The Business Biography of John Wanamaker: Founder and Builder, America's Merchant Pioneer from 1861 to 1922; with Glimpses of Rodman Wanamaker and Thomas B. Wanamaker

The Business Biography of John Wanamaker: Founder and Builder, America's Merchant Pioneer from 1861 to 1922; with Glimpses of Rodman Wanamaker and Thomas B. Wanamaker

The Business Biography of John Wanamaker: Founder and Builder, America's Merchant Pioneer from 1861 to 1922; with Glimpses of Rodman Wanamaker and Thomas B. Wanamaker

The Business Biography of John Wanamaker: Founder and Builder, America's Merchant Pioneer from 1861 to 1922; with Glimpses of Rodman Wanamaker and Thomas B. Wanamaker

Excerpt

Daily contact with the Wanamaker genius for a period of 3 years is the source of this business biography. In parts it is autobiographic, as it uses wherever possible John Wanamaker's writings and utterances, many of them made within the intimacy of his store family. His church and patriotic activities are touched upon only as they affect his business life. Certain public tributes are included because they had an influence on his life and work.

The sub-title of the book -- "Founder and Builder" -- is taken from his own subscription to one of his business editorials (reproduced on the adjoining page), and seems to be typical; for John Wanamaker founded a system and philosophy of business, and builded thereon an enduring structure.

In this editorial he was writing of "the store of the future . . . always approaching completion, but never complete so long as anything remains to be done to remove its defects, bring it nearer to perfection and add to its usefulness." He was conscious that even the founder and builder never completes the structure of business because business is fluid -- a continuing evolution -- never finished even in its policies and systems. "No one ever sees the whole of anything at first," he wrote, "often it is only the little edges that are in sight." And then referring to his own business he added: "Few dreamed of the yearly outgrow and outpour of this com-

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