Welcome to the Museum




The Department Store Museum is an on-line homage to America's great, late-lamented department stores.  There is an extraordinary amount of information about many of these stores - logos, floor directories, ads, etc., and it is hoped that, by displaying them in a museum format, visitors may reminisce about their experiences with them.  Since the traditional department store exists only in the memories of those fortunate enough to have experienced them in their heydey, it seems appropriate to share the information with anyone who enters.  The goal is to spread history, fond memories, and a sense of what it was like to shop in these stores, which were individual, and unique to their time and respective places.

On an editorial note, the museum asks the question: why are we not good enough for such a gamut of retail options today?  Take a look inside and formulate your own opinion.







Like Historical Department Stores?
Like Christmas?
then check out


A MOVIE - A COMMUNITY EVENT
and you can help make it happen!


COMING October 21 2014
EATON'S:
THE TRANS-CANADA STORE


A comprehensive history of Canada's great
national department store. 


Click on the image to go to the History Press
or
Visit the Facebook Page

----------------------------------------------

RECOGNITION FOR
THE DEPARTMENT STORE MUSEUM
ON A GLOBAL SCALE


French publisher Dessous' Italian-based magazine, "The Best of Intima" is a trade publication for the undergarment industry.  Recently, the magazine featured a multi-page spread on The Department Store Museum.  It will be published in English, Italian, French, German, Russian and Chinese. To read the article, click the picture above, and go to page 114.



Toledo's Three Ls:
Lamson's, The Lion Store, and Lasalle's

I WILL BE SIGNING BOOKS
AT BOOKS-A-MILLION IN PERRYSBURG, OHIO
ON NOVEMBER 29th, 2014 FROM 11 am until 1 pm.

Remember the days when shopping meant white gloves, suits for men and leisurely lunches in tearooms? Toledo, an industrial powerhouse and Ohio’s third-largest city,once had it all, and Lamson’s, the Lion Store and Lasalle’s were where it all happened. Reminisce with author Bruce Allen Kopytek about a time when these three great department stores dominated Toledo’s retail scene and offered their customers anything they could want. Revisit their downtown competitors like Tiedtke’s, B.R. Baker, Milner’s and Stein’s, which also added their own touch to Toledo’s life. Through written history, photographs and personal recollections a whole lost era comes to light—an era when business was personal and local, shopping was more of a cherished event rather than a chore.



Click above to order!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 


See a lecture about Jacobson's,
as presented at the Baldwin
Public Library on 24 Jan. 2012
(click the photo)
photo by Carroll DeWeese

Jacobson's-I Miss It So!
has just been honored by
the State of Michigan as a
"Michigan Notable Book."


Read a review

Hear an interview with the author!

Return to the elegance of Jacobson’s, a beloved Michigan institution
for well over one hundred years. Reenter the marvelous stores
and meet the personalities who transformed Jacobson’s
from its humble Reed City origins to a staple of sophistication
throughout the region and in Florida.
The brainchild of a retail genius, this deluxe specialty store
gave customers a peerless social, shopping and dining destination.
Experience  anew the refined beauty of its Williamsburg-style
Grosse Pointe store, the chic designer world of its
Birmingham ensemble or the charm and allure of its original
Florida branch in Sarasota revealing, along the way,
secrets that made Jake’s the dazzling store it was
and why it remains so profoundly missed by anyone
who entered through its solid wooden doors.
(Over 100 illustrations, most never published
before - a true scholarly study of this
beloved, lost specialty department store)

Jacobson's: I miss it so! is available from The Department Store Museum. I have a limited number of autographed copies for sale for the list price of $19.99 (plus $4 shipping). Please email bakgraphics@comcast.net if you are interested in an autographed copy.


Alternately, order from Amazon.com


NEW!
Read the history of Woodward
& Lothrop exquisitely presented
in Michael Lisicky's latest book.


LONG AWAITED:
L.S. AYRES & CO.
Prof. Ken Turchi has
worked with the Indiana
Historical Museum to
produce a book about
this beloved store


A FINE BOOK
Christopher Sawyer's
treatment of the story 
of Denholms is re-
markable because of the
author's passion for the
history of this long-lost
Worcester retail landmark.

A RECOMMENDATION
OF THE HIGHEST ORDER
Easily one of the most beautiful and informative
books ever written about department stores.
A brilliant revelation, emphatically endorsed!

Another outstanding book
by Michael Lisicky -
comprehensive, entertaining.
well-illustrated and very much
up to the standard set by this
premier author



The Department Store Museum has developed an exhibit of vintage
department store credit cards, thanks to the generosity of a specialist.
Click the photo to go to the exhibit.  Updated May 27, 2013.





From its inception in 2010, The Department Store Museum has
included an exhibit of bags from various stores.  While the offerings
have been small, the display has been improved and updated.
If you have examples of store bags which are not shown,
you may send a photo or scan to bakgraphics@comcast.net
and they will be included.




Owing to the generosity of a reader, The Department Store Museum features a
new display of department store security badges.
Click the photo to go to the exhibit.  Updated June 5th, 2012.



Click the Picture
to go to the new
directory (beta)

-or-

Click on a store name below to go to that store's exhibit.  If the name is not linked to an exhibit, it is in preparation, and not available for viewing at the moment. Please check back again.

Alaska
  Anchorage
   Northern Commercial Company
Alabama
  Birmingham
    Loveman’s    Pizitz
  Mobile
    Gayfer’s
  Montgomery
    Gayfer’s Montgomery Fair
Arizona
  Phoenix
    The Broadway    Diamond’s    Goldwaters
  Tucson
    Levy’s    Steinfeld’s
California
  Long Beach
    Buffums
  Los Angeles
  Oakland
    Capwell’s    I. Magnin    Rhodes
  Sacramento
    Weinstock’s    Hale Bros.
  San Diego
  San Francisco
    City of Paris    The Emporium    Liberty House
    I. Magnin    Joseph Magnin    Macy’s     Hale Bros.    The White House
Colorado
  Denver
    The Denver Dry Goods Co.    Joslins    May-D&F    Neusteter’s
Connecticut
  Bridgeport
    D. M. Read Co.
  Hartford
    G. Fox & Co.    Sage-Allen    Steiger's
  New Haven
    The Edw. Malley Co.
District of Columbia
  Washington
Florida
  Jacksonville
    Furchgott's    Ivey’s    May-Cohens
  Miami
    Burdine’s    Jordan Marsh    Richards
  Orlando
    Ivey’s
  St. Petersburg
  Tampa
Georgia
  Atlanta
    Davison’s    Rich’s
  Augusta
    Davison’s    White’s
Hawaii
  Honolulu
    Liberty House
Ilinois
  Chicago
  Peoria
    Carson Pirie Scott & Co. (Block & Kuhl)
  Rockford
     Weise's     Carson Pirie Scott & Co.
  Springfield
    Myers Bros.    Bressmer's
Indiana
  Indianapolis
    Wm. H. Block Co.    L. S. Ayres & Co.
  Fort Wayne
    Wolf & Dessauer
  South Bend
    Robertson's
 Terre Haute
    Meis
    The Root Store Co.
Iowa
Davenport
    Petersen's 
 Des Moines
    Younker’s
Dubuque
    Roshek's 
Waterloo
    Black's  
Kentucky
  Louisville
    Kaufman-Straus    Bacon’s    Stewart Dry Goods
Louisiana
  New Orleans
Massachusetts
  Boston
    Filene’s    Gilchrist's    Jordan Marsh    R. H. Stearns    R.H. White's
  Springfield
  Worcester
    Denholm & McKay
Maine
  Portland
    Porteous
Maryland
  Baltimore
Michigan
  Detroit
    Crowley’s    Hudson's
  Grand Rapids
  Jackson
    Jacobson's    L. H. Field
  Kalamazoo
    Gilmore Brothers
  Lansing
    Knapps    Wurzburg's (Arbaugh's)
  Traverse City
    Milliken's
Minnesota
  Minneapolis
    Donaldson’s    Dayton’s    Powers    Young-Quinlan
  St. Cloud
    Herberger's
  St. Paul
    Dayton’s    Donaldson’s    Emporium    Field-Schlick    Young-Quinlan
Missouri
  Kansas City
    Halls    Harzfeld’s    The Jones Store Co.
    Macy’s
  St. Louis
Montana
  Butte
    Hennessy's
Nebraska
  Lincoln
  Omaha
    Brandeis    Kilpatrick's
New Jersey
  Newark
New York
  Buffalo
    AM & A’s    L. L. Berger    Wm. Hengerer Co. Hens & Kelly
  New York City
    Gimbels    Lord & Taylor    Macy’s
  Rochester
    B. Forman & Co.    McCurdy & Co.   Sibley’s
  Syracuse
    The Addis Co.    Dey Brothers    E. W. Edwards & Son    Sibley’s
Oklahoma
  Oklahoma City
Ohio
  Akron
    O’Neil’s    Polsky’s
  Cincinnatti
  Cleveland
    Halle’s    Higbee’s    May Co.
  Columbus
    Lazarus    The Union
  Dayton
    Elder-Beerman    Rike's
  Toledo
    Lamson’s    Lasalle’s    Lion Store
  Youngstown
Oregon
  Portland
    Lipman’s    I. Magnin    Meier & Frank    Rhodes
Pennsylvania
  Allentown
    Hess’s    Leh & Co.   Zollinger-Harned
  Erie
    Boston Store    Halle’s
  Lancaster
    Watt & Shand  Hager & Bro.
  Philadelphia
  Pittsburgh
  Reading
    Pomeroy’s
  Scranton
    The Globe
Tennessee
  Chattanooga
    Loveman’s    Miller’s
  Knoxville
    Miller’s    Rich’s
  Memphis
    Goldsmith’s    Lowenstein’s
  Nashville
    Cain-Sloan    Castner-Knott Co.
Texas
  Amarillo
    White & Kirk  
  Dallas
  Houston
    Foley’s    Joske’s    Sakowitz
  Lubbock
    Hemphill-Wells
  San Antonio
Utah
  Salt Lake City
    Auerbach’s    ZCMI
Virginia
  Richmond
Washington
  Seattle
  Spokane
  Tacoma   
    Peoples    Rhodes
West Virginia
  Charleston
    The Diamond
    Stone & Thomas
  Wheeling
     Stone & Thomas
Wisconsin
  Madison
  Milwaukee
    Boston Store
    Chapman’s    Gimbels
  Sheboygan
     Prange's

