, there could have been positions that were titled as rectifiers in relation to the liquor department. But if we are talking Prohibition days, then that makes no sense. I wonder if the title of rectifier should have been receiver (of goods, warehousing) instead? -- ML

I have never run across that job description in relation to department stores. If she worked in England (you didn't say), I would take a wild guess and say she worked in the returns department. Otherwise, I have absolutely no idea. -- JW

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I grew up in Kansas City in the '50s and have two cherished memories about the downtown Macy's. I am looking for any pictures of the tea room (I have a receipt for lunch, and the kids' menu was the same as one for another store (the gingerbread man). Also, pictures of Toyland at Christmas. In the floor by floor list I can't even find "toys." I know it was on or near the top floor. I went to a Christmas exhibit a few years ago at the Union Station in KC, but it was a little disappointing in its lack of many photos. Any help, anybody?? Thank you! -- I have not ever seen any photos of Macy's tea room in KC but I would suggest inquiring at the local historical society. -- JW
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This is a great website! What would have been a low end department store in San Francisco around 1939? I found O'Connor Moffatt listed on your site as being a low end one. Just wondering if there were anything lower. Thank you! -- It is a little hard for me to put some of the moderate to lower San Francisco department stores in order. O'Connor, Moffatt certainly received an upgrade when R.H. Macy purchased it in 1945. The solid White House would have been placed higher up the ladder but Emporium usually catered to the masses, but probably higher-up than O'Connor, Moffatt. But if I were to look down market, I would go with Hale Brothers. Hale Brothers was a fairly basic store whose original roots stem from Sacramento. By mid century, Hale's became irrelevant. In 1951, Hale Brothers was purchased by LA's Broadway stores which had already acquired Emporium and Capwell, which eventually morphed into Carter Hawley Hale Stores. Hale's closed its San Francisco store, located besides its sister Emporium store, in January 1963. Confused yet? I kind of am. So I can either continue on a historical rant or I can just say "Hale's." -- ML

I agree with Michael, though I don't think I'd use the term low-end, just middle of the road, unfashionable ... O'Connor, Moffatt came to my mind also but I note that it had a College Shop whereas Hale's did not. That may not indicate a high-fashion sense but it's certainly more "with it." -- JW

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Looking for a photo of a department store called Big Ben in the city of Poughkeepsie NY around the 1960's. -- You can find a picture of Big Ben in the book "Poughkeepsie, 1898-1998: A Century of Change" by Joyce C. Ghee and Joan Spence (Arcadia Publishing). The picture of the "cut-rate discount store" dates from 1977 and is found on page 97. The Dutchess County Historical Society is credited on the photo. -- ML
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What was a popular concept with department stores during the late 1800s? -- Although you hear a lot about the "carriage trade" stores of the late 19th century, most department stores were more similar to today's big box stores in that they emphasized low prices. Giving the customer a lot for their money was the basic concept then. -- JW
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There was a Kings store in Hamden CT. Can you tell me more about the company? -- King's "Self-Service Department Stores" was an industry leader within New England's discount store retail environment. Founded in 1949 by Murray Candib, King's first store was established in an empty motorcycle plant in Springfield, MA. The company grew through its many acquisitions such as Mammoth Mart and Spartan-Atlantic Stores. By the late 1970s, King's consisted of almost 200 stores throughout New England, the South, and Midwest. Even though its was known for its "quality and financial stability," King's fortunes stumbled during the country's economic woes. In 1981, the Newton MA-based company began closing stores and officially filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August 1982. Most stores were closed by 1983 but Ames Department Stores, along with First National Stores, picked up some of its few remaining locations in 1984. -- ML
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What can you tell me about the Detroit department stores Demery's and People's Outfitting? Did they operate any branches and where; when did they close? Thanks JT -- That's a huge order! We can't perform the amount of primary research it would take to delve into it for you but here are a few tentative bits: Demery's was probably established in Detroit by Michael Demery about 1912, not as a department store but a "Dry Goods and Men's Furnishings" store. By 1941, however, it advertised itself as "A Complete Department Store," president William Demery, and located at 6433 Woodward Ave, outside the major downtown shopping district that housed the big department stores. People's Outfitting was not a department store but a chain of furniture stores (or possibly a loan company in disguise) that dated back at least to 1888. I have found furniture stores with that name in Baltimore, St. Louis, Chicago, Canton & Springfield OH, New Orleans, Detroit, Wilkes-Barre, Kalamazoo MI, and Elkhart & and Evansville IN. Whether all these stores were under the same ownership, etc. I cannot say. In the 1940s the Detroit store, at 150 Michigan Ave., sold an odd assortment of merchandise that ranged from auto accessories to house furnishings to women's shoes. -- JW
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What was the name of the competitor to Service Merchandise? It started with an F. I believe it was on Greenfield between 6 mile and 8 mile. -- Unfortunately, this is a department store site and inquiries outside of our knowledge and comfort zone can prove unfruitful. I'll take a shot and say that it might have been Fretter, which was more of an appliance store than a catalogue showroom. If Fretter is indeed the right answer, the Detroit-based company's stores closed in 1996 and Service Merchandise made it as a retail showroom until 2002. Nationally, Service Merchandise's main competitor was Richmond-based Best Products, which lasted from 1957 to 1997. -- ML
Michael always loves a mystery! I was still wondering Greenfield WHERE? We love to answer questions but it's best if they are about our knowledge base: department stores -- and if you include all the information you have as to dates and location. We're smart but we're not mind readers. -- JW

