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 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

I have an old bottle and box of Jasmine perfume. It says Nelson Detroit.Was that a department store? Thank you so much.

This might not be exactly in your purview--but I recall a Dapper Dan's discount men's clothing store in Elizabeth New Jersey through the 70's. Does this ring a bell with you? JS -- I, for one, can find no trace of it. -- JW
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To answer the question about a department store on Springfield Avenue in Newark. Field's was a junior sized department store located on Springfield Avenue and S. 6th Street. Like many retail stores it as heavily damaged during the July 1967 riots, but unlike most stores they rebuilt and reopened, and remained in business through the late 1970's. Today the building hosts a discount furniture store. Most of Newark's major department stores were located downtown (and avoided damage during the riots), the exception was Sears, which operated a large multi level store on Elizabeth Avenue in Newark's South Ward. Sears closed this store around 1976, KA. -- Thanks, Ken.
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I live in Georgia and Belk stores used to sell chocolate candy and I am trying to find out what is was called and who made it. In the 1980s I used to buy individually wrapped candy that was a chocolate disk about the size of a medium pancake with cashews in it. They had these on the counter beside the cash registers. Anyone remember that candy? -- I lived in Savannah during the late 1980s so I have a faint idea of what candy you are talking about. Besides Godiva, many large Belk stores carried chocolates, especially when there was still such a thing as candy counters, made by the “Sweet Shop.” The company still seems to exist and is operated by Price’s Chocolates, a longtime candy maker that supplied many department stores. Go to www.sweetshopusa.com and see if anything seems familiar. -- ML
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Do you have any information on a department store called Haggerty's? My grandmother worked for them in southern California as a millinery buyer. I believe they had a store in San Jose too. -- Haggerty's was not a department store but an upscale women's specialty store. Consequently I don't know a whole lot about it, but it was evidently founded by J. J. Haggerty in Los Angeles in the early 20th century. By 1915 there were 4 in LA and one newly opened in Sacramento. They were known by various names then, such as the New York Cloak and Suit House and Palais des Modes. By 1961 there were 10 stores in S. California, with two opening in 1960, one of them in Palm Springs. -- JW

J.J. Haggarty established the New York Cloak and Suit House in 1905 but relocated the business to 7th and Grand, opposite the J.W. Robinson flagship store. Haggarty coordinated the opening of its new store with that of Robinson’s in May 1915. Haggarty’s downtown Los Angeles store conceded its flagship status to Beverly Hills and fell off of the store roster by the early 1960s. By 1968, the "prestige fashion stores” were located in Beverly Hills, Pasadena, Santa Ana, Lakewood, Downey, Canoga Park, Bakersfield, and Palm Springs. However drowning in $4.4 million in debt, Haggarty’s threw a going out of business sale in May 1970. In August 1970, San Francisco fashion store Roos-Atkins acquired the Beverly Hills store’s lease. -- ML

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The Hudson store was running in 1951. On Saturday what time was the store open? -- Saturday hours in 1951 were 9:15 to 5:00, closing one half hour earlier than on other days. -- JW
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Has anyone ever heard of Malone's department store? I believe it was in the Midwest..... There was a Malone's department store in deKalb IL (also one in Tacoma WA), but I don't know anything about it and haven't discovered any sources of information. -- JW
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Can you provide history of Legett's Department Store? -- Fred Bennett Leggett founded the first Leggett store in Danville, Virginia, in 1918. In 1921 the Leggett stores then existing (not sure how many) joined Belk's, becoming the first to partner with Belk's, a chain that grew through partnering. It seems that thereafter the stores were referred to either as Leggett's or Belk-Leggett's. Many in the chain were small stores in small towns, primarily selling moderately-priced clothing for the whole family. By 1956, when F.B. Leggett died, there were 54 Leggett stores in 5 states, reportedly VA, WV, NC, MD, and OH. In 1963 when Leggett's celebrated its 75th anniversary, it was part of a chain of 400 stores under the Belk's umbrella. In 1978 there were 67 Leggett stores, in the same 5 states as 1956 except for Delaware instead of Ohio. In the late 1990s all the stores became Belk's. There is a book about Belk's called William Henry Belk: Merchant to the South by LeGette Blythe, published in 1950. -- JW
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American (men's clothing) stores in No. NJ; 1940s - '60s, Rt 46 in Lodi, NJ, built in Quonset Huts. Featured palm trees, tropical fruits. -- If you are looking for a name I can't help you, but it sounds like a part of the post-WWII trend to locate bargain stores in old factories and abandoned buildings on city outskirts that heralded the beginning of the big box store phenomenon that led to the erosion of business in downtown department stores of the sort that this site is about. -- JW

The original Burlington Coat Factory, on Route 130 in Burlington, NJ, is a perfect example. It opened in 1972 in a dumpy cinderblock building on the outskirts of the relatively small town. -- ML

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Which department stores in the US survived into the 1970's and beyond that are/were still family owned? I know Strawbridge and Clothier, Rich's, Elder-Beerman, and Von Mauer are some examples I can think of. Are there others? It seems like many of the well known names became part of Allied Stores, Federated, Associated Dry Goods, City Stores Etc. -- You are right that by the 1970s most stores were either chain stores or parts of holding companies. The market share of independents (not always = to family owned), and holding companies, shrunk drastically in the 1960s and 1970s, as chains -- including the early discount stores -- took by far the biggest share. A few more that made it into the 1980s are: Grover-Cronin in Waltham MA; The Outlet Co., Providence RI; and Miller & Rhoads whose management bought it back from Allied in 1987. -- JW

There were still quite a few family-owned/operated department stores in the 1970s and 1980s. Hutzler’s (Baltimore), Goudchaux’s (Baton Rouge), Pizitz (Birmingham), Steiger’s (Springfield, MA), and Smith & Welton (Norfolk) come to mind. Today, Boscov’s (Reading) may be the reigning champion, but Dillard’s and the Bon Ton group (York, PA’s Grumbacher family) have plenty of family involvement. Nordstrom (yes, a specialty store but what defines a department store these days?) has the next generation in place. The Belk family, with its uniquely and somewhat separately managed group of stores, sold its interest only 8 months ago. That’ll be an interesting longterm scenario. What is Belk going to look like 5-10 years from now? -- ML