CANADA
  Calgary
    The Bay    Eaton’s
  Edmonton
    The Bay    Eaton’s    Woodward's
  Hamilton
    Eaton’s    The Right House    Robinson’s
  London
    Eaton’s    Simpson’s
  Montreal
    Dupuis Freres    Eaton    Holt-Renfrew    Morgan’s
    Ogilvy’s    Simpsons
  Ottawa
    The Bay    Charles Ogilvy Ltd.    Morgan’s    Simpson’s
  Quebec City
    La Compagnie Paquet   Simons   Holt Renfrew   Syndicat de Québec
  Regina
    The Bay    Eaton’s    Simpson’s
  Saskatoon
     The Bay   Eaton's
  Toronto
    The Bay    Eaton’s    Holt Renfrew    Simpson’s
  Vancouver
    The Bay    Eaton’s    Woodward’s
  Victoria
    The Bay    Eaton’s    Woodward’s
  Winnipeg
    The Bay    Eaton’s

161 comments:

  1. Hey, you added Joske's! That's cool...a few questions...

    1) At least two department stores had a "Pappagallo" shop. What would that be, then?
    2) Could you add Foley's? It's my local department store that unfortunately bit the dust in 2006 thanks to Macy's.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for noticing!

    "The Shop for Pappagallo" was a separate shop for a particular brand of Italian shoes; it was mostly found in higher-end stores.

    You could read a little more about the now-defunct brand at

    http://happyhomemaker.blogspot.com/2005/06/im-bit-behind.html

    I will try to publish an ad if I can find one in an old newspaper.

    I will add Foley's in due course; I have some information and pictures but need to do more research to do it full justice.

    So, "stay tuned" and see what I come up with!

    BAK

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have added an image of "The Shop for Pappagallo" to the Marshall Field & Company exhibit.

    BAK

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for the link!!!
    I love your blog!
    You inspire me!!
    Keep visiting me...and I shall visit you:-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ed "Pappagallo y Mammagallo" Field12 June, 2010 23:36

    Cool website! I love that you put the directory for so many of my long gone favorite department Marshall Fields, Bullocks, Broadway, Kaufmanns, Robinson's plus some of our up-north neighbours, sure they are still around as Macy's and "Bay" but they aren't quite what they used to be, thanks man!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Very nice/informative site! Just a couple suggestions for additions: HP Wasson http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H._P._Wasson_and_Company in Indianapolis; The Fair in Chicago, one of the big State Street stsores, in its later years owned by Montgomery Ward. Also, in Springfield, IL: very surprisingly, I've never heard of Heer's (perhaps that was a store in another Springfield?), but there was the John Bressmer Company, in latter decades of its existence a division of LS Ayres (Indianapolis).

    ReplyDelete
  7. Another mystery department I want to know about is a "Budget Store". What did these departments (sometimes even a separate store) have in them? Were they like mini-discount stores?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh, Pseudo3D, you have to be much younger than me!

    Many traditional department stores had what was called a "Bargain Basement," "Budget Store," "Downstairs Store," or "Thrift Basement." This was a separate store, with lower prices, simpler decor, and was almost always located in the basement of the main, downtown store (Maison Blanche, for instance, had an annex for the budget operation).

    The basement most often carried men's, women's and children's clothing, accessories, shoes, and home textiles, though this varied somewhat as well.

    Filene's Basement in Boston began as that store's budget operation, but because of its unusual pricing policy, gained enough notoriety to be spun-off as a separate company, and its name survived the phase-out of its parent store.

    As a child, I spent a lot of time in Hudson's and Crowley's Budget Stores. My family found the regular prices in these two emporiums too high, so the Budget Store was a good place for my mom to hunt for bargains. Hudson's had a two-level basement downtown, with stairs and escalators connecting them; Crowley's was, of course smaller and occupied one level. Hudson's branch stores had Budget Stores in their basements; but when some stores built branches without basements (e.g. Crowley's at Livonia and Macomb Malls) they could often be located on another floor.

    Hudson's even built free-standing Budget Store branches, and renamed them "Rainbow Budget Stores" in the 1970s. Some stores built a suburban Budget Store first, then expanded the store into a full-line unit at a later date. Horne's in Pittsburgh called them "Gateway Shops" and other stores changed the names of their Budget Stores as well. Macy's in New York did not have a Budget Store, using its basement for the "Fascinating Housewares" department, but in the 1970s, crammed the housewares up on the fifth floor and began an ultimately unsuccessful budget operation; in a few years the housewares were back in the basement and the famous "Cellar" was born.

    In the long run, though, these Budget Stores were eliminated, and the space used for other purposes.

    Writing about the Budget Stores has brought back some pleasant, though anachronistic memories for me, and I would not be truthful if I said I did not miss them a little in spite of their lower-echelon associations.

    Note that in the store directories, I have only mentioned the Budget Store if I was aware of restaurants or other departments in the basement of the store, but most stores had them.

    I sincerely hope I satisfied your curiosity!

    ReplyDelete
  9. The first Macy's Cellar was at the San Francisco Macy's in 1971. Also, the Ogilvy's in Ottawa was NOT the same company as the Montreal store of the same name. During what time period are most of the downtown department directories that you have inputed?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Marshall Field & Company had the "Budget Floors".

    ReplyDelete
  11. Foley's had a "Budget Store" in each of their branch stores until the mid-eighties. It was usually located upstairs and almost like a mini store within a store. It had men's, women's, children's and home departments with "value" merchandise. The Fashion floor - downstairs in the branch stores - had the designer and better apparel and furnishings.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Bak, Like most cities, San Francisco once had many independent stores, among them Roos Atkins, The White House, City of Paris, Joseph Magnin, Grodins and Ransenhoff. Although many were not department stores, each was unique.

    The unfortunate demise of independents has resulted in homogenization from coast to coast and beyond.

    There are, of course, exceptions. My favorites: Victoria and Richard and Henri Bendel.

    D.P.

    ReplyDelete
  13. BAK, I recently heard that department stores hired (and perhaps still hire) models to pose as shoppers. Having attractive women roaming the about would certainly add a certain cache. Do you know if this was (is) the case?

    D.P.

    ReplyDelete
  14. One California store omitted from the directory that you should add is Gottschalks from Fresno.

    ReplyDelete
  15. This is a great website! Thank you! I have one suggestion for a department store if you have the time: Smith's out of Windsor, Ontario. My grandmother was a buyer for the children's department. Nonetheless, you have one great blog, sir!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I am working on an extensive history of the Roshek Brothers Department store that enjoyed almost an 80-year run in Dubuque, Iowa. The building has just undergone and extensive redevelopment, and we're doing museum-quality historical displays that tell the entire story. Would you be in interesting in adding the history to your site? How do we proceed? Feel free to contact me good4cat563@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hey, just thought you'd like to add Bretton's to your list of Canadian department stores!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bretton%27s

    ReplyDelete
  18. Wow! Saw your blog mentioned on the VFG website, so great that you have compiled all of this.. a great resource! Now following your blog.