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Correct spelling of a store in Detroit, Michigan that sounds like Himmelhose? --You are thinking of Detroit's Himelhoch's (Himelhoch Brothers), pronounced Himelhoke's. It was primarily a women's specialty store which had 8 stores in Michigan by the end of the 1970s. Michael Lisicky has located this site for you: http://vintagefashionguild.org/label-resource/himelhochs/ -- JW
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Does anyone remember the stores that were located in Thomas Mall, Phoenix, AZ? I used to shop at that mall on the weekends back in the late 1980's as a teenager and only have fond yet vague memories of its stores. I can only remember the big ones such as Diamonds, Montgomery Wards, Tower Records and the Harkins theater. Does anyone remember any of the small chain stores in that mall before its demise in the late 1990's??....AM -- The following information on Thomas Mall was retrieved from the blog "Mall Hall of Fame." Phoenix's second interior mall was completed in late 1963. Built on a 55.7 acre plot, 8.9 miles northeast of the Arizona State Capitol, THOMAS MALL incorporated 639,200 leasable square feet. It was anchored by a 1-level (87,800 square foot) Montgomery Ward and 2-level (212,600 square foot), Phoenix-based Diamond's. This store was dedicated September 23, 1963. The original center was designed by New York City's Copeland, Novak and Israel firm and featured a J.G. McCrory 5 & 10, Lucky Stores (later Fry's) supermarket, Piccadilly Cafeteria, Revco Drug, KarmelKorn, Marc Hopkins, Brothers Hofbrau Deli, National Shirt Shops, Zale's Jewelers and The Photo Shop. The mallway-connected Thomas Mall Theatre was added in 1967. It was a twinplex by the mid-1970s.hh -- More information on Thomas Mall, as well as many other malls, can be retrieved at http://mall-hall-of-fame.blogspot.com/search?q=thomas+mall -- ML
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I would like to comment on Miller's Dept. Store. It was first established in the Midwest with stores in MO, IN, WI and New York. It was founded by my great grandfather David Miller. I am guessing established late 1800s early 1900s. It is still listed on the stock exchange but the business was sold in the 1960s. -- Thanks! Is this the same Miller's that someone found a label for in a jacket a while back? And was it a department store or a clothing store? -- JW
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Who developed the Christmas pictures of children with Santa Klaus for Kann's Dept. Store back in the late 1950's to 1960's?--RB -- It's possible the name of the photographer might be printed on the photos themselves, but other than that I believe the question would be nearly impossible to answer. -- JW
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I'm trying to find information on a Kleinberg's Dept. Store in Brooklyn. I found some old papers with this name on it. Has anyone ever heard of it? -- Brooklyn had many department stores through the decades: Abraham & Straus, Loeser's, Martin's, Namm's, but I am not familiar with Kleinberg's. You might be able to find it by searching through city directories, and if the papers indicate when it existed or what street it's on that will certainly help your search. -- JW
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Looking for the name of the dress shop that was located behind City Hall in Patterson, NJ in 1955. -- Your best bet would be to look through a city directory from that year or earlier. A map might suggest the name of the street it was on. -- JW
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My cousin and I were in a heated debate. Neither could agree on the exclusive department store's name our parents drove to in the 1960s in Pennsylvania. She thought the store was Harrods from England and I Gumps from San Francisco. Can you help? -- Challenging question since you don't mention a city. I assume you mean Philadelphia. I know of no Gump's or Harrod's there. John Wanamaker was certainly the leading store in the state, and in many regards the nation once upon a time. But it sounds as though you are referring to a branch store from another city. There was a Bonwit Teller in Philadelphia. Otherwise, it's anyone's guess. -- JW

Could you be possibly thinking of Hess's in Allentown, PA? You wouldn't necessarily need to drive to Philadelphia or Pittsburgh and there were certainly no Gump's or Harrod's in Pennsylvania. Wanamaker's would have made the biggest impression in Philadelphia but Hess's was a rare bird. It had its own definition of "exclusive." Just as its slogan went, "The Best of Everything", Hess's did carry some extremely unique and exclusive merchandise but it also carried everything, even pin-money dresses. Its gift department carried some items that were similar in quality to those at Gump's and the gourmet food department could rival Harrod's. Hess's was a destination store in a blue-collar city. Max Hess was a true merchant who understood retailing, marketing, and entertainment. I vote Hess's. -- ML