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There was a department store on Springfield Ave. in Newark, NJ. I believe it was there from the 50's through the 70's. Do you have an idea of what the name was? -- Though most of Newark's big department stores were on Market or Broad streets, there were two on Springfield Ave. in the 1940s (as close as I could find). One was W. Wilderotter Sons at 491 Springfield, which I believe was destroyed by fire in 1954. The other was the Colonial Department Store at 482 Springfield. -- JW
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I HAVE A GOLF CLUB THAT HAS THE LETTERS T.N.T. ON THE TOE OF THE CLUB AND ALSO THE WORD NIBLICK, AND IT HAS THE WRITING R H MACYS CO. INC. COULD YOU TELL ME HOW OLD THIS CLUB IS AND IS IT AN ANTIQUE. -- Sorry, but I don't know anything about the golf clubs sold by Macy's -- I'm not sure that the place of sale would be helpful in identifying the club. -- JW
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Do you know what brand names of children's clothing Macy's sold in the early 1970s? My mother in law purchased an outfit for my husband's year old picture sometime between 1972 and February of 1973 and I am trying to find it. A long shot I know and the only information she can offer is that it was purchased in the Kansas City area at Macy's. Thanks so much, great site! -- I'm afraid I don't have the slightest idea of what brands of boys' clothing Macy's handled then in KC and it does sound nearly impossible to find out. Even if you looked at every single newspaper advertisement from that period it's probable the outfit you want would not be shown. If you are on Facebook you might join the group The Golden Age of the Department Store and post the picture of the outfit. There are people who belong to the group who are former Macy's employees. A long shot too, but the best I can think of. -- JW
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I am trying to find a middle of the road department store that would have been typical in Charleston or Columbia, SC, in 1964 for a play I am writing. Thank you for this site! -- Most department stores aimed at a middle-class market. In Charleston you could choose Ivey's, Condon's, or Kerrison's. In Columbia there was Tapp's. -- JW

Go with Tapp’s. -- ML

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Where did JC Penney first get established? It seems that Penney's was one of the first chain type department stores-they located in larger towns and the downtown shopping districts of many cities. They also quickly embraced going to some of the first suburban shopping centers. -- The first store opened by James C. Penney was in the small mining camp town of Kemmerer WY, in 1902. By 1914, the closed corporation known as J. C. Penney operated 70 small dry goods stores in the West, none in large cities. The chain stores used the name Golden Rule until 1919. By then the rapidly growing chain was in 35 states and was confronted with other stores using that name, so it decided to operate under its corporate name, J. C. Penney Co. It gradually expanded its offerings from standard dry goods to a greater range of merchandise, becoming a bit more like a department store, but did not begin to embrace fashion until a major expansion in 1929, at which time there were more than 1,000 stores. Not until after WWII did it move beyond its no-frills business model -- without decor, delivery, or credit so as to keep prices low for the "masses" (as it identified its customers), and I would say it never really joined the league of major department stores. I'm not certain, but I would guess it did not move into the suburbs in a significant way until this time, as was true of most department stores. James Penney died a very rich man in 1971. -- JW

Penney’s retail expansion, whether on Main Street or in the shopping center, was much slower than you would think. By World War II, the typical J.C. Penney store averaged only 12,000 square feet, consider that the standard modern grocery store today averages about 50,000 square feet. In 1957, Penney’s opened its then-largest suburban “junior department store” at the Garden State Plaza in Paramus, NJ (70,000 square feet). By 1961, there were 1,695 stores but only 156 were located in shopping centers. In 1962, J.C. Penney Co. entered the big leagues with a large full-line store (130,000 square feet) at the King of Prussia Mall in Pennsylvania followed by another large store at the Black Horse Pike Shopping Center in Audubon, NJ. Most Penney stores were located in the North Central United States and the least, by far, were located in the Northeast. -- ML

