John Wanamaker Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

Born: July 11, 1838 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died: December 12, 1922 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Biography | show moreshow less
In 1875, JOHN WANAMAKER (1838-1922) established the first department store, bringing a collection of specialty stores together under one roof in the former freight depot of the Pennsylvania Railroad in Philadelphia. Wanamaker, who was one of the first major retailers to employ advertising agencies to sell his goods, was also a leader in offering "fringe benefits" to his employees, who enjoyed paid vacations, health care, life insurance, pensions and financial aid for further education. As Postmaster General under President Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893), Wanamaker issued the first commemorative stamps (over protests from Congress) and proved these could be moneymakers.

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