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I'm trying to find out the spelling/history of downtown Washington DC department store that operated in late-50s/60s called Erdons? or Urdongs? My mother used to work there for a Mr & Mrs Kaplan or Caplan -- The name that you are trying to remember is Urdong's. Not a department store, Urdong's was founded in 1902 and was a popular women's dress shop. Located at 1222 F St. NW, Urdong's engaged in a friendly rivalry with its neighbor L. Frank Co. In 1971, Urdong's was forced to leave its F Street store because of the construction of a new subway station. Urdong's returned shortly afterward in a joint operation with French Bootery. Urdong's spread to Rosslyn, Georgetown, and Montgomery Mall before it closed sometime around 1983. -- ML
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Re: the question regarding sales of electronic merchandise in Department Stores. From the late 60's and all of the 70's department stores were a prime distribution channel for all of electronics. This was the golden age of electronics, huge growth in TV's, stereo came of age, small personal electronics began their growth spurt and department stores were instrumental in positioning brands and presenting new electronic concepts. Companies like Sony, Panasonic, JVC, Sharp, etc lived and died with the Macy's, Burdines, Rich's, Foleys, A&S's of the world. Sears and Penney's had their own brands but were boring and sold no brand name merchandise. Outside of the department stores, family independents were the next large distributor of electronic merchandise during this period. During the department store revolution of the mid 80's electronics and most other hardline merchandise categories were dropped by almost all department stores. --Thanks for contributing this. -- JW
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When did Belk and Ivey's close their downtown Charlotte stores? I remember reading an article in Chain Store Age Executive about a bridge that the two stores built to connect each other. -- The "Uptown" Charlotte Belk's closed in June 1988 and the flagship Ivey's closed in August 1990. There was a third department store, which operated in a manner much like Belk, called Efird's. J.B. Efird came to Charlotte in 1902 with his brother Hugh and built a flagship store, and soon expanded to 50 locations throughout the south. Belk bought the Efird name in 1956 but continued to operate the two stores separately until April 1959. The Efird purchase gave Belk's a Tryon Street entrance and the company built enclosed catwalks to connect the buildings. Though it served as the administrative offices for many decades, the Uptown Belk's became foreshadowed by the South Park Mall location. The Overstreet Mall walkway, that connected Belk and Ivey's, was built in 1977. If Belk's served the low-moderate, all-purpose customer and Efird's served the budget-minded shopper, Ivey's catered to customers in search of better merchandise and services and "integrity." Founded in 1900, Ivey's spread throughout the Carolinas (Raleigh, Ashville, Greenville, and others) and Florida (Jacksonville, Daytona, Winter Park, Orlando, Merritt Island, and St. Pete.) Dillard's purchased Ivey's in May 1990 and the Charlotte store "braced for the worst" until the gavel was sounded the following month. -- ML
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I'm trying to remember the name of the department store located on the plaza in Santa Fe, NM -- I think it closed in the 80s and is now an indoor mall with shops and galleries. -- In 1960, the city directory listed several possibilities under department stores: The Guarantee on the Plaza, Hubbard's, and Levine's. All these were on Shelby. Also in business then were, Sears, Penney's, Bell's, and Anthony's. The last two were on San Francisco st. -- JW
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Thanks so much, M.L. That is it! I was sure it had an extra name along with Columbia & you found it -- Eastern. Most of the downtown stores did not go north of 5th or 6th street so this store was out of the way for my family as my Mother did not drive so we took the bus & walked. Seems like it was quite a bit pricier than Penny's & Sears, too. Thanks again, so much!
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We have a photo of the Columbia Department Store located in Long Beach, California taken during the 1930s. I vaguely remember the store & would like to find out more about it but I cannot find any historical information at all. Can you help? Would be greatly appreciated. --I'm not sure if I have the correct answer but I wonder if the store photo belongs to the Eastern-Columbia department store group? Adolph Sieroty came to Los Angeles in the 1890s and eventually created the 5th largest store in LA through the merger of the Eastern Outfitting Co. and the Columbia Outfitting Co. Located at 9th & Broadway, the Eastern-Columbia building is highly identifiable as the bring turquoise Art Deco structure with its clock and tower. Eastern-Columbia closed its large downtown LA store in 1957. At one point, the company grew to 39 stores but in the early 1950s, Eastern-Columbia listed a Long Beach store at Pine and 6th Street as one of its more prominent branches. This is just an educated guess... -- ML
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I remember shopping with my grandmother in Wausau WI in the late 1950s and the department store there had no cash registers, but a sort of line from the salesgirl to the cashier on the second floor, desk overlooking the sales floor, and I recall that when they shot the money back and forth it made a "ding ding ding" sound. Do you have any idea what I am talking about or what this was called? Was Wausau at the time very behind the times (it seemed that everywhere else had cash registers.) -- Yes, those contraptions were often referred to as cash railways and took various forms, sometimes with a "boxcar" riding on two wires, sometimes with a basket hanging from a wire, etc. It would most certainly have been old-fashioned in the 1950s. It's hard to know why the store (The Fair?) retained that system, maybe because they didn't want salesclerks handling the money, or to avoid the cost of modernization, or maybe because the managers thought customers liked the curious old machinery. It might have been a local attraction. -- JW
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What is the name of the nation’s first department store originating in Salt Lake City? -- You are thinking of ZCMI (Zions Cooperative Mercantile Institution), established by the Mormons in 1869. The business used the slogan of "America's First Department Store" but actually was not. Certainly Macy's could make a much stronger claim, along with many other stores in the East that could trace their beginnings back decades earlier, albeit as small dry goods or fancy goods stores rather than full-scale modern department stores. Also, like some other Western stores ZCMI carried a lot of merchandise not traditionally handled by department stores such as hardware, tools, wagons, and groceries. -- JW
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I just came across an 8" x 10" b&w photo ca. 1920's-1930's of the downtown Seattle Bon Marché store taken (from inside the store, perhaps?) at the "Olive Street" entrance (determined by the sign behind the subjects and above the row of entrance/exit doors that reads, partially obscured, "Olive Street"). The subjects are believed to be some 38 employees of the Bon, as one is a relative of ours! Is there some way to know who might be able to more fully use/share/wish to own such a photograph? Many thanks, PJ
An interesting p.s., I think, is about our relative who worked at the Seattle Bon Marché and appeared in the group photo ca. 20's 30's...sadly, he was said to have died in 1945 just as he returned from a coffee break and jauntily skipped over the little fence enclosure by his desk in the Bon! He died instantly of an apparent heart attack or stroke. According to living elders of the family, "Mick" was a very nice fellow, a good brother to several other siblings who had all emigrated from Ireland in 1909 and 1910. I wonder if THAT story is written anywhere?!
-- If you were able to find a company newsletter you might find a reference to his death but I imagine it would omit the full circumstances. As for your photograph, I think it would be of greatest interest to a local historical society. Many photos of this type in archives are being digitized and if it was that would make it accessible to others who might have known or been related to people in the photo. Thanks for your message. -- JW
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When did electronics departments first appear in stores? Thanks -- cindoyherman@gmail.com -- I know of no research on this question and can only give you my impressions which are that electronics have had a minor career in traditional department stores with the exception of radio which was prominent in the 1920s. In the late 1930s some of the largest stores -- Macy's, Wanamaker, Abraham & Straus and a few others -- began to put on demonstrations of television. The trouble was that there was very little programming available. Not until the mid 1950s did televisions become at all profitable from what I can tell, but along with stereos, I don't think department stores sold much of this kind of merchandise. Sears and discount department stores probably sold more. JC Penney introduced its own brand of television in 1963, joining its Penncrest brand of phonographs and radios. At some point it began selling computers, but gave them up in 1983. -- JW
I feel that department stores, especially the larger stores, sold electronics as they became available. This was an era of innovation along minimal competition. The selection was smaller and the term "big-box stores" wasn't a part of our vocabulary. Department stores tried to be all things to everybody. In a 1939 brochure, Macy's listed many items including radios, phonographs, records, refrigerators, electric jigsaws, and motion picture projectors in its merchandise list in addition to items like radiator covers, rent signs, simonize for automobiles, insulin, and ovaltine. Another question is when did they abandon electronics? Small electrics tend to still be available but stereo equipment and refrigerators went away as stores like Korvettes undercut the market. -- ML