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I live outside Philadelphia and I was fortunate to be living here a few years before Strawbridge and Clothier and John Wanamaker’s closed. I am originally from Boston. Born in 1946 just outside of Boston – we went “in town” for everything. You would never consider buying a winter coat locally – you always made a trip to Filene’s, Jordan Marsh, R. H. Stern or R. H. White. I remember my mother made an appointment at Filene’s to have my sister’s first communion pictures taken and other pictures of my sister and I together. The reason why I mention this is because my brother was born seven years after me and when it came time for his baby pictures – Filene’s came to your home – guess things were changing at that time! Filene’s basement – WOW! I had an aunt who worked in Boston and every day she walked “up town” on her lunch hour to the basement – every piece of clothing that she owned came from Filene’s bargain basement – just beautiful clothing. My aunt often said that she was born and raised in Filene’s basement. I read a few years ago that Boston’s public television station was putting together a documentary about Filene’s basement. The producers were planning to interview loyal customers and people that still hung on to things they bought over the years at Filene’s basement. I never heard anything after the initial plan. If my aunt was alive she could be their number one candidate to interview. Also, I remember my mother telling me that President Franklin Roosevelt’s son, John, worked at Filene’s. Apparently, he was very visible in the basement store. Another store on the outskirts of Boston that was just fabulous was – Grover Cronin’s in Waltham, MA. It was the family’s only store – they never branched out to a mall. The store was very similar to Strawbridge and Clothier. The merchandise was top quality and they did thousands of fashion shows for organizations in the greater Boston area. I just loved going to “Cronin’s”. -- from someone who grew up in the 1950s & 1960s -- Yes, the documentary “Voices from the Basement” by Michael Bavaro received its WGBH premiere in 2010. Go to http://voicesfromthebasement.com to read about it and buy it! It’s a must for any Filene’s and Filene’s Basement fan. (I also wrote a book on Filene’s, in case you are interested. It is primarily about the upstairs store. The May Company gave the Filene Marketing Archives to the Boston Public Library who very generously gave me full access. However, the location of the Basement archives is unknown, if they haven’t been purged. Filene’s and Filene’s Basement were operated by two separate companies from 1988 on and when the Basement closed in 2011, Syms owned Filene’s Basement. Syms is no longer.) I agree about Grover Cronin, a great store. But up through the 1980s, there were so many great small local department stores throughout New England. Grover Cronin was a cut above but the others helped give New England towns their identities as well. And if you need more about Strawbridge & Clothier, buy the book Family Business, or go to the Hagley Museum Library in Wilmington and enjoy the Strawbridge’s archives first hand. -- ML
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I am trying to confirm when the Monogramming Shop opened in Kaufmann's (the original flagship Pittsburgh store), and also what the store's opening hours were during the 1940s and early '50s. Was the store open at night? Until what time? Thank you! -- I don't have access to information specific to Kaufmann's but it seems that a lot of department stores acquired monogramming machines in the 1930s. As for hours, after WWII most downtown stores stayed open only about one night a week. During the war itself, it's possible they were open more nights since so many women held jobs outside the home, but on the other hand there was a terrific shortage of retail workers, so I'm not sure how that played out. -- JW
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Do you have any information on the relationship between Mobil Oil Corp. and Montgomery Ward vis a vis the Montgomery Ward Auto Express Centers (I am familiar with the corporate relationship between Mobil and Marcor and MW, but not the specifics of their relationship, if any, at their locations)? -- Perhaps a reader can help answer this. My research focus is on local and regional department stores rather than national chains, stores that were fashion centers and did not deal much with cars, hardware, appliances, etc. -- JW
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Quick question. Was there ever a JC Penney in downtown Elmira? Thanks. -- If you are referring to Elmira NY, the answer is yes. I found a listing for a Penney's at 111-115 N. Main in a 1928 city directory. How long it was there I don't know. -- JW
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Since the current Christmas shopping season is in full swing, it reminds me of the elaborate Santaland displays that department stores would promote to create a magical experience for kids. Which stores had the largest and most grand Santa Lands? I know some stores would have monorails and trains the kids could ride in. Some stores such as Lazarus in Columbus OH had multiple Santa Clauses to keep the lines moving! -- Yes, department stores were magical places for kids at Christmas. The store Santas, Santa Lands, parades, etc began at a time when toy departments were not year round and their appearance marked the beginning of that department being set up for the season. Many stores had rockets, trains, mini-carnival rides, snow tunnels, Santa breakfasts for children only, and walk-through Christmas towns. In the 1960s Hudson's in Detroit reportedly drew 1/2 million children to see 12 Santas (each approached via a separate pathway so the children didn't realize there was more than one). But I think Wanamaker outdid them all. I can barely imagine how thrilling it must have been in the years when the store would turn off the lights each morning at 10:30 a.m. and a uniformed brass band with storybook characters marched through the store, followed by Eskimos carrying Santa aloft to Santa Town. -- JW

I also agree that Wanamaker’s probably outdid them all. But I wouldn’t dismiss smaller stores in smaller cities. I’m sure that if you wanted to do a painstaking study that compared Christmas display square footage in relation to entire store square footage, you’d find some interesting results and ratios. Herpolsheimer’s might not have been the country’s largest store, it was good for Grand Rapids, but they were one of the handful of stores that installed monorails over its toy department. That’s commitment. On another note, an award for today’s least caring large store’s holiday decorations? Hats off to Lord & Taylor’s suburban stores. The handful of light green, blatantly corrugated cardboard Christmas trees are proof positive about why brick and mortar are losing their place as economic and social destinations. Invest in some decorations and people can be reminded about why they are in your store in the first place. -- ML

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Do you have any information about Tepper's in Plainfield, NJ? A beautiful store. -- Have you seen the online exhibit by the Plainfield public library? -- http://www.plainfieldlibrary.info/OnlineExhibits/LBNF/Teppers.html -- It says the store in Plainfield was opened by Adolph and Max Tepper in 1906, moved across the street and was enlarged several times before closing in 1977. There were also Tepper Brothers stores in New Brunswick NJ, Trenton (as early as 1906), Newark, and Selma AL (begun in 1903). Other Tepper brothers may have been involved in the operation of some of these stores. In the 1920s and 1930s Tepper's in Plainfield used the slogans "Central Jersey's Greatest Store" and "A Safe Place to Shop," the latter presumably referring to honest practices. -- JW
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I'd like to see the Ad of Miss F.Collier ..from Gimbels. I was around 10 yrs old when I read it .. and remember reading it in the star Ledger as a boy . .. can you help? Thanks ..Drew DrewManchester@yahoo.com -- Unfortunately your request would be the subject of a very labor intensive search. The NJ papers have not been digitized, other than text in limited capacities, so the request would fall into microfilm’s hands. The Newark Evening News ended its run in 1972 but their microfilm reels would be the most complete for that time period. However, at least for me, that would involve a visit to the downtown Newark Public Library to begin a blind search. Unfortunately, Gimbels marketing records from the NY/NJ have not been archived or saved. The Milwaukee County Historical Society has a nice collection from the Milwaukee division, the only known and available Gimbel archive. They may be worth a call if the request is somewhat urgent. -- ML
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Looking for information on the New England Bedding Store in Boston, MA. -- Sorry, but this site is dedicated to department stores only.
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I'm wondering where garments, shoes etc. came from for the very first Department Stores. Were these manufactured by small cottage industries in people's homes? -- This is a hard question to answer. Probably they did sell some merchandise that had been farmed out to home workers by contractors. But I think generally not, because by the time department stores came on the scene, after the Civil War but especially in the 1880s and 1890s, the country was well supplied with factories. Men's clothing was produced for the mass market before women's, which did not reach full flower until the 1920s. There were exceptions, such as underwear, stockings, shoes, and shirtwaists and some other items. Much of women's clothing, dresses in particular, was made in the home or by professional dressmakers. The early department stores often devoted their top floors to custom dressmaking. Some stores continued these shops on a smaller scale well into the 20th century to attempt to capture luxury-market customers. -- JW
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Hello from Australia, I am trying to track down where the term "country and western", referring to the music genre(s), originated. It seems, surprisingly, that my research has led me to early American furniture and dept. stores that carried the first phonograph players and this is where, obviously the first phonograph records were sold. Any information you have would be gratefully appreciated as I am doing a thesis on music genre for a bachelor degree here in Australia. Thanking you,
Paul Jenkins
pixiejenkins@me.com
I would guess the term dates to the 1930s, but that it came from radio or the music business rather than department stores. It is true that some department stores had record departments, but in most parts of the USA -- unlike today -- country and western music would not have been popular with the broad middle-class public that shopped in department stores. -- JW
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Regarding Department Store Tea Rooms, Hudson's competitor Crowley, Milner & Co. had a Mezzanine Tea Room that was opened in 1928, replacing a fourth floor restaurant that was installed in 1909 after the Crowleys took over the failing Pardridge & Blackwell store. The menu was created by French chef Henri Gougoltz ("recently of the Hotel du Louvre and Crillon in Paris"), and had a definite continental flair, with frog legs becoming a specialty that people remember to this day. In 1962, it was redecorated and renamed the "Colonial Dining Room" and even hosted Gloria Vanderbilt once. By the time Crowley's closed in 1977, standards were not kept up and the room degenerated into a basic snack bar. Crowley's basement also housed a luncheonette. -- Wow, a French chef, much fancier than most stores! -- hate to see that kind of restaurant go downhill. -- JW
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Food service was an important element at Hudson's Downtown Detroit emporium. The second basement featured The Breadstick cafeterias, the first basement had a snack bar, the mezzanine had a large tea room and an enormous ice cream/soda fountain, the 4th floor had a stand up snack bar, and the 13th floor contained three distinctive dining rooms: The Georgian Room, the Early American Room, and The Pine Room. (In 1959, the latter three were renovated and combined to become The Riverview Room). Additionally, there was a large employee cafeteria that could seat 1,000 associates, on the 14th floor. Between all of these dining venues within the Downtown store, over 50,000 patrons were served weekly. A number of the classic menu items are still available today at those now named Macy's stores that have in-store restaurants (Lakeshore Grill): Maurice Salad, Chicken Pot Pie, Canadian Cheese Soup, Mandarin Chicken Salad and popovers or hard rolls, depending on the location. -- Thank you for bringing Hudson's into the picture! I know I left many fine department store restaurants out. -- JW

