John Wanamaker: Philadelphia Merchant

By Herbert Ershkowitz | Go to book overview

Bibliographic Essay

The major source of Wanamaker materials is the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. After his death, the managers of the store kept Wanamaker's office, including most of his papers, together as a small museum. Although the public could visit the office located in the Philadelphia store, his papers were largely unavailable to scholars. After the store was sold in 1979 by the Wanamaker estate, the historian William Leach was given permission to use the manuscripts. With the conversion of the eight upper floors of the Philadelphia store into an office building, the contents of the office as well as the extensive archives of the Wanamaker Corporation were transferred to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Since the Historical Society received the papers, some work has been done to catalog them by William Allen Zulker, an amateur archivist, who has also published John Wanamaker, King of Merchants (Wayne, Pa. 1993). The biography contains interesting facts about the merchant's life, forty-nine photographs selected from the tens of thousands of pictures in the collection, and footnotes and a bibliography which are useful to a researcher using the collection.

The core of the collection is Wanamaker's letterbooks, which contain copies of letters sent by him from 1876 until 1922. From 1885 until his death, Wanamaker sent about 300 letters per month to customers, creditors, suppliers, and political and religious associates. These letters

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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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