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Was there a store on 14th street NYC called Norton's? Thanks --I have never heard of it. If it existed it must have been a small store, probably not a department store. With so little information it is just about impossible to find a store on a street that undoubtedly held hundreds, maybe thousands over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries. -- JW
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In an ancestor's obituary from 1900 it mentions as follows: "Mr. Ryder then went to New York and was for some time in the large wholesale house of Chas. B. Roos. Three years ago this summer he went to Plainfield, N.J., and at the time of his death was at the head of the gents' furnishing department of one of the best stores in the city." Could you tell me names of the department stores in Plainfield at that time and anything about Chas. B. Roos (Ross?) in New York? -- I don't know anything about Roos but according to the 1914 Plainfield directory (as close as I can find to 1900) there were the following department stores: Tepper Bros., A. E. Force & Co., and Woodhull & Martin Co. There were also two larger dry goods stores: Rosenbaum Bros. and F. H. Schaefer & Co. All except Schaefer were on Front Street. -- JW
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Can you tell me what the term "check girl" meant in the late 1890's in a department store? my email is vallierea@link75.org -- I'm not so familiar with "check girl" as with the more commonly used "cash girl" (or boy). Young people, often children in fact, were hired to assist department store clerks by taking the customers check and money to the cashier and returning with the change. When the clerks needed a cash girl they would loudly yell out "Cash." The children were expected to move quite speedily. Many customers objected to the system, especially since the children should have been in school. Many stores, of course, did not use the cash runners but instead had mechanical systems that conveyed payments and change. Eventually cash registers came into widespread use. -- JW
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I was looking for information on Universal dept store in Tampa. Corner of Broadway and Hwy 41 (50th st). It's long gone, but have been trying to find pics of it. -- I find a Universal Department Store in 1940s city directories of Jacksonville FL but nothing in Tampa. The name associated with the store was Louis Katz and its address was 403 W Bay. -- JW
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I notice that Tapp's Department Store in Columbia, SC is on your list of "missing" stores. I worked at Tapp's on weekends when I was in high school in the late 1959 and 1960 and for the summer of 1961 following my freshman year in college. Interestingly, my mother also worked there when she was 20 about years old, which would have been in 1936, and that is where she and my father met! If you will tell me what you would like to know about Tapp's, I will do my best to provide that information. -- The James L. Tapp Co. opened in 1903 and was a Columbia landmark until 1995. The familiar Main Street location was built in 1938 and was the first department store in the country "built around central air-conditioning." The 4th and 5th floors were added in 1952. "Meet Me at Tapp's" expanded to Woodhill Mall and Dutch Square before it served its last Fountain Room corn sticks in October 1995. Speaking of corn sticks, I have a recipe but I'd like to reduce it. I only want 2 dozen but my recipe, from the store files, makes approximately 448 corn sticks. Could you help me? It calls for 6 quarts of plain corn meal, 15 eggs, one gallon of milk, a cup of salt…..(The recipe comes from Lilly Pearson who estimates that over her 23+ career she made over 9,582,720 corn sticks.) -- ML
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The building that housed Value City Department Store on Clyde Park Avenue was originally built for Yankee Discount Department Stores.
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What was the original department store at 4550 Clyde Park SW, Wyoming MI? It would be before Value City Department Store.
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Walker's (in its last decades, Walker Brothers was simply called Walker's) carried on until 1981 before going out of business. You are correct, Walker's was by far the smallest of Wichita's department stores, but I considered it to be a department store since it had (very small) domestics and housewares departments. -- Thanks!
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I looked through this whole feed hoping that someone had already asked about Walker Brothers Department Store. I managed to find some pictures in Wichita's Archives but no background information. Thanks. -- In 1969, the latest date I could find information about the store, it was Wichita's oldest family-owned downtown department store. It was established in 1886 by William Chapman and English-born David Valentine Walker as a small dry goods store. A few years later Walker bought out Chapman's interest. Walker then married into a family that co-owned a large Kansas dry goods wholesale house that supplied small stores throughout the state. When David Walker died in 1929 his two sons, David Jr. and Insley G., took over and the name became Walker Brothers. I believe it was a smaller department store than competitors Innes, Buck's, or Hinkel's. -- JW
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Good morning, I am most interested in finding information concerning a dept. store / retail outlet in NYC with the sole name "Woodward". I have a piece of Steuben Blue Aurene Glass with a circular paper label which reads: "AURENE / WOODWORTH / NEW YORK " I know that Steuben glass sold items through Woolworth in the 1920's. Any help on information concerning this store name would be greatly appreciated. Sincerely, David P. Donaldson, MFA -- So sorry, I know of no major NY store with that name.
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Hello. I have a "Howland" department store employee handbook. It states the group had stores with the names Fowlers (not Fowler Dick and Walker), Emmons, Mungers, Sheridan's, Genungs and Howland's. I have a copy of an article about Howland dry goods in Bridgeport Ct that bought Grieves of Hamden (any info on Grieves). All the stores changed their name to Howland in 1970. Would you have any information on the stores behind these other names? -- I don't have any information about those stores per se, but must say that I find the process of acquiring stores and creating a chain which eventually takes on a single name is very characteristic of department store growth and development almost from the start. Of course it gave the stores much greater clout when negotiating price etc with their suppliers, as is of course true of the huge Macy's chain today, as well as the big box stores. I would suggest trying to find digitized newspapers as a source for more information about the specific stores. -- JW
Founded in 1887, the Howland Dry Goods Company a major department store from Bridgeport, CT. It was purchased by Genung's of Mt. Vernon, NY in 1958 but continued to operate under its own nameplate. Howland was a large store but Genung's, located in communities such as Tarrytown, Yonkers, Peekskill, and Meriden, consisted of mostly small or junior department stores. In July 1965, Genung's closed the large downtown Bridgeport store and opened a new, smaller store on the Black Rock Turnpike. That same year, Genung's acquired the former Waterbury-based Grieve, Bisset, & Holland store at the Hamden Mart. Along the way, the company acquired locations from Sheridan's (Quincy, MA), Mungers (Herkimer, NY), and Emmons (Concord, NH). (I'm not sure where Fowlers was but it was not part of FDW. I would bet it was located in NY or CT.) I am not sure of the date of your handbook? By 1969, Supermarkets General purchased Genung's, who also operated Steinbach (Asbury Park) and Hochschild's (Baltimore). At the time, Genung's also owned Millers (Stamford), and Goerke's (Plainfield and Elizabeth). In 1987, all remaining stores, clustered as part of a Howland-Steinbach division, assumed the Steinbach nameplate. Regardless, your handbook sounds like a great piece of ephemera that documents an important regional chain of important small department stores. -- ML