    -Leah
    http://couturearabesque.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  19. Bak:

    I have a blog called Department Store Retailing News http://departmentstoreretailing.blogspot.com/
    and also manage two groups with about 5,000 members from the department store industry on LinkedIn and I love your blog. Have recommended it to everyone in my group and have linked to it on my blog.

    I worked at Gimbels for 4 years then for Macy's for 30 years as we merged and merged and merged and consolidated one nameplate after another. Remember Stern's, Altman's, Bamberger's, Hahne's, A&S, Gertz, and Bonwit Teller in the NYC metro area. Plus at least 60 of the other nameplates from store visits and consolidations.

    Very, very nice site...thanks for creating such a treasure chest of memories of a special time in American retailing history.

    Bill Buczak

    ReplyDelete
  20. What a fabulous site you have created! I commend you on such wonderful photos and history. Sadly, we have lost the sophistication of shopping in such elegant department stores.

    I didn't see my favorite Bullock's Wilshire in Los Angeles. An art deco masterpiece. And the I. Magnin just down the block on Wilshire. Both so completely elegant and sophisticated.

    Any chance of seeing these properties in the future?

    Thank you again for all of your work. I love this subject!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Love the site - 'cos I love Department Store history!

    I noticed one department store missing from your Boston entries: the R.H. White Department Store, which occupied a block-long building on lower Washington Street in downtown Boston next to Jordan Marsh. The store survived in downtown Boaton until 1957, but the brach stores in Worcester, MA (Lincoln Plaza) and Leominster, MA (Searstown Plaza) survived until the late 1980s

    ReplyDelete
  22. Levy's at El Con mall in Tucson was originally Foley's. I heard that the original decorator for the building had a dispute of some kind with the Foley's organization. He/she designed very large elaborately carved wooden handles for the doors. Right side up they said "Foley's" in very artistic lettering. Upside down they said something very rude. I know this is not an urban legend because I made a point of checking it out years ago. Unfortunately, in those days taking a picture required more effort than it does now and I never got around to doing it. (I live about 75 miles away from Tucson, not in the city.) I have recently been trying to find some sort of verification or ideally a picture of this on the web but it must have been a better kept secret than I ever imagined. Can anyone verify this or know of a picture or the disposition of the original door handles?

    thx mch,
    rc

    ReplyDelete
  23. Your story is indeed an urban legend - - - but the facts are incorrect. Levy's in El Con opened in 1960, and was replaced by a bigger store in 1969. The original store was sold to Steinfeld's, another Tucson department store. The Levy's store was most emphatically NOT Foley's originally.

    The 1969 store had a cast stone frieze around the parapets and canopies that spelled out "LEVY'S" in a streamlined native style. When looked at upside-down, some claimed a rude word was visible. (I have to question who looks at building parapets upside-down?) There is, though a latter-day article in the Arizona Star online about the phenomenon.

    As an architect with over 30 years of experience in dealing with buildings and people, my guess is that the whole thing was an unintended consequence of custom-designing a font to be cast in concrete. In one of my jobs for a large retail chain, (2200 stores) I wsa asked to propose new seats in the cafeterias, because the naugahyde ones were being vandalized all over the country. I worked with a manufacturer to produce chairs with a perforated metal seat which took care of the abuse, but I was severely reprimanded and the chairs were withdrawn after some child (not Einstein's, I assume) got their finger caught, the mother practically had a heart-attack and the whole thing wasn't settled until the "jaws of life" were brought into the store to cut the chair off of the kid's finger. Not as entertaining as a store logo reading in an un-intentioned way, but a similar situation . . . as they say, "s*** happens!"

    ReplyDelete
  24. I wish that I knew of department stores before the 1980s downscaling: when I was a kid in the early 1990s, there were still escalators, but they were basically glorified clothing shops, with only a few other departments. Though I swear the "Space Jam" basketball I have came from a JCPenney circa 1996.

    ReplyDelete
  25. The many comments that have come in are, in a way, a tribute to these great stores. I just got back from my local Macy's, which was once a Hudson's, but before that, a Crowley's store. It was empty, and aside from passing through, it held very little interest to me on this visit. I remembered how, in the past, Hudson's stores were always bustling with prople and they always seemed to have something new to show; if not, it was interesting to visit the book, sporting goods, or pantry departments, among others. Department stores are just unremarkable at this time.

    BAK

    ReplyDelete
  26. I love your page, it's so well done and obviously something you take great pride in. I live in Northern California and am espeically interested in the Emporium, Macy's Calfornia, I.Magnin, Valley Fair etc...

    I hope you don't mind that I put a few of your images and logos on my flickr page but have credited you and directing people to your website.

    I have a quite few store photos in my flickr set if you would like to use them and if I could ever be of any help with information or if there is something I may have at home in my collection (bags, boxes, large photos not scanned, various things) I'd be glad to let you use pics of them.

    you can find me at:

    Photostream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mindcage2000/

    Profile: http://www.flickr.com/people/mindcage2000/

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hi BAK!

    My name is Elizabeth and I am a senior architecture student. I have chosen to design a department store building to go next to Burnham's Filene's department store building on Washington St. in Downtown Crossing. I came across your website and it has been an valuable source in helping me to understand the history of Washington Street and other department stores of Boston. I am very grateful for all of your hard work!

    I do have one question for you. Do you have the architectural drawings of the Burnham building or know where I can find them? I need to find the floor plans and elevations of the building to guide my design and make my drawings more accurate. I have contacted the Boston Public Library but they are slow to get back to me...
    Thank you again for putting all of your research online. I have been going to the site almost everyday since I decided to design the department store for my project. I look forward to hearing from you!

    Do you have an email address that I may write to?
    Elizabeth

    ReplyDelete
  28. Dear Elizabeth:

    Thanks for the comment. Please comment again, and send your email address. I will not publish the comment. I don't have architectural drawings, and my source for the Globe has disappeared. But I may be able to direct you a bit.

    Bruce

    ReplyDelete
  29. Please lets not forget the very fine Best & Company on 5th ave in NYC. It closed and was replaced with a large skyscraper (Olympic Tower). Probably the last time it was seen was in the classic movie "The Godfather" (Michael and Kay are Christmas shopping in the city and are seen coming out of Best). They had the best (pardon the pun) children's department and of course legendary service. They had a few branch stores in the NYC suburbs. One became a well known beauty salon Nu-Best.

    ReplyDelete
  30. The decline of the department store as we knew it (before the Macy's take-over of everything) started in the 1980's.
    Part A is the birth of the BIG box stores....for everything.. furniture, electronics, books, even toys. Why go to your favorite department store to maybe find what you wanted and perhaps pay more, when you can go to the big box and purchase from a wide selection and at a better price.
    Part B: department stores began to eliminate certain departments from their stores. Gone was the pet dept, the book dept, the elctronics dept, and the furniture dept was scaled back.Of course they used all that extra space to expand their clothing selection (larger men's store, more kitchen gadgets, and more cosmetics).
    Part C: The birth of luxury and specialty stores in a mall near you...eventually a street near you. Here we see luxury goods being sold to the masses. The birth of the designer stores and the specialty stores. Polo Ralph Lauren, Coach, Tiffany (on every corner these days), Brooks Brothers (everywhere). NYC now has five Brooks Brothers stores in Manhattan alone. I could be wrong it might be six.
    Part D: The Factory Store (aka outlets). Once in remote locations, now everywhere. Does anyone really believe this is the real stuff?
    And so, the department stores were hurting. They could not survive and the end result is Macy's is everywhere. Otherwise, there would have been no department stores at all. The big question is: Will Macy's survive?

    ReplyDelete
  31. BAK
    Please try to find "The Department Store" by Ferris. Probably out of print...but it was the best book on the history of almost all major department stores in US and other countries. I have not seen this book in years.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I read somewhere on this wonderful "Museum site" something about purchasing shopping bags for 15 cents. I had forgotten that. Most stores did have a little machine near the escalators for this purpose...Macy's, Gimbel's, A&S, Gertz and others all had this. Not so at Bloomingdale's, Lord & Taylor, B. Altman and Saks. They had free bags as they were considered the "better stores". This brings back an old memory. I briefly worked at an A&S store in my youth. I worked in the luggage dept. One evening, an elderly man came in to look at large suitcases. He was carrying a large box as he had just purchased a stereo system from the electronics dept. He then purchased the largest suitcase we had, put the stereo box inside the suitcase and walked out of the store. Little did he know: I was working the next afternoon when he came into the store to return the suitcase. His reason was "it didn't fit"! LOL. Think about this - electronics dept (gone from dept stores today), suitcases (without wheels, does this exist today), and stereo system (today we all have an IPOD). Oh the sweet memories.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Sweet memories, Indeed! Thank you for sharing them. In the Detroit area, Hudson's was our "better" store, but you still had to pay .15 for one of their white bags with 2-tone green polka-dots. Jacobson's was the finest local store, and they provided bags, silver gift boxes with hand-tied ribbons, and exquisite customer service without extra charge.

