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Department stores

Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings

Found in 11 Collections and/or Records:

Abraham & Straus Department Store paper model

Accession: 1996-205

Abraham & Straus was a Brooklyn, New York based department store chain. It started in 1865 as Wechsler & Abraham, founded by Abraham Abraham (1843-1911) and Joseph Wechsler (1837-1896) in downtown Brooklyn. In 1893, the Straus family, part owners of R.H. Macy and Company, bought out Wechsler, and the name changed to Abraham & Straus. This collection is a paper fold-out model of the Abraham & Straus Department Store in Brooklyn, New York.

Dates: circa 1894

Herbert James Tily miscellany

Accession: 2524

Herbert James Tily (1866-1948) was bookkeeper, auditor, chief accountant, and then general manager of Strawbridge & Clothier. He organized the Strawbridge & Clothier Chorus of store employees. The miscellany collection contains news clippings and ephemera describing Tily's work at Strawbridge's, with the Chorus, and in civic affairs. Additionally, there is a copy of the sheet music for "The Slave's Dream," a musical setting for a Longfellow poem.

Dates: 1911-1948; Majority of material found within 1932-1940

John Wanamaker store ephemera

Accession: 1995-287

In 1875, Philadelphia merchant, John Wanamaker, bought a freight railroad depot at 13th and Market Streets and made it Philadelphia’s first department store. In 1909, Wanamaker bought a huge pipe organ and installed it in Grand Court of the new building. Octave Denis Victor Guillonnet (1872-1967) was a French painter and medallic artist. This collection is a folded momento with of a reproduction of "Adoration of the Magi" triptych painted by O. D. V. Guillonnet which was exhibited in the Organ Loft, Grand Court of the John Wanamaker store, Philadelphia.

Dates: 1928

Kay Brownlee papers

Accession: 2261

Kay Brownlee (1912-1971) was employed at the Philadelphia department store B.F. Dewees. She was originally a buyer for women's fashions, but later rose to be personnel director, a post she held until the store closed in the late 1960s. This collection contains personal and family items from Kay Brownlee, records from Brownlee's work as personnel director of B.F. Dewees department store, and documents regarding the operations of the store and its female employees.

Dates: 1906-1964; Majority of material found within 1939-1964

Kennard-Pyle Company Centennial Celebration photographs

Accession: 1986-232

Kennard-Pyle Company was a department store known for its women's clothing, and in the late-twentieth century it was one of Delaware's oldest independent clothing retailer. The collection consists of photographs relating to the Kennard's Department Store centennial celebration (1846-1946).

Dates: 1946

Kennard-Pyle Company records

Accession: 1044

Kennard-Pyle Company was a department store known for its women's clothing. By the late twentieth century, it was one of Delaware's oldest independent clothing retailers.

Dates: 1906-1946

Sears, Roebuck and Company ephemera

Accession: 1992-255

Sears, Roebuck & Company is a department store chain. This collection consists of seven pieces of ephemera from the company.

Dates: 1904

Strawbridge and Clothier photographs and audiovisual materials

Accession: 1995-250

Strawbridge & Clothier was the last family-owned major department store chain in the Greater Philadelphia area. The store was founded as a partnership by Justus C. Strawbridge (1838-1911) and Isaac H. Clothier (1837-1921) on July 1, 1868 at 8th and Market Streets in Center City Philadelphia. This collection contains photographs, negatives, transparencies, lantern slides, glass negatives, slides, audio tapes, videotapes, and films from Strawbridge & Clothier. It is valuable to those researching all aspects of retail: history, architecture, department stores, shopping malls, employment, operations, promotion, advertising, fashion, and merchandising. Other topics include family-owned businesses, distinguished Quaker families, business response on the homefront during World War II, the Gallery and Market East, and Philadelphia and its environs. There are also proposal albums from the Pavlik Design Team of store design for the Cherry Hill, King of Prussia, and Willow Grove stores and from Neil/Carter Design Associates for Heritage Hall in the Market Street store.

Dates: 1878-1990

Strawbridge & Clothier construction progress album

Accession: 2022-205

Strawbridge & Clothier was the last family-owned major department store chain in the Greater Philadelphia area. The store was founded as a partnership by Justus C. Strawbridge (1838-1911) and Isaac H. Clothier (1837-1921) on July 1, 1868, at 8th and Market streets in Center City, Philadelphia. Success had brought the need for a new building, and it was decided to remain at 8th and Market. Construction on the new store began in July 1928. The thirteen-story, $10 million store was dedicated in October 1932. This small album documents the construction progress of the store on 8th and Market streets from 1929 to 1930 and the store opening in 1932.

Dates: 1929-1932

Strawbridge & Clothier records

Accession: 2117
Scope and Content: The Strawbridge & Clothier records are not a complete corporate archive but rather a mix of corporate and legal documents and materials collected for a two-volume anniversary history. Nevertheless, they give a good overall picture of the evolution of retailing in the Philadelphia area, particularly in the twentieth century.The Corporate records include incorporation papers, board and committee minutes, and annual reports, which give an overall view of the firm's operations.The Management records are limited to very fragmentary correspondence of the corporate secretaries and president Herbert J. Tily. Much of it concerns bank financing, authorizations, and accounts. There are also executive payrolls (1931-1950), employment contracts for top executives, and notes on executive development programs.Financial and accounting records include fragmentary runs of journals and ledgers, including a sales ledger (1881) and a sales & salaries ledger (1903-1906); financial statements for S&C and the rival Lit Brothers chain; and tax papers.Legal records include trial records relative to the failed hostile takeover attempt made by Ronald Baron in 1985-1986. There are transcripts of testimony from the major parties on both sides. This subgroup also contains a variety of miscellaneous legal papers, including settlements with S&C's foreign offices and various suppliers in London, Paris, and Berlin (1921-1926); merchandising agreements with domestic and foreign manufacturers (1896-1907); and claims case files (1906 and 1911).Real estate records include title papers for the company's flagship store at 8th & Market Streets (1793-1922); contracts for store construction; and some plans for twentieth century construction. Four linear feet of store appraisals for the flagship store are detailed lists for insurance purposes of the store, its fixtures, and contents (1948-1970).Branch store records include plans, publicity articles, brochures, and scrapbooks, plus leases, mortgages, contracts, and insurance appraisals of store and contents for the following branch stores beginning in 1930: Ardmore, Jenkintown, Springfield, Neshaminy, Plymouth Meeting, and Exton, Pennsylvania; Cherry Hill and Echelon, New Jersey; and Wilmington and Christiana, Delaware. This subgroup documents the growth of suburban shopping strips and shopping malls during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, including malls...
Dates: 1793-1996

The Kleinhans Company department store display window photographs

Accession: 2023-216

The Kleinhans Company was a high-end men's clothing store located in Buffalo, New York. Edward Kleinhans (1864-1934) and his brother, Horace Kleinhans (1852-1903), opened the store in 1893. The original store was located in the Brisbane Building. This small collection of photographs of window displays at Kleinhans features men's clothing and the tagline "Kleinhans - Where Women Like to Shop for Men!" All images credit Clement Kieffer Jr. (1888-1968), display director; most seem to be intended for Display World magazine. The images date from 1955 to 1958.

Dates: 1955-1958