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My name is Randy Herndon, who is a grandson of a former Woodies employee who worked in the window and interior display at Woodies from 1915 to the early 60s. In the 20s, he was named head of these departments. Recently, I have been collecting photos on ebay, and was wondering if you have anyone who I can contact to get some additional photos of Woodies during these periods. In addition, my grandfather, whose name was Dudley LeRoy Herndon, decorated the White House during the Eisenhower administration for special holiday events. Do you have access (or know of a source) to photos of these things? We have some thank yous from the First Lady discussing his work, but no photos. Thanks, Randy Herndon at RandolphHerndon@gmail.com -- Have you seen Michael Lisicky's new book Woodward & Lothrop: A Store Worthy of the Nation's Capital? He indicates the source of all the photos he used in the book, with many of them coming from the Washingtoniana Division of the D.C. public library. Otherwise, I would think e-bay is your best source, though it requires much patience waiting for things to appear. As for White House photos, I would have no idea. -- JW
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I have an old blonde maple dining room set with cane back chairs (possibly 1950's) with the name "Fine Furniture from America's Foremost Creators certified by Harry H. Baron, Inc. Seattle, WA". Can you please tell me something about the type of furniture he manufactured, dates, department stores that sold his furniture and information about Harry Baron. Thank you. Mark -- Harry H. Baron was the name of a furniture store in Seattle, at Aurora and Harrison. It looks like it closed in the late 1950s upon Harry's death. I don't believe he was a manufacturer. -- JW
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Hi, my name is Robert Daniel Wyatt. I'm looking for any information on a store named Haber's (1942) in the City of Poughkeepsie, NY I believe it burned down in the 70s. I posted a pic on Facebook it was one of the best toy stores around. Thanks for any help. You can also message me at nyny0553@yahoo.com -- Even though we try to restrict inquiries to department stores on this site, I do have an answer on Haber's. Haber's was destroyed in an early morning fire on June 1, 1970. It raged out of control for hours and a local 17 year old boy was eventually charged with 3rd degree arson. It was operated by David Haber and Ettie Fershlisser. -- ML
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A few months ago I'd asked for a lead on how to find out if a former WT Grant store had run an automotive shop. Your suggestion to look in the local paper's Sunday ad section was spot on and confirmed the inquiry for me. Thanks!
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Any information on the Great Eastern Department Store? I know they were around in the 60's in New Jersey and New York. Can't find any info on them online, though. -- In 1956, Great Eastern Mills opened its first discount store on Route 17 in Paramus, NJ. In addition to its popular self-service format, Great Eastern's success was based on its large usage of leased departments or "retailer-tenants". In 1961, its 3 stores, Paramus, Little Falls, and Elmont, L.I., were acquired by Diana Stores. In 1972, Great Eastern jumped from seven units to fourteen in one day, with locations now spread from New Brunswick, NJ to Port Jefferson, NY, to Brooklyn, to Jersey City. Increased competition and out-of-state ownership (Daylin's Stores) forced Great Eastern into Chapter 11 bankruptcy and all were finally closed by October 1975. -- ML
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I just bought a beautiful plaid jacket which has a label marked Millers, New York. The two ls in the name are in the shape of boots. Could you tell me anything about this store? -- Not sure whether you are referring to a vintage item, or whether it's a man's or woman's jacket, but I don't know of a Miller's department store in New York past or present, plus it sounds to me as though it's more likely to be a manufacturer's label than a store label. -- JW
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Did department stores have in-store photography studios during WWII? -- Good question. I strongly associate in-store photography studios with the decades before the First World War. By WWII, many Americans had their own cameras, and I'd say department stores were far more likely to have photography departments than studios. I've found only one actual example, the Meyer's department store in Greensboro NC. Undoubtedly there were some others, but not many I'd guess. -- JW