    I rally appreciate your sharing these memories - they make up an integral part of "The Museum!"

    Bruce

    ReplyDelete
  34. Oh you are welcome. The memories brought up by this "museum" are all wonderful. The shopping bags, the sales help (these were sales people not cashiers), the quality of goods, and the gift boxes (solid and re-usable). I use many of the old boxes for storage of everything from stationery to Christmas ornaments. Wouldn't it be wonderful to see photos of boxes, shopping bags, store logos, buildings, and interiors?
    Hopefully this site will expand and develop over time. I look forward to it all! Great job...thanks again.

    ReplyDelete
  35. There are many memories here about department stores of the past, and also complaints about Macy's and consolidation. Truly sad that so much of the past is gone. But may I ask? What has happened to your favorite restaurant? Your favorite hotel? Your favorite hardware store? Your favorite bookstore? And of course, your favorite BANK? Welcome to the world of McDonald's, Hampton Inn, Home Depot,Barnes & Noble, Bank of America and of course Macy's. Does anyone remember Howard Johnson's?

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  36. Interestingly many New Yorkers went to Florida for vacation, to visit and of course to live (whether full time or as snow birds). They wanted more than Burdine's and Jordan Marsh and they got it. Bloomingdale's, Lord & Taylor and Macy's all opened stores in newly created malls and then in existing malls. An over department storing of Floida..........add Saks Fifth Avenue and Florida became one extensive mall. So look what happened.... Goodbye Burdine's. Goodbye Jordan Marsh. Hello the same everywhere! Markets can only handle so much. This is true everywhere and now we have lost a certain individualism.

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  37. Back in the day, there were many department stores in New York and its surrounding areas.But they all serviced certain economic levels.

    The so called budget stores included:
    May's (not to be confused with May Co or any other May elsewhere),
    EJ Korvette's (bargain prices for bargain goods but great prices on records....remember records),
    S Klein (known locally as Klein's on the Square - it was on 14th Street at Union Square)again bargain prices but very good service,
    Alexander's (always a good bargain - this store may have begun in the Bronx).

    Mid level department stores:
    Gimbel's (which had a bargain basement),
    Macy's (the so called world's largest store - it also had a bargain basement but probably only because Gimbel's had one),
    Abraham & Straus (A&S - fine Brooklyn store), Gertz (a Queens store with a devoted customer base).
    Bloomingdale's (originally developed as a bargain bazaar it moved itself into an upper level as its neighborhood changed).

    The better stores: Bloomingdale's (full line department store, not quite the specialty store) so it fits into two areas,
    B. Altman & Company (with its fine goods and fine service),
    Lord & Taylor (more stylish than Altman's but the same fine quality of goods and services), Saks Fifth Avenue (the big name),
    Bonwit Teller (evenually became more cutting edge and fashionable than the others),
    Bergdorf Goodman (at the very top in its day).

    There were many other fine stores in NYC: Peck & Peck, Best & Company, Arnold Constable, Brooks Brothers, Franklin Simon, Depino, Sterns, Martins, and many more.

    Also there were many of the original stores in NYC: AT Stewart, Cooper Seigal, John Wanamaker and more.

    Of course as a society we have all become more sophisticated and affluent. As many of us may shop in Nordstorm's and Neiman-Marcus today when we look back we think of some of the mid-level stores with fondness, because things were just better back then.

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  38. The B Altman on the Miricle Mile was a wonderful store with great goods and great service, but the building was rather odd. It was very long and appeared to be a series of buildings in a row. Meanwhile it was very narrow with entrances both facing Northern Blvd (Miricle Mile) and the back (Stratmore side facing the Village Bath Club). The inside was shabby at best even with the newer addition to the east. There was no escalator in the store (I am not sure there was even an elevator). The upper floor was the credit/executive offices and the Charleston Restaurant. The main floor was (from west to east) women's clothing, accessories, greeting cards/gift items, and a small men's clothing area. The lower level was children's clothing and toys. Later with an expansion to the east The men's store was created, and then a domestics wing. On the lower level was furniture and a full housewares and home store, including a full line book dept. Soon afterward the domestics were moved downstairs to the home store area and the space on the main level became the big women's shop. For some reason there were a series of hallways which connected the different sections of the store...and about three staircases going up and down between floors. Even though the building had a dumpy feel, it was at the same time classic, sedate, and charming.Everyone I knew from the Cow Bay Peninsula (Manhasset, Port Washington, Sands Point) still miss the old store. Today it is a Crate & Barrel store (and that Crate & Barrel is the nicest store in their chain).Interestingly, Altman's although "next" to the Americana Center, was not part of the Americana.

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  39. My favorite store was the Lord & Taylor in Manhasset on the Miricle Mile. It was not a large store and it was very shabby with ripped carpeting and peeling paint. Regardless, they had the best clothing and the best service. In the early 1980's they did a total renovation of the building. As in their other stores, they put in Italian marble floors (gray for the Men's Shop and pink for the rest of the store). It really was beautiful. But no matter what, nothing could beat their service.
    All the regular customers had a sales associate and never should another help you. I once purchased a ski jacket with a down vest insert (zippered in). I bought it the week before Columbus Day. On the saturday of the Columbus Day weekend I happened to walk into the store and was looking around. All of a sudden my sales associate Lee came up to me and handed me a receipt. I asked "what is this"? Her response: "A credit for the ski jacket you bought last week, its on sale for 25% less today"!Who could ask for anything more? Where could you find such service elsewhere? I miss Lee. Besides the great service she was a character and truly funny!She had the best stories.

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  40. Thanks for this fabulous information - I feel as if I've been there, even though I haven't. I'd have to say the loss of Altman's is one of the great tragedies of what happened to our retail world in the last 20-30 years.

    I am surprised that Altman's didn't have large ads in the New York Times advertising the opening and expansion of this store.

    I understand what you mean by the store being dumpy yet charming at the same time. My one experience in the Fifth Avenue store, though, made me remember it as a palace.

    Bruce

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  41. Oh but the NYC Fifth Avenue store WAS a palace. The Altman's in Manhasset opened in the late 40's or early 50's...so by the 70's and 80's the store was shabby. Not sure why the ads in the Times don't mention the expansion (Altman's took over the Franklin Simon building and expanded to the East. But even with the expansion, the store always looked worn out.

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  42. Across Shelter Rock Road from Lord & Taylor on the Miricle Mile in Manhasset was originally Arnold Constable (they went out of buisness in early 70's). This became the Bloomingdale's Home Store. Three levels of housewares, furniture, draperies, carpeting,cookware, electrics,domestics and glass, silver and china. It was all so modern and the service was better than at any other Bloomingdale's in the chain. They had an entrance on Northern Blvd but I doubt anyone ever walked in this doorway. Everyone used the parking lot entrance to the back. I remember they always had cooking demonstrations on the main floor every saturday.

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  43. To the west on the Miricle Mile (either it was the beginning or not really part of it)but Northern Blvd anyway was the Abraham & Straus store in Manhasset (at Community Drive). It was originally (in the 60's) a large store. In the 70's they doubled the size and it became a huge store. Three levels and two escalator systems. There was a snack bar on the main level and a restaurant on the upper level. All of the home store was on the lower level and with the expansion, the men's store took over the entire new wing of the main floor. Even with the better stores further up the road the "Gold Coast's tony North Shore elite shopped alongside the masses with modest incomes. There was somethng for everyone at Abraham & Straus.

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  44. At the East end of the Miricle Mile in Manhasset and on the north side of the road (across from the Americana) was Bonwit Teller (which sat alone next to the fabled Patricia Murphy's Candlelight Restaurant.... do you remember the flower clock in the garden)? Bonwit's building was red brick with a curved slate and brick staircase to its Port Washington Blvd entrance. It was three levels and contained a Men's Shop the size of a closet. The women's selection was spaced out through out the rest of the store but there was never a large selection (rather it was a select collection of the most fashionable clothing of the time). The service was rather snobby here and there was a more eclectic clientele than at Altman's or L&T.People came here for the clothes not the service.