Department store tea rooms are usually mentioned with fondness when someone has recollections of a particular department store. In your expert opinions, which stores had the best and busiest tea rooms? -- You are so right -- they are among the most remembered aspects of bygone department stores. The Birdcage at Lord & Taylor in NYC has to rank among the most loved tea rooms judging from how often I hear from people about it. And, of course, the Walnut Room at Marshall Field in Chicago (still in business under Macy's), the Magnolia Room at Rich's in Atlanta, the Grand Crystal Tea Room at John Wanamaker in Philadelphia, the Silver Grille at Higbee's in Cleveland, Filene's Salad Bowl in Boston, but also the tea rooms at Younkers in Des Moines, L.S. Ayres in Indianapolis, Burdine's in Miami, and Woodward & Lothrop in Washington, D.C. The truth is that every city of any size had stores with tea rooms loved by their customers even if they were lesser known nationally. The restaurant guide books put out by Duncan Hines in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s always listed a great number of tea rooms in department stores all across the US. -- JW

May I please add the Miller & Rhoads’ Tea Room in Richmond, VA to this list? That building now houses a Hilton Garden Inn and its restaurant serves some of the former Tea Room's dishes. There are also some nice Miller & Rhoads souvenirs for sale in the lobby. If you are driving through Richmond or even just visiting there, it’s worth a stop for a Missouri Club and a T-shirt. There are also many M&R recipes floating around the internet, notably the Brunswick Stew and the Chocolate Silk Pie. -- ML

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Any information on a place called FASHION FUR SHOP in Bay City, Michigan in the early to mid 1900's? -- When you think of how many retail stores have existed in the past century and a half you throughout the entire USA you can see how impossible it would be to become knowledgeable about them ALL! This site is dedicated to department stores, a huge subject in its own right. I suggest looking at city directories and old newspapers from that area. So many of these have been digitized and more are becoming available every day. -- JW
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Can you give me some background on Teppers Department store of New Jersey? Thanks Scott -- The story of the Tepper brothers retail careers is complex and some of this is tentative. The major store in Plainfield NJ, originally known as Tepper Bros., was founded in 1907 by Adolph and Max Tepper but their brother Jacob was also involved at some level. Over the years there were also stores in New Brunswick (in the teens) and Short Hills NJ (1960s), and in Elmira NY, Selma AL, and Fort Wayne IN, plus a wholesale business. The relationship of all these businesses is unclear but Adolph seems to have run the Elmira store and Jacob the Fort Wayne store. The Plainfield store, whose motto in 1950 was "Central Jersey's Shopping Center for Nearly 50 Years," closed in 1977. -- JW
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Congratulations to Michael Lisicky for producing his 8th (!) book on department stores: REMEMBERING MAAS BROTHERS (Arcadia Publishing), and also to Bruce Kopytek for his CROWLEY'S (History Press). -- JW
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I know a little about Newcomb-Endicott's in Detroit, from my research on Crowley, Milner & Co. ProQuest Historical Newspapers has the Detroit Free Press up until 1922, but the sale to J.L. Hudson occurred in 1927, as the younger store was expanding to the whole city block it eventually occupied. Newcomb, Endicott & Company was Detroit's oldest department store until it was swallowed whole by the J. L. Hudson Co., and, ironically, it began in the same place that housed Hudson's early store - the first floor of the Detroit Opera House. I doubt anyone who worked there is still alive, and aside from newspaper ads and stories, little of historical interest is available nowadays. The Detroit Public Library's Burton Historical Collection has a few pictures of the old buildings and the Detroit Historical Society has a large collection of digital artifacts online including a postcard and photos of the optimistic 12-story tower erected by the store at the corner of Woodward Avenue and Grand River in 1925, that was torn down 2 years later when Hudson's was building "The Greater Hudson Store." Interestingly, online collections at the historical society even include a Newcomb-Endicott shopping bag, something I was unsuccessful in finding for Crowley's, even though that store lasted 70 years after Newcomb's vanished from the face of Detroit. -- Bruce Allen Kopytek, Shelby Township, Michigan. -- Thanks for this valuable information Bruce! -- JW
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I found a children's book, called Toys at Play, copyright 1914, with compliments of Hales good goods. I think this may have been a giveaway by Hales dept store back in 1914. Does anyone know value of such? -- Of course value depends on the condition and attractiveness of the item, but generally I would doubt a children's book or booklet given away by a department store would sell for more than $20. Many of these were given away at Christmas time to get children into toy departments; usually they were produced outside the store and stamped with the stores' names. There were two Hales companies, one the O. A. Hale store of Stockton and San Jose, and the better known one of Hale Bros. in San Francisco. In 1951 Hale Bros. merged with The Broadway Department Store(s) and became the Broadway-Hale company which had a number of stores in California. -- JW