Department store photo studios were indeed very popular during the early part of the 20th century. Once personal cameras came to be, the store's studios became less necessary, more formal. However I can find instances where the studios continued forward. In 1941, Kaufmann's in Pittsburgh asked customers if they wanted to "be glamorized in color?" Gimbels in Milwaukee advertised two "splendid pictures" for a dollar, a fine photo as a fine gift for mother in 1938, and Pomeroy's in Reading said they were equipped to do all kinds of photography, any place, any time, in 1934. -- ML

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What were the department stores in Brockton MA besides Edgar's? Were Fraisers and Ganley's department stores? -- In a 1961 Brockton directory, the most recent date I could locate, I find the following stores listed under Department Stores, most of them located on Main Street: Coats Field Inc; Edgar's; Fraser's; Ganley Joseph Inc; Giant Discount Co; Gilchrist Co; Gorin's; King's; Sear's. Such a listing, of course, does not necessarily mean they were all full-fledged department stores. -- JW

When I think of Brockton, I think of Edgars. How could you not? James Edgar himself was the first department store Santa Claus! (Edgars later became Almy's though the name lived on in Fall River.) But don't count out Fraser's on Main St, “The Store Of Service offering you the lowest prices, the latest styles and the most courteous service.” From its display windows to its assortment of merchandise, Fraser's fits the definition of a department store. Not so much with Ganley's, which was primarily a prominent women's clothing store. -- ML