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  45. Garden City, NY had its Franklin Avenue (once called the "Fifth Avenue of Long Island"). All the great stores are gone now. There was A&S (small), Martin's, Lord&Taylor (still there), Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bloomingdale's. Can you believe that the Bloomingdale's became a Sear's???

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  46. When the Bloomingdale's on Franklin Avenue in garden City opened, it was a large (much larger than the surrounding stores) sophisticated and very modern concept. It was different than all the other stores in the area, and so much better than anything at near-by Roosevelt Field!
    Sadly time went on (70's, 80's) and in the 90's Roosevelt Field (which had been in decline) revamped itself. The A&S was closed and Bloomingdlae's took over the building there and barely spent a penny doing anything more than changing the sign. In fairness, the A&S had only just opened two years earlier! Today it is very nice, but just not the Garden City store.

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  47. The Lord & Taylor on Franklin Avenue in Garden City was larger than the Manhasset store, but never had the ambiance of that store. The service was always good, and there seemed to be a more fashionable feel to the place. What was best about the store was that you could park at the Bloomingdale's across the street and walk over or park in the lot behind the store and enter from the back entrance. The restaurant on the second level was always crowded and the Garden City crowd treated it as a temple. Mostly people from Garden City never shopped at the Bloomingdale's but worshipped L&T.
    The Men's Shop which occupied the north end of the store always had a larger selection than the Manhasset store and the selection of women's fashions was wider and larger than other branches.

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  48. The Saks Fifth Avenue store on Franklin Avenue was very fashionable. Three levels of mostly women's fashions, there was also a very tiny men's dept hiden to the side. Eventually an escalator was installed and there was some expansion. One problem for this store became their desire to move into what had become a very fashionable Roosevelt Field Mall (not far away). Garden City would not permit further expansion of the mall and Saks threatened to leave Franklon Avenue...and so they did. Now the only Saks on Long Island is at Walt Whitman in S. Huntington and of course the very tiny Southampton store.

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  49. Bergdorf-Goodman was at the very top in the retail world (especially in NYC). It was (and is) a beautiful building located on Fifth Avenue at 57th Street. When one entered the store, immediately you had a sense of fashionable, classic, wealth. In its day it was both fashionable and understated. By the 90's they expanded across Fifth Avenue to the former FAO Shwartz toy store building. That building became their overstated Men's Store. Today both stores are very fashionable, contemporary and absurdly expensive.
    In the early 1980's Bergdorf decided to expand. They opened a branch store in White Plains next to B. Altman & Company. "On the Plaza" in NYC became "on the Plaza" in White Plains as they built a fountain next to the store. Sadly soon after opening, Altman's closed. Bergdorf could not make it in that location (probably more to the story). Bergdorf closed, Neiman-Marcus took over the building...a mall was attached (The Westchester) and a Nordstorm's took the Altman's space. Those stores are still around. There is a large Bloomingdale's near-by. So its still very nice, but just NOT the same.

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  50. Last week I went shopping on Main Street in Westport, Connecticut. Tiffany, Pottery Barn, Williams-Sonoma, Brooks Brothers, Kate Spade, Talbots, Banana Republic, J Crew, Vineyard Vines. All very nice specialty stores, but not one department store (there is a fairly new Crate & Barrel up on RT 1 if that counts). All the people were in shirts, tees, and flip flops (the weather barely called for that attire). But the world has changed. People are different. They are looking for names over quality. There is no class, no style, just a whole lot of crassness and rudeness. We have come a long way since Lucy Ricardo rode her lawn mower down the Main Street of Westport!

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  51. Where's the page on Dayton's!

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  52. I don't currently have enough information for Dayton's, to do it justice, but I hope to in due course. Donaldson's, Powers, and Young-Quinlan, too.

    BAK

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  53. Department stores were in fact magical places back in their day. They have become a "lost art".
    Sadly by the 1980's they began their decline. Once the "grand dames" of their cities and malls, they are no longer an important part of a families lifestyle. No longer will you find store loyalty as in today's world we have brand/name/designer loyalty. People want so called luxury items aplenty. In fact, they have now turned those once luxury items into everyday non items. Certainly the luxury is gone once everyone has a certain item (items).
    In the past the great department stores had a little of everything...today designers do the same in mutiple locations and under a multitude of sub-names.

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  54. In the 1980's Saks Fifth Avenue usually advertised only in the New York Times and sometimes in the New Yorker. But they decided (for a very brief time) to advertise on local radio and on TV.
    ... we are all the things you are...
    ... gifts just right for you...
    ... we are all the things you are...
    ... at SAKS FIFTH AV EN UE !!!
    It was a very catchy tune and disappeared very quickly...but it was good.

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  55. Back in the 1970's and 1980's, Saks Fifth Avenue in NYC (Saks & Company as it is called) did not have an escalator system. Only elevators carried shoppers to the upper floors. In the late 80's an escalator system was built along what was the back wall of the main store.. additional floor space for the store was include behind that new escalator area.
    The best restrooms in NYC are located in Saks. The Men's room on the 6th floor is the best anywhere,and there is now a very nice men's room on the seventh floor.
    Saks is still the best decorated NYC store at Christmas time. The main floor is a winter wonderland, and all the upper floors are quite lovely. There is a beautiful view of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree from the sixth floor front windows (sadly over the past three years they have tried to hidethe view...shame on them).
    Today Saks remains one of the most beautiful stores in the USA. They call themselves a "specialty store".
    Its worth a visiit from anywhere, as it still has remnants of the old days.

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  56. The original Saks Fifth Avenue was actually Saks 34th Street and was owned by Gimbel's. The original name of the store was Saks & Company.

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  57. I would like to introduce you to my blog which has postcards depicting the old major department stores across the U.S. Right now I have all the stores in California. I have just added Abraham & Straus and Hahne's from the East. I will continue to add stores as the site tours across the U.S. John Plummer www.plummersearch.com/blog

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  58. WOW, this is truly an amazing list of department stores, thanks for sharing this list i really was in search of it....
    list of department stores

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  59. I was in Saks Fifth Avenue this past weekend... Carson Kressley was there and they offered some champagne and shrimp, quiche and cream puffs... all free...all in the hopes someone would spend big bucks on clothing now made in China! The world has changed.....I must say the sales people were helpful and very nice....but just not like in the past

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  60. There was another department store in Atlanta called Regenstein's. Unfortunately I don't know much about it but it would be interesting to find out.

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  61. Does anyone remember the dept store Master's on Main Street in Flushing, NY????? Later I think it became Baxter'.... what did they sell?

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  62. I was in Brooks Brothers today (on Madison Avenue in NYC,,, the flagship store)...very busy, I purchased shoes...and received horrible service. I realize that is what i miss most about the old days.....excellent service by professional sales persons.

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  63. Brooks now has a total of seven stores in Manhattan, NYC. Is that really necessary?

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  64. I love looking back to the glory days of the department store era. I am saddened by two recent events in the world of today's department stores. The first is that many stores opened on Thanksgiving Day. Crass, unfair, and immoral. Those poor employees having to work on a MAJOR FAMILY HOLIDAY.It is simply not right. The second is the violence. Pepper spray? Need I say more? We have become a sick society. I look back with fondness and I am frightened by the future.

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  65. Are you going to have a Lansing area book signing? If yes, please let me know when and where?

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  66. Thanks, Jennifer. Something IS in the works for Lansing . . . check my Amazon author page

    http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005ITYRL6

    for details as they emerge.

    Bruce

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  67. Hello,
    My name is Pierre, I'm from small town in the province of Québec,Canada and i own a set of dining room furniture that i bought five years ago from our local church's Nun convent.
    I was told it is a 1936 set, complete with 40" x 60" table with two extensions & six chairs, a cupboard and dish cabinet.
    It has the inscription "The Robert Simpson Furniture Company Limited" on the back.
    It's in very good shape and i kept the top of the cabinet & table with a glass to protect the them.
    I would like to sell this set as it does not fit my new house anymore.
    I'm wondering where i can post pictures of the whole package.
    I think people looking for antique complete sets could be interrested into it.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks.

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  68. Bonjour, Pierre!

    Je pense que la meilleure façon de vendre les meubles est sur ​​eBay. Mais je vais laisser vos informations ici au cas où quelqu'un le voit et s'intéresse. S'il vous plaît vérifier et voir si quelqu'un met une autre commentaire ici.

    Je vous souhaite un Joyeux Noël et une Bonne Nouvelle Année 2012 au Québec!

