John Wanamaker: Philadelphia Merchant

By Herbert Ershkowitz | Go to book overview

CHAPTER SIX
Rebuilding the Stores
1903–1912

At the start of the new century, John Wanamaker was at the height of his fame. The Dry Goods Economists,the leading retailing trade journal, in November 1899 acknowledged Wanamaker's accomplisments, writing that Wanamaker deserved “the credit for originating and first adopting many of the modern methods of retailing.” But Wanamaker still had his greatest accomplishment ahead of him: the building of a new store which, other than Independance Hall and City Hall, would be the most famous building in Philadelphia. More importantly for visitors and local citizens during the next ninety years, this store became the physical and ceremonial center of Philadelphia. For many of these people, going to Philadelphia meant going to Wanamaker's.

Although he remained at most times quite vigorous for someone past 60 years of age, Wanamaker continued to suffer debilitating, long-lasting winter colds that left him bedridden or unable to talk. To try to avoid them, he headed to Europe, particularly to the German spas adored by the trans-Atlantic elite. Arriving in the off-season to almost empty hotels, Wanamaker rested his voice. He also took side trips to warner climates in Italy and even India. Before coming home, he was sure to visit Paris for his annual buying trip, meeting with his buyers as they prepared for the fall fashion season. The ceoos-Atlantic

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John Wanamaker: Philadelphia Merchant
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents *
  • Acknowledgments 6
  • Preface to the Series 7
  • Introduction 9
  • Chapter One - Beginnings 1838-1861 13
  • Chapter Two - A Philadelphia Merchant 1861-1877 33
  • Chapter Three - Grand Depot 1877-1888 55
  • Chapter Four - Politics 1880-1905 79
  • Chapter Five - Merchant Prince 1890-1902 103
  • Chapter Six - Rebuilding the Stores 1903–1912 129
  • Chapter Seven - Last Years 1912-1922 159
  • Bibliographic Essay 189
  • Notes 197
  • Index 225
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