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I've been reading ML's "Wanamaker's: Meet Me at the Eagle" with lots of fond memories of riding the train from Norristown to shop with Mom at Lit's, Gimble's, Strawbridge's and especially Wanamaker's (1947-1959). I especially remembered the Munkascy paintings, after running across a reproduction in an unrelated app I purchased. Appreciate the pictures, HA!
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Might there be any Wanamaker record of a Plymouth-Whitmarsh singing group, circa 1956, with director Marcellus C. Kuhn? I remember singing "Oh Promise Me" with the organ from the balcony. Skip -- The Wanamaker organ has been providing thousands of concerts to residents and visitors of Philadelphia since 1911. The world's largest pipe organ, the Wanamaker organ is in fine working condition in the store now operated as Macy's. This wouldn't be possible without a financial (and ethical) commitment from Macy's and the amazing support group, the Friends of the Wanamaker Organ. If I needed to inquire about a specific musical event, past and present, held at the store, I would try contacting the group through their website www.wanamakerorgan.com. They would be a very valuable resource for such a search. A tedious search process could be had at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, home of the valuable John Wanamaker Corporate Archives but I'd start with the Friends and see where that goes. -- ML
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Where was Calverts store in Massachusetts? -- Calvert's department store was located on Highland Avenue in Needham Heights. -- JW
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A Bon Marche sign is still painted on the wall of the old store in downtown Lowell Mass. -- Those old "ghost signs" are great. Bon Marche was one of several department stores and larger clothing stores on Merrimack Street in Lowell, along with Cherry & Webb, Gagnon Co., and A. G. Pollard Co. -- JW

Established in 1878, The Bon Marche of Lowell, MA operated under the same ownership as Boston's Jordan Marsh, Allied Stores Corporation. In 1976, The Bon Marche was merged into Jordan Marsh. Local Lowell officials proclaimed that "an excellent store will give way to a great one" upon the merger's completion. Part of the transition to Jordan Marsh included having The Bon Marche brick storefront painted red with white trim. It is nice to know that not all of The Bon Marche's history has been erased. Over time, the Lowell store became Jordan's smallest revenue producer and was closed in June 1990. -- ML

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I have a white satin Santa figure that my mother gave to her mother as a Christmas gift about 1948-51. Window shopping w