    Bruce

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  69. Great site - especially loved the info on Crowley's, Hudson's Downtown and Jacobson's Dearborn (I worked there in the '80's at the "Top of the Fountain" and in the Home Store wrapping gifts at Christmas). Keep those memories alive and have a Happy New Year my fellow Detroit Catholic brother!

    Brian Squiers http://purechristianity.weebly.com/

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  70. why not add a section where we can upload images of our old Department store credit cards ?

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  71. You will note that, thanks to the generosity of a collector, I have included a charge card exhibit. If you would like to add to it, please send scanned .jpg files (full size at at least 200 dpi) to me at bakgraphics@comcast.net and I will be happy to include them for all to see.

    Bruce

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  72. Burlington, Vermont ought to be included. Abernethy, Clarkson, and Wright operated a small department store at the head of Church Street for 60+ years that personified elegance and customer service. They had a few leased departments, shoes, women;s hats, as well as a Music Store that sold pianos...the historic building now houses other offices and antique businesses. My uncle Thomas Wright, Jr could access his office via the fire escape if necessary. they even had pneumatic tubes for processing cash transactions...

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  73. I am looking for information on a riding habit made in September 1944. The label lists "GERTZ 561 Fifth Avenue, New York" I assumed this would have been a private tailor but was there a location of the Gertz department store at this location? Anyone have any information?

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  74. I searched the New York Times regarding this name and address, but came up with nothing. Several firms were located in the building, but no reference to a "Gertz" was found. It may have been an importer or manufacturer. Perhaps someone with personal experience with the firm will see your comment and reply accordingly.

    Bruce

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  75. Well, at least it seems you have narrowed down for me that it wasn't part of the department store. This was a habit made for Mrs Paul Mellon in September 1944. I will keep searching. Thanks

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  76. In every old department store I've heard of, even Britt's (a department store owned by JJ Newberry, on par on with JCP I think) had "gourmet foods". What exactly did that entail? Jams, jellies, cheese-and-meat packages, or what?

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  77. Hello, Pseudo 3D.

    It depends. In some cases, it was just that, but some, like Marshall Field & Company, had a real gourmet grocery featuring pantry foods, deli, bakery, frozen foods, and wine. The J. L. Hudson Co. of my youth had a marvelous pantry department, with a deli. Sibley's of Rochester had a full-blown but relatively high-end grocery in its stores.

    Gourmet shops, along with books, decorative accesories, and other unusual offerings made the great department stores places to browse, spend time, and discover, like a fair or museum, in ways that today's stores don't, and remain one of their most endearing features.

    Bruce

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  78. I am looking for any info on Macy's Herald Sq. Corner Shop. In 1966 I purchased a French Hutch there. I remember it as an Antique Shop on the 9th floor. How long did it exist? Thank you.

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  79. The best I can do is to look and see how early ads for The Corner Shop existed. I know that I have seen postcards of the shop online. Macy*s doesn't have anything like it today, do they?!! I also think that they exported that shop concept to their other divisions as well.

    Bruce

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  80. Great information. Please add anything you have on Orhbachs in NYC.

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  81. I am looking for 'sewn-in' labels from clothing produced and sold by department stores with their labels. Men's suits and Coats, and men's ties often have labels with the department store names. Ladies clothing might -- depending how old it was.

    If you could post this note on your website, I'd appreciate it, and people could get in touch with you and then you could send them my address or send me their contact info.

    thanks --
    A Quilter in NYC

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  82. my contact info is
    Renee Fields
    rbettybop@nyc.rr.com
    A Quilter in NYC

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  83. I just wanted to mention, there was also a Jacobson's in Jacksonville, FL that closed in 2002. (The building was converted to classrooms and offices for what is now Florida State College at Jacksonville).

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  84. Thank you. On this site, I really cut off detailed history at about 1980, so I haven't covered the later Jacobson's. For a photo, and history of Jacobson's in Florida, you may like to see my book, Jacobson's: I Miss It So!

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  85. Has anybody ever been to the Bloomingdale's in White Plains, when it first opened in 1975? What was the layout of it?

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  86. I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it Smile I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.

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  87. I stubbled upon your siet and really enjoy it being that my 1st job was in a department store: Harris' in San Bernardino. I excitedly looked thru your list of stores for Harris' but it wasn't there. You may one day want to add it because it was such an icon in the Inland Empire and had an amazing beautiful building like the ones that you have posted. Some information on the store can be found at:http://gingerjar2.wordpress.com/2010/01/16/city-of-san-bernardino-history-update-the-harris-company/

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  88. Hi, I was going through my grandparents stuff and found two HM Block (IN) indentification cards or otherwise known as credit cards. I was wondering who your specialist for credit cards is and if they would like a picture of it?
    If so please give me an email to contact them.

    Thank you

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  89. BAK....

    I have some items to email you. How to go about it?
    Thanks,
    Lloyd

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  90. Hello, Lloyd.

    You may use bakgraphics@comcast.net

    Bruce

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  91. First, I must say I love your blog- it brings me to the "magic" of retail back in the day! I do need to note you are missing Liberty House Hawaii, which began as H. Hackfeld's Dry Goods back in the 1850's- it was THE place to shop on the Islands for a century plus.... I saw your Liberty House listing in California, however that was not it's home base, nor where it's reputation was built. Thank you for this blog, it warms my heart whenever I visit~ having worked in Department Stores for much of my retail life

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  92. Thanks for your comment, Thomas.

    I plan to include Liberty House when I have access to more information about it.

    I have updated the directory list to reflect my intention, since I must have omitted it accidentally when I published the list.

    Bruce

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  93. Hi there,

    Just wanted to say that I love this site! I'll make sure to stop in frequently.

    Thought my museum of shopping bags might interest you as there are many bags from department stores. If you'd like to check it out the address is bagatellemuseum.blogspot.com.

    Again, well done--totally delightful museum!
    Courtney

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  94. I don't believe Saks Fifth Ave was connected to Saks 34th st.which was a furniture operation and once owned by Gimballs..

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  95. Saks-34th was indeed related to Saks Fifth Avenue - it was a more moderately-priced clothing store, also a part of the Gimbels organization and closed in the 1960s. The store's branches were taken over by Gimbels at that time.

    Bruce

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  96. Gilchrist was in downtown crossing (washington street via Summer Street via Winter Street) as the Corner (formerly Gilchrist) had cookie Marcoon yummy

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  97. Saks Fifth Avenue and Saks 34th were affiliated in a similar way between Bullock's and Bullocks Wilshire, except that is was vice-versa in terms of class. When you have your Liberty House Hawaii exhibit, be sure to include a directory for the Ala Moana store as well as downtown Honolulu.

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  98. One store and city absent from the California list is Gottschalks (E. Gottschalk & Co.) from Fresno. I'd like to see an exhibit about them when opportunity calls!

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  99. California's "Inland Empire" had a great store, the Harris Company.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harris_Company

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  100. Is there anyway you know of to find which stores were in harlem and irving in 1984?

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  101. I would check the Chicago Tribune from 1984. Most ads list store locations, and then you could compile a list.

    If your library doesn't have it on microfilm, many libraries do have access to the Chicago Tribune through ProQuest Historical newspapers.

    I wish you well in your search . . .

    Bruce

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  102. Great site, so well done and interesting. Why no mention though of Arnold Constable? Fifth Avenue and 40th Street, NYC. Also one of the first stores to open branches. A favorite of Eleanor Roosevelt, it had started out as a high fashion mecca but evolved into a more serene old money store.

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  103. Dear Bak ~ to repeat the common tribute "Thank you for a wonderful site". Stumbled upon it while looking for info on the development of the downtown Vancouver, BC, landmark - the Woodwards building. I used to take my children there at Christmas in the 1970's as they had the best 'moving' window displays of anywhere! My childhood was often spent trailing after my grandmother at the Ogilvie's in Montreal, Quebec where all the french attendees were eager to practice their english.

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  104. good job Bak. When you publish an exhaustive book on old defunct american dept stores, I will be in line for one. The one I remember and would like to get some info on was the John Wanamaker in Philly and the Original Neiman Marcus on Main and Ervay in Dallas. Those were two of the True Greats

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  105. Thank you Bak for creating such a magnificent site! As a lifelong resident of the Chicago area I particular enjoy your very detailed tribute to Marshall Field & Company! Off and on I have been a retail employee for over 25 years. I even had pleasure of working at Marshall Field & Company at Woodfield Mall. The only reason there was to pursue a sales career at Neiman Marcus Oakbrook.
    For a very long time I thought I was the only person who cared about venerating the department store's of old.. Frankly I have always despised the Henry Ford idea that "History is bunk."
    Now I can get chatty on a subject that I love and converse with those who love it too! :)

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  106. Skimming through the comments above I do not see the Boston Store listed as a department store which I thought it was. We had a large elite Boston Store in Madison WI which had a train that ran from the cieling of the top floor which children could ride. That was the highlite of our christmas.