A book as such would only be worth the amount that its interested buyer wants to pay for it. I don’t know of a demand for such books, though it is a good historical keepsake. Some of the more popular merchandise that people seek from former department stores are credit cards, charge cards (in the leather case), charge coins, Santa buttons, and menus. But that varies from store to store. Special stuffed characters such as Mr. Bingle, Snow Bear, and Cinnamon Bear can fetch some money. ($20-$75) Hale’s was located in various northern California communities. If there is any specific mention of a particular location, that could slightly change its worth. $5-$10 may be a fair assessment. -- ML

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My mother always wanted to take me to Hass's store when we would visit San Francisco from Burlingame. This would have been in the 1920's. Do you know the name of the store? My internet searches have not been fruitful. -- I know of no department store of that name, however there was a well-known candy store named George Haas [H-A-A-S] & Sons on Market Street in San Francisco, with branches in other locations. -- JW
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Have you heard of a department store in Elmira NY called S.F. Iszard Co.? It was a phenomenal store, but sadly no longer exists. -- I have certainly heard of the store, founded in the early 20th century. I am fortunate to have in my collection a postcard of the exterior of the store located on the corner of Main and Market streets in Elmira, and also a matchcover from its well-known tea room. On the back of my 1920s postcard, which shows a four-story building, it says: "Our stock of merchandise is complete and moderate in price. Our Tea Room is most attractive. We serve Mid-Day Club Lunch, Afternoon Tea, Cooling Drinks and Ice Cream." -- JW

Founded in 1904, Iszard’s became an Elmira institution, with its signature four-story 1924 building at Main & Market Sts., its famous and formal Tea Room, and its sponsorship of the annual Christmas parades. As it branched out to the Arnot Mall, the store remained under family ownership. However in the late 1980s, its downtown Elmira store was closed and the mall location was purchased by Rochester-based McCurdy’s. McCurdy’s was acquired by the Bon Ton in 1994. -- ML

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Was there a cafeteria in Henshey's in Santa Monica? My sister has a memory of going to a cafeteria with our grandma, probably in the late 1970's or early 1980's but we don't know which one or exactly where it was located. I am wondering if it could have been in Henshey's. -- Henshey's was a store that offered a high level of service, with many clerks on hand to help customers. It had a loyal customer base that became aged by the 1980s. It would make sense to me that if it had a restaurant it would be a no-nonsense cafeteria rather than an elegant dining room, but unfortunately I have not been able to find any specific mention of its food service in my searches. A branch in Ladera Heights opened in 1966 and closed around 1990. -- JW
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I am looking for information on Newcomb, Endicott & Co., which started out as a dry goods store in Detroit in 1868 and sold out to Hudson's in the 1920's. In particular, I am interested in photos, descriptions of the store, interviews with employees -- really anything and everything. -- You may be facing a challenging task. I suggest that you subscribe to one or more digitized newspaper collections, set up an alert for the store on e-Bay in case anything becomes listed, contact the Detroit Historical Society, contact a reference librarian at Detroit's main branch of the public library, go to antique postcard shows in the Detroit area, and possibly take a want ad in the newspaper or on Craig's list. Of course it's always possible that very little material exists. Good luck! -- JW
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In 1968 in Miami Jordan Marsh was the upscale store in the Dadeland Mall. There was also a Burdine's, both were out of my budget range. -- You were not alone. While department stores have always been understood as serving the middle class, in fact it's true that their prices tended to be fairly high because of the many services and amenities they offered. That is one of the things that made them vulnerable to the new no-frills, self-service discount stores that were going strong in the 1960s. A large number of people found traditional department stores beyond their budgets -- and even those who could afford them liked the discount stores' lower prices. -- JW
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What stores were in the Town Center Mall on Diamond Ave in Evansville Indiana in the early 1980s? -- I can mention only a few. It would take hours to research this question and it is outside our expertise, which is department stores. I haven't actually been able to determine if the mall was anchored by any department stores but in the 1980s it did contain a Radio Shack, a golf store, a book store, People's Drug Store, Allied Sporting Goods, Floral Expressions, Marian's Cards & Gifts, The Baby Shop, and a Fleenor Auto Store, among others. -- JW
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I worked at Lansburgh's Shirlington, Virginia part-time during high school, from about 1969 to 1972. Lansburgh's had suffered mightily by being kept out of Tyson's Corner Shopping Center, and during my college years I was dismayed to come home to advertisements for "Lansburgh's Gigantic Sale - 30 - 60 - 70% OFF!" (Springfield Mall did not allow them to call it a going out of business sale.) When Shirlington closed, I managed to permanently borrow the round metal sign, about the size of a record album, showing the Lansburgh's logo, and their business hours. For something like 40 years now, it has been on display in my apartment here in NYC. Thanks for your fascinating work. -- Thank you for sharing your memories!