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Missing Stores

Abraham & Straus – Adler's -- Addis & Dey -- Alexander's -- B. Altman – AM&A -- Anderson-Newcombe -- Arbaugh's -- Auerbach's -- L.S. Ayres – Bacon's -- Bamberger’s – Battelstein's -- Bendel's -- L. L. Berger -- Bergner's -- Bernheimer-Leader – Best & Co. -- Blach's -- James Black Co. -- Gus Blass -- Block’s – Block & Kuhl -- Boggs & Buhl – Bon-Marche [WA & NC] – Bonwit Teller -- Boston Store -- Boylan-Pierce -- H. H. Bowman -- Brach Thompson -- Brandeis -- Braunstein's -- John Bressmer -- Brett's -- Brintnall's -- The Broadway – Brock's -- Brody's -- John A. Brown -- Brown's -- Buffums -- Bugbee's -- Bullock’s – Burdines – Burger Phillips -- Bush & Bull -- Cain-Sloan -- Calendar, McAuslan & Troupe -- The Carl Co. -- Carlisle's -- Castner-Knott -- Chappell's -- T. A. Chapman -- City of Paris -- Clark's -- M.M. Cohn -- Arnold, Constable -- Craig's -- Crosby Bros. -- Cox's -- The Crescent -- Crowley-Milner -- Dalton's -- Daniels & Fisher – Davidson's -- Davison’s – Dayton’s – De Lendrecie -- DeLoach -- Demery & Co. -- Denholm’s – Denver Dry Goods – Desmond's -- The Diamond -- Donaldson’s – Dunlap's -- Dunnavant's -- Eastman Bros. & Bancroft -- Edgar's -- E.W. Edwards & Son -- Ellis, Stone & Co. -- Emery, Bird, Thayer – Emporium-Capwell – Epstein's -- Espenhain's -- The Fair [multiple] – Famous-Barr – Filene’s – Flah's - Foley’s – Forbes & Wallace -- Fowler, Dick & Walker -- Fowler's -- B. Forman -- Fox – Frank & Seder – Franklin-Simon -- Frederick & Nelson’s – H. Freedlander Co. -- Frost Bros. -- Froug's -- Furchgott's -- Wm. F. Gable Co. -- Gabriel's -- Garfinckel's -- Gayfer's -- John Gerber Co. -- Gertz -- Gilchrist's -- Gilmore Bros. -- Gimbels – Gladdings -- Glass Block -- The Globe Store -- Godchaux's -- Golds -- Goldblatt’s – Goldenberg Co. -- Goldsmith’s – Goldstein-Migel -- Goldwater’s – Gottschalk's -- Goudchaux -- W. T. Grant -- Grieve -- Grossman's -- Gutman's -- Bisset & Holland -- Hahne’s – Hale Bros. -- Halle’s – Halliburton's -- Hamburger & Sons – L.Hammel -- Harris -- Harris-Emery -- Harvey's -- Harzfeld's -- Hearn’s – Hecht’s – Heer's -- S.H. Heironimus -- Hemphill-Wells -- Hengerer's -- Hennessy's -- Hens & Kelly -- Henshey's -- Herberger's -- Herbst -- Herpolsheimer’s – Hink's -- Hinkle's -- Hinshaw's -- Hochschild-Kohn – D.H. Holmes – Hudson’s – Hutzler’s -- Innes – Iszard’s – Ivey's -- Jacobson's -- Jacome's -- Jellefs -- Jenss -- The Jones Store – Jones & Jones -- Jordan-Marsh – Joseph Horne – Joske's -- Joslin's -- Kahn's -- Kann’s – Karroll's -- Katz -- Kaufman's -- Kaufmann’s – Kennington's -- Kerr's -- Kessler's -- Killian's -- Kilpatrick's -- S. Klein -- Kline's -- J.W. Knapp -- Korrick's -- Krauss's -- Lamont's -- Lamson's -- Lane's -- Lansburgh's -- LaSalle’s – F&R Lazarus – Leggett -- H. Leh & Co. -- Leonard's -- Levy's -- J.R. Libby -- Liberty House – Lintz -- Lion -- Lipman's -- Lit Brothers -- Frederick Loeser’s – Loveman's -- B. Lowenstein -- A. W. Lucas -- Maas Brothers – Mabley & Carew -- I. Magnin -- Joseph Magnin -- Edward Malley -- Mandel Brothers – Manchester's -- J. Mandelbaum & Sons -- Maison Blanche – Marshall Field’s – Marston’s – Martin's -- May Company – May-Cohen -- Mays -- McAlpin's -- McClurklan's -- McCreery's - McCurdy's -- G. M. McKelvey -- McRae's -- R.A. McWhirr -- Meier & Frank – Meis -- Meyers-Arnold -- I. Miller -- Miller & Paine -- Miller's -- Miller & Rhoads – Mills Dry Goods -- Edward C. Minas -- Missoula Mercantile Co. -- Monnig's -- Montgomery Fair -- Muller's -- Myer's Bros. -- Namm’s – Neusteter's -- Newman's -- O'Connor-Moffatt -- Ohrbach's -- M. O'Neil -- O'Neill's -- Orr's -- The Outlet -- The Palace -- Palais-Royal -- The Paris -- Parisian Stores -- B. Peck -- Peck's Dry Goods -- Peerless -- Pelletier's -- Penn Traffic -- People's Department Store -- Perkins-Timberlak -- Pfieffer -- Pizitz -- H&S Pogue – Polsky's -- Pomeroy's -- Popular Dry Goods -- Porteous, Mitchell & Braun -- Porter's -- Powers -- H.C. Prange -- Proffitt's -- Walter Pye's -- Quackenbush -- Read's -- J. Redelsheimer -- Regenstein's -- Rhodes -- Rices-Nachmans -- Rich’s – Richard's -- Rike’s – Rines Bros. -- Robeson's -- J.W. Robinson’s – Rogers -- Ronzon's -- Root's -- Rorabaugh-Buck -- Rose's -- Rosenbaum's -- Rosenwald's -- Roshek's -- Rothschild & Sons -- Rubenstein's -- Russell's -- Sage-Allen -- Sakowitz -- Sanger-Harris – Scarborough's -- Scranton Dry Goods -- Schreiner's -- Schuneman & Evans -- Schuster's -- Scruggs, Vandervoort, Barney – Selber Bros. -- Shepard’s – Shillito’s – Shriver’s – Sibley’s – Siegel-Cooper -- Thos. Smiley & Co. -- Smith & Welton -- Smith & Wilkins -- Snellenburg’s – Ben Snyder Co. -- Jos. A. Spiess -- Steiger's -- Steinbach -- R. H. Stearn's -- Steinfeld's -- Steinmart's -- Stekete's -- Sterling-Lindner -- Stern’s – Charles A. Stevens -- Stewart's [MD & TX] -- Stix, Baer, & Fuller -- Stone Thomas – Strawbridge & Clothier – Stripling's -- Strouss-Hirshberg – Swanson's -- Tapp's -- John Taylor Dry Goods -- W. Taylor Co. -- Thalhimer’s – Tichte-Goettinger – Tiedtke's -- Troutman's Emporium -- The Union -- Upton's -- Van Arsdale's -- Vandever's -- Walker's -- Walker Bros. -- Walker-Scott -- John Wanamaker – H.P. Wasson -- Watt & Shand – Week's -- Weichmann's -- Weinstock’s – Chas. V. Weise -- J.B. White -- The White House [CA & TX] -- White & Kirk - R.H. White’s – Whitner's -- Wieboldt's -- Wilkin's -- Wilmington Dry Goods -- Woodward & Lothrop -- Wolf & Dessauer -- Woolf Bros. -- Wolff & Marx -- Edward Wren Co. -- Wurzburg's -- Yetter's -- Young Quinlan -- Younkers -- ZCMI -- Zollinger-Harned

Jacobson's, Dearborn MI

Webers, Zanesville

Stern's, NYC

Miller & Rhoads, Richmond

Snellenburg's, Philadelphia

Loveman's, Birmingham

Forbes & Wallace, Springfield, Mass.

Cain-Sloan, Nashville

Stewart & Co., Baltimore

Rotunda at Hess Brothers, Allentown PA.

Maison Blanche, New Orleans.

The famous Tiffany mosaic dome at Marshall Field's, Chicago.

Schuneman & Evans, St. Paul.

The corner clock at L. S. Ayres, Indianapolis, is barely visible.

Bamberger's -- "Bam's" -- expanded rapidly in the 1920s. Macy's bought it in 1929.

Logo sent by a generous site visitor.

Joske's, San Antonio, billed itself "Largest Store in Largest State."

For more information on department stores, see my other sites listed below.