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  107. How about Lucky Platt in Poughkipsie, NY. Very sophisticated for a small town store. Maybe because Vassar College was nearby?

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  108. Re the comment about Saks 34 being a furniture operation. The furniture chain was "Sachs" and unrelated. The had a catchy jingle of their phone number: Melrose five, five three hundred....

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  109. I love this website! I am looking for information on a Department store called Wow,located in Cleveland ,Ohio.(I think it was in a shopping center called Greenlight Shopping Center)My siblings and I are planning a retirement party for our Mother,and that was one of her first jobs.We are really looking for a photo,but anything would be useful.I believe it was in operation in the late 70's early 80's?

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  110. I would suggest searching The Plain Dealer for information about the store. It is available online through Genealogybank.com.

    Bruce

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  111. Masters Department store in Flushing was at 37th Avenue and Main Street. They sold clothes, television sets, radios, and record players, and records, I know that. I was last in there probably in 1973.

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  112. Hi BAK: I was up in Portland Maine, this weekend, and saw the downtown Porteous, Mitchell, & Braun Co...This would be a great addition to the museum...And also let me sincerely thank you for the outstanding job you have done with this site. Words cannot express how grateful I am for existence! Thanks again!

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  113. I may have missed it in the comments but if it has not been mentioned then I would like to add Kingsmill's Department Store on Fund as Street in London Ontario Canada to your list. Not huge but definitely a department store, four floors, great china department, large furniture floor, newly added kitchenwares, usually women's wear, small but well chosen men's shop, etc.
    Founded in 1865, current store built in 1930. Still owned and operated by fifth generation family of the founder. Not many business of any kind can say that these days.
    Seems to continue to be successful despite the downtown business and retail area its in having become semi abandoned. Right across the street is a failed mini mall made out of the old Simpson's department store.
    When I was there last they were doing renovations on the main floor that both modernized it and restored and used many if the great wood and glass counters and show cases. With clerks actually behind these counters waiting to serve you it was almost like going through a time warp. Oh, and the brass cage elevator still has a live operator!!
    For collectors of places on this site this is a hidden gem.

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  114. I am very familiar with Kingsmills and I do agree with you; I visited the store in January, and was surprised and gladdened to see that it was updated and expanded since I was last there in the 1980s.

    Your description is very accurate, and when lecturing about Jacobson's, when anyone asks me if there is anything like a traditional department store, i tell them to seek out Kingsmills in London, Ontario on Dundas street: www.kingsmills.com

    Bruce

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  115. Bruce
    Wow that's great. Small world indeed.
    I think it deserves a case study as to how its managed to survive and dare I say, thrive. I think it has a pretty good idea who its key customer is and I think its the level and type of service they provide.
    I am now in Vancouver where the great (not necessarily beautiful) downtown store from the 70's that was Eaton's that became Sears has just closed its doors. As it crunched down from 9 levels to 1 then none you could wonder the other floors as every fixture and piece of junk that could move was for sale, being ripped out and put into big piles. It is now to go through a two year renovation including a makeover of the exterior walls to open it up and then part is become a Nordstrom and the rest offices and such.
    Moving from sad to exciting, kitty corner to it is the Hudson Bay Store going though a huge revitalization project in and out. The exterior terra cotta has been cleaned and restored and just recently traditional style entrance canopies have been installed that look great. Inside all 8 levels are being redone and the store is staying open throughout. Brave staff!! The new men's wear floor now relocated to the top floor ( a bit odd) has just opened. Its very good and even has been opened back to the windows so natural light streams in.
    Its early yet and some corners cut or odd choices made but serious money is being
    invested so expecting a great store will be with us for some time to come.

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  116. Also on the lost list would be Anderson's. It was located in the city of St. Thomas, Ontario just 20 miles south of London and the Kingsmill's store discussed above.
    St. Thomas was known as the Railway Capital of Canada with 26 different railways having passed through at one time or other.
    All that meant boom town activity and the Anderson family department store was a busy place in the centre of town. I recall one story telling of ladies millinery employing four hat makers at its heyday.
    The store closed in the 80's and the building was converted to apartments.

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  117. Someone was asking what "gourment foods" meant in terms of scope and product.
    I'll use the example of Eaton's Winnipeg. On the Lower or Basement level was a full grocery store as extensive as anything anywhere in the city.
    However on the third floor was the fine foods department. A featured house label was their Grill Room products, the Grill Room being the name of their wood paneled, white table cloth restaurant. Fine foods included the usual jar and packed items we think of today but also marble counters and displays for fine cheeses, including temperature controlled coolers behind the counter, full meat counter, again marble, with whole sides of meat aging in glass doored coolers and white coated butchers making cuts to order, chocolate counter, pastry and cakes and wonderful breads baked in a great brick oven in the bakery located in either the annex or catalog building. The memory of the crustry acorn French loafs makes my mouth water as I write. It was a wonderful selection of fine foods indeed.
    Down the street at the Hudson Bay store there was also grocery store in the basement level and Govenors Table gourmet foods elsewhere. Not as extensive as Eaton's however. As an aside, what The Bay did have over Eaton's was a great tobacco and cigar shop and, at various times depending on the rules of the day, a spirts and wine shop with their own labeled rum, gin and such. Eaton's never had either at anytime in its history because its founder, Timothy Eaton, was a strict tea totaler.
    Interesting, the circle has come round in many ways. The Bay's Queen Street store in Toronto has revived its food and deli department on the lower floor and much of what you see happening in grocery stores such as Whole Foods and many imitators, with displays, selection and service harkins back to what many of these great department stores once offered. Times, standards and economics have changed things of course and the likes of the great Food Hall at Harrod's in London is not likely to be seen again but one can but Hope!

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  118. Thank you wholeheartedly for your eloquent and informative description! You captured the essence of what these "Gourmet Foods" departments were really like.

    Furthermore, though I have never been to Winnipeg, I do know what the Eaton's store meant to the city. What a terrible loss to all of Canada and to anyone who loved the great stores, for surely Eaton's was very near the top of the pinnacle!

    Bruce

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  119. Any information on Butler Brothers? It was a nine store chain in California and Seattle. Very lovely stores and friendly clerks. I miss it very much.

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  120. Dear Sir,

    Do you have any information on department stores donating silver tea sets and serving sets to Los Angeles Unified School District for use in Home Economics courses? Let me know if you've heard tale of this and which stores if possible. All the best,

    KD

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  121. Do you have any information on vintage books that were bound for Marshall Field and Company?
    I have a copy of Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen - a first trade edition with over 100 Hugh Thomson illustrations. It has a blue leather cover with gold embossed center and trim, Pride and Prejudice printed in gold.

    On the top edge of the inside cover printed in gold it states: Bound by Sangorski & Sutcliffe, London, England. On the bottom of the inside cover printed in gold it states: For Marshall Field and Company.

    Any help would be appreciated. Thank you

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  122. The most help I can be with items like this is to publish your comment in hopes that someone with knowledge of antiquarian books sees it.

    At one time, Marshall Field & Company had a whole section devoted to antiquarian books and old maps and prints.

    Bruce

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  123. Hi there. When did Henry Harris Cincinnati officially close. I'm selling a Henry Harris blazer on my Etsy shop and would like to add some historical info to my listing. Thanks!

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  124. I found 2 old husdon's jackets they are when they firs started making them any one want to see them they are for sale

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  125. My Mom and Dad both worked for JL Hudson's. Dad for over 40 years. It was my first job at Northland. Many, many trips to Downtown Hudson's on the Grand River bus (no matter the season). First stop was always the mezzanine floor to put coats away and use the restroom! Of course the 12th floor was the favorite..the toy floor. Not sure what floor the resturant was on but still remember the Maurice Salad fondly. For years, Dad was in the Thanksgiving Parade (every other year) We'd go down early, have donuts and hot chocolate, see Dad get made up. JL would come through and always greeted my dad by name. He would do the same for my Mom at Northland. So many memories...even out here in California, I cried watching the news when the building came down!!

    I also worked at Jacobson's in Ann Arbor. They hired me immediately when they saw I had worked for Hudson's.

    Question? There was a brass(?) plaque in the mens department, by an escalator, that had all the names of employee's that served in WWII. My Dad's name was on it and that was also another stop to see and feel his name. Do you know what ever happened to that?