It’s good to hear from a Lansburgh’s fan because this once famous store, which supplied the black materials for Lincoln’s funeral, has slipped from many minds. It was not fair how Lansburgh’s was “used” during the plans for Tysons Corner. The developers needed to present commitments from three anchors to potential investors in order to fund this massive retail plan. Hecht Co., Woodward & Lothrop, and Lansburgh’s were the center’s originally planned anchors. But once the center received approval, Lansburgh’s and its middle-of-the-road image, was “uninvited.” The company sued and finally joined the center one year after the mall’s grand opening. The Tysons store never met sales expectations. I’m not sure in the end that the Tysons scenario doomed Lansburgh’s. Its owner, City Stores, let that happen. City Stores never fully invested or improved its stores. City Stores formally gave up on Lansburgh’s in 1973. If Lansburgh’s coasted into the 1970s much like its sister stores, Lit Brothers, Maison Blanche, or Richards, it might have made it a few more years, just a few. The Shirlington store was a strong performer and opened in 1959. The Springfield store was barely open for three months when it finally liquidated. -- ML

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Name of 1980 store located at 4152 quakerbridge rd lawrenceville nj -- Some city directories list what is at every number on every street. If you could find one -- could be hard -- you might be able to figure it out. Good luck.
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Neiman's didn't open in Florida until 1971, but I need a high end department store in Miami in 1968 for a book I'm writing. Any clue as to which really good national store was there in 1968? Thanks! -- Without a doubt, go with Saks Fifth Avenue. In the late 20s, Saks opened its first location on Miami Beach's Lincoln Road. Saks opened a second Miami Beach store in late 1976 at Bal Harbour Shops. Saks Fifth Avenue would be your best and, almost only choice. Saks is not full dept store but it's as big as you're going to get nationally for 1968. --
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There is no mention of Heer's Department Store. It was in Springfield MO and was open 1915 until 1994. -- Thank you.
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My grandfather worked in a shop or dept store in the late 1930s. It was called ? brothers and it was on Market Street in San Fransisco. I can't remember the name. Would anyone know where I might find a list of some sort? Thanks Catherine. Liverpool England. cathypk@gmail.com -- I looked at a San Francisco City Directory for 1945, the closest date I could find, and there was no store listed under department stores on Market Street with brothers in the name. The Market Street department stores were The Emporium, J. C. Penney, and Weinstein Co. There were also two five & dime stores, S. H. Kress and Woolworth. Looking up shops in a directory would not be feasible unless you knew what type of shop it was. -- JW

I want to say that the store name requested is Hale Brothers, or Hale's. Originally founded in San Jose in 1876, Hale Brothers was led by Marshall Hale, whose five sons set up shop in locations throughout California. The most prominent Hale's was located in Sacramento but it operated large stores in downtown Oakland and at 5th and Market in San Francisco. Broadway Stores merged with Hale's in 1951. As rumors circulated that Broadway-Hale was interested in acquiring Emporium-Capwell, they were, Hale's closed five Bay Area stores in 1963, including its downtown Oakland and San Francisco stores in order to eliminate competition and redundancy. -- ML


With regard to the question about the San Francisco Department Store on Market Street would it be Hale Brothers? It stood where the present San Francisco Center Shopping Mall is located on Market at the foot of Powell St. -- Thanks for this suggestion. Oddly Hale Bros. wasn't listed under department stores in the 1945 SF City Directory, nor was Roos Bros., another possibility I've discovered. -- JW
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The Parisian. -- It's on the list!
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What was the name of the store on the south side of Chicago that everyone bought their wedding dress from -- something Sax? -- Sorry, don't know. I would need more clues. Was it a department store? What time period are you referring to? If it was very popular perhaps another reader will know the answer. -- JW
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What was the name of the women's clothing store on Main Street, Greenfield, MA in the early 1940's? -- That's a hard one to answer. There was a women's store called McGraw-Tatro in that decade. Also W. L. Goodnow, but that also had men's and boys' wear. In the 1930s there was a store called Shreeve's Apparel Shoppe that was a women's clothing store. I would suggest trying to find old directories for Greenfield. -- JW
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My mother worked at the corporate headquarters of a department store chain called CHARLES in the 1950's . Her offices were in Manhattan in what used to be Madison Square Garden,but the stores were elsewhere, possibly down south. Does this entity still exist? How can I get more information or photographs? -- There are many stories about the Charles store in Greensboro NC in the local paper there, the Greensboro Record. The 2-story + basement department store opened there in 1940 with much fanfare and a full page of stories about it on Feb. 21. It was said to be the 22nd Charles store in North Carolina at that point. In 1954 there was a total of 35 stores in NC, VA, TN, KY, and PA. I presume they were all similar to Greensboro's, small and mostly selling apparel for men, women and children. It looks as though the chain's business model was to do its own manufacturing, mainly in the South where of course there were no unions and the cost of labor was lower. I cannot determine when the chain went out of business, possibly in the 1970s. For images, assuming there are any, I would try e-Bay, creating an "alert" so that you will be notified if something turns up. -- JW
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Trying to find the name of a very small department store in Highland Park, Illinois, where I had my first job in the mid 1950's. -- The only thing I can come up with is the Edgar A. Stevens store, a women's specialty store that is sometimes referred to as a department store. -- JW
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I was wondering, in general, what happens to the archives of department stores that are closed? Are the archives disposed of, do they go to local libraries and historical societies, or if they are bought out by another store, does that store absorb the archives? Any information that you can provide would be appreciated. Thanks! -- We live in a largely disposable society and many items from soda cans to corporate records were discharged without thought. Department stores records can either be found intact or they can be pieced together through personal collections by former employees. (Remember, employees were often very loyal to these businesses and they can be a great resource. They can be found, with moderate effort. Locate one and the others tend to follow. Find a name off of a news article and try whitepages.com. Be up front and kind. Works for me.) Historical societies will be your best bet but don't just assume that these records still exist. If there is a corporate collection that has been preserved and catalogued, 9 times out of 10 they will be kept at a historical society. But don't discount local history sections at public libraries. Ask for pamphlet files. They often have them and you can found all types of ephemera and photos. Larger stores had employee magazines, always a good resource. If you have a store in mind, never forget eBay. Most department stores that still exist have fallen into the Macy's nameplate. Those archives are mostly closed. -- ML
I second what Michael has said. BTW he is an extremely talented researcher with all the necessary characteristics: patience, creativity, and perseverance. -- JW