    I have many things Dad saved...mostly employee like the Hudsonian magazine. I know there are things about those that served also, his name and photo was in a booklet. I need to go through that containor again, see what I have and scan what I can for you!

    Let me know,
    Karen

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  126. Thanks, Karen for sharing those wonderful memories!

    It truly was "the people" that made these stores so special. I remember that plaque - It was near the Grand River escalators, I think. I believe it may have been moved to Northland, but I'll have to look into some books to see what I can find; you might try calling the Detroit Historical Museum to see if they know where it is.

    You may email me at bakgraphics@comcast.net if you think there is anything in those "Hudsonians" that could be shared with visitors to The Department Store Museum. I would like to have some better images of Hudson's branches up until 1980. Good renderings or photos of these are hard to come by.

    Thanks again,

    Bruce

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  127. There use to be a very nice department store in Matteson Illinois on Route 30 and Governors Highway. It was before TJ Maxx got there. Does any one remember it. I think the name had a Z in the beginning or something. I loved that department store. It was in a plaza with Walgreens and maybe a furniture store. This was a department store that sold clothes, shoes, and other stuff. Let me know. infotb.2012@gmail.com

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  128. You may want to add to the list in Allentown Pennsylvania, Zollinger-Harned Department Store. In earlier incarnations it was Harned-Early, and even earlier it was Lawfer's Department Store.

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  129. Many of the Online Jobs and Online Earning System in internet online Business, but here is a best and legit online earning systems with life time opportunity. digital printing new jersey .

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  130. (commenter "Susan Butler" is a spambot)

    I'd like to see Leonard's on this list. It was a department store in Fort Worth with five branches. The chain was converted to Dillard's in 1974 after its old owner Tandy bought it and demolished the flagship.

    It was a bit of a lower-end store, though it did have a full-line supermarket (and a private subway!)

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  131. BAK:

    You have done an amazing job expanding and adding all the wonderful additions to this site. I am so glad you now starting to add the great retailers from our friends up north. Can't wait to see that addition. Eaton's, Simpson's, Holt's and perhaps the Bay (or now back to Hudson Bay)I LOVE this site

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  132. I am diligently working on some updates for the Canada stores - along with my book about Eaton's. It is a fascinating history and I have combed the store's preserved archives for information and pictures that have never been seen by the general public. I am very excited about the progress and if anyone has a special remembrance or experience of Eaton's I encourage them to contact me at bakgraphics@comcast.net.

    Bruce

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  133. There was a small store in foothill square (Oakland) in the late 60's I thought was a J Magnin. It had an elevator to the 2nd floor. Does anyone remember the name?

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  134. I am wondering if an early childhood memory of mine can be verified by anyone. My mother took me to eat in NYC at one of the big department stores, I think it was either Saks or Bloomingdales. It was probably around 1975 (I was 5) and the place was magical. It had delicate wrought iron cafe style tables and chairs. The ceiling was very high and may have had a sky light. The floor may have been wight tile. In the center of the room was a towering centerpiece of plants, perhaps a small water fall and maybe even some live birds in cages. Can anyone else remember such a place????

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  135. I Have a question. Recently a friend who lives in Massachusetts found an original signed pastel in her basement. It was framed and the brown paper over the back had a square card on it that said, "original artwork done especially for Jordan Marsh and Company. I was wondering when in their history did Jordan Marsh sell original works of art? Is there anyplace to find out more about this. Thanks. I can be reached at jumbalayahitch@hotmail.com

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  136. Nice website! I am wondering, Bak, if you have any information on a Lambacker (sp?) family that were involved with department stores in the 1930s, I think in the state of NY, possibly Buffalo? Any info would be appreciated, thanks!

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  137. Hello! I have not heard the name, but perhaps you should get a copy of "999 - The Glory Days of Buffalo Shopping" by Michael RIzzo. It contains just about anything one might want to know about Buffalo stores and is interesting in itself.

    Bruce

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  138. Great Blog...another store that bit the Michigan dust was Hughes & Hatcher, which latter became Hughes, Hatcher & Suffrin. I can still see its iconic script.

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  139. You are right! At Eastland, we always walked through "Hughes & Hatcher" to get from the parking lot to Hudson's. It was exceedingly classy, and when you think about it, where can men (and later, women) buy clothes today like that!

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  140. You should add exhibits for department store matchbooks and restaurant menus.

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  141. Do you have any information about a department store named Izards in Elmira, NY in the mid-60's? It was a typical downtown department with 3-4 floors. My dad ran the Kresge's 5 & 10 next door to it so my mom would take us shopping in Izards while waiting to pick up my dad from work(we had only one car in those days).

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  142. I don't have much information; I think it was formally called the F.S. Iszard Co. When my brother lived in Horseheads, I actually went to Iszard's mall store one evening - Downtown was not open late then.
    Bruce

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  143. I have some old credit cards from The Edw Malley Co in New Haven, Ct. I was wondering if you want to add them to your credit card history?

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  144. Yes, you may email me at bakgraphics@comcast.net

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  145. Why have you left out the Carolinas? Talhimer's was in Charleston. Ivey's and Meyer's Arnold were in Greenville, SC, and of course the Belk chain was throughout the Carolinas and Virginia - some known as Belk-Hudson, Hudson-Belk, Belk-Simpson, Simpson-Belk, and other combinations. Today they are all known as Belk. Rich's was also in Greenville, SC. I think Belk is a Charlotte based store, but there is a large home on North Main Street in Greenville, SC known as the "Belk Estate." Ivey's had a very large store on Main - still standing, but is now divided up into restaurants, small shops and condos. I believe Ivey's was bought out by J.b White's and then White's was bought out by Dillards. Greenville, SC also had a store named Parisianne for a while.

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  146. Regarding A & S in Brooklyn, you have to include the account cashier and credit office on the 8th floor in your directory. I worked there and that's where ALL the brink's csh was delivered. Anita Maker

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  147. Good afternoon BAK: Any chance of you updating your site to include the following: Rosenbaums (spelling?) which was also a downtown Pittsburgh store, though I do not think it ever had any suburban stores. I believe it closed in the early 1970s.
    Also, a Western Pennsylvania chain called Troutmann's, that had city-centre stores in Greensburgh, Butler, Connelsville and a few other SW PA small cities. Not sure whatever happened to them, but, I lived in the eastern Pittsburgh suburbs in the late 70s & early 80s and remember the Troutmann's stores in city-centre Greensburgh as well as the Westmorland Mall outlet.

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  148. Thanks - I will try to get Troutman's into the museum if I can find enough information.
    Bruce

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  149. Can't believe you've completely missed one of the earliest Department Stores in the US. 'The Great Department Store' in Lewiston, Maine, opened in the 1890's and later became Peck's. This was the biggest department store north of Manhattan for decades.

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  150. Well this is a hobby, not science, so believe it. Anyway, it IS listed as a branch of Filene's.

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  151. Rothchild's in Minneapolis. My Grandma took me there and to Young-Quinlan.

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  152. There was a department store in Boston MA in the late 1950's called Raymond's.

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  153. Kingsmills is going out of business as of 2014.

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  154. If interested, I can share quite a bit about the Loveman's in downtown Chattanooga and Eastgate Mall in the 1960's and early 1970's.

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  155. Can share information about Loveman's downtown Chattanooga and Eastgate Mall in the sixties and early seventies if you like. Also Miller Bros. if you are interested.

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  156. Hello! That would be wonderful, since I could expand the exhibits for these stores. Please e-mail me at bakgraphics@comcast.net. I'd like to hear anything you know about these stores.
    Bruce

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  157. any reason why Orbach's is not on the list? or did i miss something; thank you.

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  158. Hello. I stumbled on this wonderful site when looking for information on Britt's Department Store in Millbrae, California. That building then became Mervyns, then Kohls and is now empty. I did not see Britt's or Mervyns on the list, that were great stores and now gone.

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  159. You missed one of the last remaining independent department stores in the country: Wilson's in Greenfield, MA : http://wilsonsdepartmentstore.com/

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  160. I LOVE this site. I'm from Grand Rapids Michigan which had some wonderful department stores. Take a look at what we are looking to do in replicating a department store from 1967 for a Christmas movie "The Santa Hat" www.TheSantaHat.com

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  161. Holthausen's Department Store, -- the store of A. Holthausen Inc. on Bergenline Avenue in Union City, NJ---, about a square block and one of the classiest stores on the Avenue, had live elevator operators announcing each floor. founded by Arend Holthausen and, after his death, run by Valesko Hugo ( store from 1878-1970's)

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