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In a novel written in the 1850s I found a small business type card, black with a large rose and buds and printed in a beige rectangle: ST. JOACHIM. The Largest Fancy Store in America, 329 Washington Street, Boston
Would there be any history some place about this store? -- JB heuschrecke@otimum.net
I'm not sure what to say about the St. Joachim store. All I have is a listing from 1872 for a St. Joachim "One Dollar Store" at 173 Washington Street. But then again, one dollar in 1872 meant a whole lot more than it does at Dollar Tree today. ($1 in 1872 is now worth $24.02.) -- ML
I have found two advertisements for St. Joachim Bazar at 329 Washington, both for Christmas, one in 1876 and the other 1883. The 1883 advertisement boasts "The Largest Toy, Jewelry, Fancy Goods & Novelty Store in Boston." Maybe so, or maybe not. It's quite common to see boastful claims on trade cards such as you have found. There were many such stores of this type in business in the 1870s and 1880s. Some, such as R. H. Macy expanded into department stores, most did not. In addition to jewelry and toys, holiday gifts advertised by the store in 1883 include fans, albums, leather goods, cutlery, and even rocking chairs and Turkish rugs. St. Joachim went out of business in 1889, according to an advertisement selling off the store and its stock. -- JW

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What became of the children's clothing store in the 1940's and 1950's, the "Little Miss Richmond Shop," in Richmond IND. Who was the owner? -- Sorry but this site is unable to answer questions about stores other than department stores, which are our specialty. You might try asking a reference librarian in that city. -- JW
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What became popular in department stores in the civil war times? -- Strictly speaking there were no fully developed department stores until the 1870s. -- JW

Department stores rarely bursted onto the scene on their own, at least as traditionally defined department stores. As you stated, department stores really did not exist during the Civil War. If you want to argue A.T. Stewart, you can. But most were born out of small dry goods stores and the families built the business usually as a retailer and a wholesaler (the wholesale aspect was mostly dropped by the turn of the century for these businesses). The early successful operations offered, at least what we consider the major ones, a depth of merchandise unmatched at other businesses and in other cities. John Wanamaker started off as a mens and boys clothing store but it had an extensive inventory for a business at the time. When they operated their Grand Depot in 1876, Wanamaker's massive amounts of clothing drew the crowds. It didn't expand into other categories until a few years later. So if you are an early business and you want to make your mark, carry a large inventory, back up your merchandise to allow for returns or exchanges, sell it for the same price to everybody, and constantly evolve your business and always seek out your next generation of customer. That formula worked for quite a number of decades. Oh yeah, treat your employees well so that your employees treat your customers and your business well. Seems like we forgot about that lately. -- ML

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Hi! How was the A.T Stewart Dry Goods Store useful? What were the benefits of it? How did it expand and develop our country economically? Thanks! :) -Pepe
Some historians regard A. T. Stewart's as the first department store, but it lacked many of the features of full fledged department stores of the latter 19th century, such as a full complement of departments, restaurants, and even women's restrooms. Stewart, like some other department store originators, was primarily a wholesaler. Much more could be said but I am traveling and have poor internet service. -- JW
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I have a fur type coat marked from a store in Monterey ca? called "Elegance" "a store with a heart"-icon. made exclusively for this store by Dell-Mann.(labeled) I want details about the store, mfg of the coat, and maybe value. it is nice
-- I'm afraid Elegance must have been a specialty shop rather than a department store and I know nothing about it. Perhaps you could find it in a city directory. -- JW
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I have an oriental statute purchased in 1955 made exclusively for L.W. Berinoff in San Francisco, CA but can't find anything on the internet about the store. DD -- This site is devoted solely to department stores, but I can tell you that L. Wallace Berinoff was a designer, importer, and furniture wholesaler in San Francisco. Perhaps he furnished merchandise to department stores, but otherwise I can find no connection. -- JW

L.W. Berinoff & Co. was once the world's largest department store company and, at its peak, operated over 14,000 stores and employed over several million workers. The store was nicknamed "the 1000" because each location employed over a thousand workers. Based in Eau Claire, WI, Lawrence Wilherberton Berinoff was a distant relative to the Shah of Iran. The company carried some of the finest Persian rugs and carpets. L.W. Berinoff & Co. was well known for its apple pie and thousands have tried to duplicate the unique recipe but to no avail. Berinoff's, or "the 1000", fell victim to the Great Green Stamp Collapse of 1967, and most stores were quickly shuttered. However, there is still one Berinoff's still in operation, located just west of downtown Florence, SC. Though the store carried massive amounts of merchandise, I can safely say that it never carried oriental statutes. -- ML, on April 1

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I have a 1912 store calendar plate that says "compliments of J. A. Dillard, People's Store, Bay Saint Louis, Miss" I haven't been successful, finding anything online, I can send a pic if needed. Thanks, teteleelee@gmail.com -- I can't find anything either though this isn't too surprising as there were many stores named People's Store throughout the US around that time. They were stores that emphasized low prices mostly, cousin to dime stores. Or it could have been a grocery store. -- JW

I wanted to see if there was any direct or obvious connection between the J.A. Dillard store and the empire that William T. Dillard built. The answer is a comfortable "no," but a bloodline may still exist. (However, I don't see a Dillard merchant family active in Mississippi at that time.) William Dillard's father opened his business in Mineral Springs, AR back in 1899. Dillard learned his managerial ropes in Texarkana and grew enough support to acquire Mayer & Schmidt in Tyler, TX; Brown-Dunkin in Tulsa, and Pfeifer's in Little Rock. The first store to operate under the Dillard's name, by William Dillard, was in Austin, TX in 1964. -- ML

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I have a hat and hat box with receipt from 1965 from Efird's of Raleigh... can not seem to track this store down, although reading that most of Efirds bought out by Belk--- any insight? Thanks -- Efird's was begun in Charlotte, North Carolina, by three Efird brothers. Next two additional Efird brothers opened a store in Concord NC. At its peak the 5 brothers had 50 stores in the Carolinas (and one in Virginia). The Belk's chain acquired the company in the 1950s. Perhaps they kept the Efird's nameplate on some of the stores. -- JW

Efird's and Belk were almost a matched set in customer-base and operational structure throughout the Carolinas. Efird's, founded in 1907, initially grew quickly but struggled to keep up with Belk's continual growth. Regardless of their financial issues behind the meeting room doors, Efird's played a large role in Carolina retailing. Belk acquired Efird's in September 1956 and, through its acquisition, won a coveted Tryon Street entrance for its flagship store in Charlotte. After the purchase, Belk kept the Efird name but began closing duplicate stores in small towns. Within a year, only 30 of the 50 Efird's stores remained. According to Belk corporate history, the final Efird's store closed in 1979, in Smithfield, NC. -- ML

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I grew up in West Bend, WI, which had its own Sears, but the most frequent memory is of the Milwaukee Sears, which had a person in a tower in the middle of the parking lot, who would say via speaker, "blue Ford, there is a parking space one aisle West". -- That's quite an unusual service! -- JW
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My family is proud to be still operating a small department store in Wellsboro, Pa. It began in 1905 when my great grandparents opened a grocery store. We have grown and evolved over the years, but still remain in the same Main Street address where it all began 110 years ago. If you ever get to North Central PA, stop by! Ann Dunham Rawson -- And I see that the name of the store is Dunham's -- http://www.dunhamswellsboro.com/pages/about_us.php -- JW
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Thanks for the feedback and the references to books on Woodie's and Hutzler's. Roshek's is the Dubuque store that I couldn't recall.
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I just discovered this site thanks to a story about Joske's in today's San Antonio Express-News. I will be "wasting" lots of time exploring it! Here are some questions for starters: are there recipes for the W&L deviled crab and for Hutzler's crab imperial? I grew up in the DC area in the 40s and 50s and the photo of Woody's at Christmas is exactly as I remember it. They had great windows with lots of animation. Another store that I don't see mentioned here was Kann's. They had a store downtown and one in the then-new Virginia Square center in Arlington. That site survives as a college building. I also remember a store in Dubuque IA but don't recall the name. As a kid I was impressed that Dubuque was enough of a big city to have its own department store! Bob Weidman San Antonio TX -- I don't have those recipes unfortunately. Most towns, even ones as small as 10,000 population, had department stores at one time. As for Dubuque, it had Roshek's and Stampfer's. -- JW

As the author of books on Hutzler's and Woodward & Lothrop, I have amassed a fair amount of recipes. (The same goes for many of the country's department store restaurants.) I can say that the crab imperial recipe is in my Hutzler's book. A "deviled crab tea sandwich" recipe from Woodward & Lothrop has survived and is in the W&L book. It is not what you traditionally think of as deviled crab. And as far as a history and picture of the Arlington Kann's, it's already in the W&L book. -- ML

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Can anyone confirm that the Treasure Island department store in Milwaukee circa 1960's sold pet monkeys? I'm trying to convince a disbelieving friend! -- In 1962 J. C. Penney acquired General Merchandise Co. and began to build Treasure Island stores; there were three in Milwaukee in 1964. They were not department stores in the traditional sense but self-service general merchandise stores like Walmart, etc. built along the lines of a supermarket. I can find no mention of monkeys in their advertisements. But they did have a pet department and were meant to be experimental stores where Penney tried out new things, so maybe they sold monkeys at some point. -- JW
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Whatever happened to the laughing Santa displayed in the Hochschild Kohn Baltimore department store? -- The same thing that happened to most department store displays and archives, it was most likely destroyed. After researching Hochschild Kohn, I have never come across any remote piece of evidence that implies that the Santa still exists somewhere. (Strangely, it's hard enough to find a picture of it.) The German-made Santa, which was motion activated, was last used in 1966. As one of my favorite bits of department store trivia, Warren Buffet purchased Hochschild Kohn in 1966 and owned it for 3 years. It was his first private investment. When he came on board, Buffet noticed the aging displays and the worn balloons from the Thanksgiving Parade. His arrival signaled the end to the Laughing Santa and the parade, much to the delight of the display staff but not Baltimoreans in general. -- ML
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It is always possible that I'm incorrect but I believe the first department store that opened in the US was Gimbels in Vincennes, Indiana in the 1840's. -- There are a number of department stores in the US that have traced their origins back to the 1840s, sometimes the 1830s. But actually department stores as a distinctive type of retailing had not developed yet. It is generally agreed that they did not develop until after the Civil War. So the origin businesses were usually small dry goods or general stores that were run by the ancestors of the family members who turned that same store (or business base) into a department store decades later. The Vincennes store was expanded over time, but the first full-fledged, modern Gimbels department store was opened in Milwaukee in 1887. -- JW

It's OK to be occasionally incorrect, it happens to me every so often, but Gimbels "Palace of Trade" in Vincennes was hardly a modern department store. He ran a standard well-stocked dry goods store with ethical business practices. What was the first department store? Who really knows. What is the definition of a department store? That has certainly changed over the years. I'd probably give the honor to A.T. Stewart in New York with his Marble Place in the 1840s. But the first business to be incorporated as a "department store" was ZCMI, Zions Cooperative Mercantile Institution in Salt Lake City back in 1868. The historic facade to ZCMI has be preserved and serves as the street front to the current downtown Macy's. -- ML

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When was the S. Klein department store first opened on Union Square, New York? -- The women's clothing store began in one room upstairs on Bleecker Street in 1906. In 1920 it moved to Union Square and was so popular it was enlarged just two years later. In the depression a big sale there brought out mounted police to keep order. It spread out into a string of 11 connected buildings, short on service but with rock bottom prices, an early discount store. In 1965 the by-then chain of 10 Klein's was taken over by McCrory stores and the chance of finding a gem among the junk became poorer. The chain was closed down in 1975. After remaining vacant for years buildings comprising the Union Square store were razed for a new apartment/retail building finished in 1987. -- JW
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In Washington DC, 1900s, there was a dry goods store -- with a partner named Emerson. Would you happen to know where I could find information? -- Alas, I don't know of this store and can find no trace of it in my sources. What was Emerson's full name and was he a silent partner? -- JW
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I am interested in finding information about Wanamaker's Department store in Paterson, NJ. In looking up my family tree, four of my three times ancestors married Wanamakers, and some of them lived in Paterson where I also grew up. Do you know the name of the founder? Also, if you have any other information about the family. Thank you. -- For a start, John Wanamaker was the founder of the Wanamaker store headquartered in Philadelphia and with many branches established in the 20th century. -- JW
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Hi, my grandmother's sister, Lea, was married to a

Clicking on the books below will take you to Amazon.com.






Available directly from Jan for $20 postpaid.




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.