Retail Stores, Mail Order, Shopping, and Display of Goods [index]

Abelson, Elaine S.  When Ladies Go A-Thieving: Middle Class Shoplifters in the Victorian Department Store.  New York: Oxford University Press, 1989.

Appel, Joseph.  A Business Biography of John Wanamaker, Founder and Builder.  New York, 1930.

Appel, Joseph H.  Growing Up with Advertising.  New York: Business Bourse, 1940.

Arceneaux, Noah.  “The Wireless Window: Department Stores and Radio Retailing in the 1920s.”  Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly 83:3 (Autumn 2006): 581-595.

Arceneaux, Noah. “Wanamaker’s Department Store and the Origins of Electronic Media, 1910–1922.” Technology and Culture 51 (October 2010): 809–828.

Beal, Thomas David.  "Selling Gotham: The Retail Trade in New York from the Public Market to Alexander T. Stewart's Marble Palace, 1625-1860."   PhD dissertation, State University of New York- Stony Brook, 1998.

Benson, Susan Porter.  Counter Cultures: Saleswomen, Managers, and Customers in American Department Stores 1890-1940.  Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1986.

Bjelopera, Jerome P.  City of Clerks: Office and Sales Workers in Philadelphia, 1870­1920.  Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2005.

Bradley, Patricia. “John Wanamaker’s ‘Temple of Patriotism’ Defines Early 20th Century Advertising and Brochures.” American Journalism 15, no. 2 (1998): 15–35.

Bronner, Simon J., ed., Consuming Visions: Accumulation and Display of Goods in America 1880-1920. New York: Norton, 1989.*

    A collection of essays by different scholars writing about the emergence of a consumer culture that placed emphasis on accumulation and display of goods in public and private spaces as a symbol of social and economic status and development.  The authors employ a material culture approach to examine the acts, customs, and institutions that created and reflected the new culture of consumption.  Individual essays examine the rise of the department store and retail display, changes in interior design, museum collections, rural consumption, and the increasing importance of "style," among other topics.  The collection, along with the extensive references included with each essay, make this a valuable resource for the study of material aspects of consumer culture.

Buckley, Jim.  The Drama of Display.  New York:  Pellegrini and Cudahy, 1953.

Centennial Book of the John Wanamaker New York Store, formerly A.T. Stewart, 1823-1924.  New York: 1924.

Cohen, Lizabeth A.  "From Town Center to Shopping Center: The Reconfiguration of Community Marketplaces in Postwar America." American Historical Review 101 (October 1996): 1050-81.

Cross, Gary S, and Robert N. Proctor.  Packaged Pleasures: How Technology and Marketing Revolutionized Desire.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2014.

Curry, Mary E.  Creating an American Institution: The Merchandising Genius of J.C. Penny.  New York: Garland, 1993.

Demers, Elizabeth Sherburn. “Keeping a Store: The Social and Commercial Worlds of John Askin in the Eighteenth-Century Great Lakes, 1763–1796.”  PhD dissertation, Michigan State University, 2010.

Deutsch, Tracey.  Building a Housewife’s Paradise: Gender, Politics, and American Grocery Stores in the Twentieth Century.  Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010.

Elvins, Sarah.  Sales & Celebrations: Retailing and Regional Identity in Western New York State, 1920-1940.  Athens: Ohio University Press, 2004.

Emmett, Boris, and John E. JeuckCatalogs and Counters: A History of Sears, Roebuck, and Company.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1950.

Esperdy, Gabrielle.  Modernizing Main Street: Architecture and Consumer Culture in the New Deal.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008.

Federhen, Deborah A., et al.  Accumulation and Display: Mass Marketing Household Goods in America, 1880-1920.  Winterthur, DE: Winterthur Museum, 1986.

Ferry, John William.  A History of the Department Store.  New York: Macmillan, 1960.

Fisch, Victoria. “The Danielewicz Store of Mokelumne Hill, California.” Western States Jewish History 44 (Fall 2011): 23–33.

Fischer, A. T.  Window and Store Display.  Garden City: Doubleday, Page, and Co., 1921.

Fitz-Gibbon, Bernice.  Macy's, Gimbels and Me: How to Earn $90,000 a Year in Retail Advertising.  New York: Simon & Schuster, 1967.

Forgosh, Linda B.  Louis Bamberger: Department Store Innovator and Philanthropist.  New York: Brandeis University Press, 2016.

Friedman, Walter A.  Birth of a Salesman: The Transformation of Selling in America.  Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2004.

Fullerton, Ronald A.  “The Art of Public Relations: U.S. Department Stores, 1876-1923.”  Public Relations Review 16:3 (Fall 1990): 68-79.

Godinez, F. Laurent.  Display Window Lighting and the City Beautiful: Facts and New Ideas for Progressive Merchants.  New York, 1914.

Gruen, Victor, and Larry Smith.  Shopping Town, USA: The Planning of Shopping Centers.  New York: Reinhold, 1960.

Hardwick, M. Jeffrey.  Mall Maker: Victor Gruen, Architect of the American Dream.  Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004.

Harris, Richard. “The Birth of the North American Home Improvement Store, 1905–1929.” Enterprise & Society 10 (December 2009): 687–728.

Hendrickson, Robert.  The Grand Emporiums: The Illustrated History of America's Great Department Stores.  New York: Stein and Day, 1978.

Hine, Thomas.  The Total Package: The Evolution and Secret Meaning of Boxes, Bottles, Cans, and Tubes.  Boston: Little, Brown, 1995.

Howard, Vicki. “‘The Biggest Small-Town Store in America’: Independent Retailers and the Rise of Consumer Culture.” Enterprise & Society 9 (September 2008): 457–486.

Howard, Vicki.  From Main Street to Mall: The Rise and Fall of the American Department Store.  Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015.

Hower, Ralph M.  "Urban Retailing 100 Years Ago."  Bulletin of the Business Historical Society 12 (December 1938).

Hower, Ralph M.  History of Macy's of New York, 1858-1919.  Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1943.

Iarocci, Louisa M.  "Spaces of Desire: The Department Store in America."  PhD dissertation, Boston University, 2003.

Jackson, Kenneth T.  “All the World’s a Mall: Reflections on the Social and Economic Consequences of the Shopping Center.”  American Historical Review 101 (October 1996): 1111-1121.

Johnson, Val Marie. “‘Look for the Moral and Sex Sides of the Problem’: Investigating Jewishness, Desire, and Discipline at Macy’s Department Store, New York City, 1913.” Journal of the History of Sexuality 18 (September 2009): 457–485.

Kimbrough, Emily.  Through Charley's Door.  New York: Harper, 1952.

Kowinski, William S.  The Malling of America.  New York: William Morrow, 1984.

Kruger, David Delbert. “Changing Times, Changing Spaces: The South Dakota Stores of J. C. Penney.” South Dakota History 40 (Winter 2010): 295–334.

Kruger, David Delbert. “Main Street Empire: J. C. Penney in Nebraska.” Nebraska History 92 (Summer 2011): 54–69.

Kruger, David Delbert. “Earl Corder Sams and the Rise of J. C. Penney.” Kansas History 35 (Autumn 2012): 164–185.

Kruger, David Delbert. “This Was J. C. Penny: A Century of James Penney’s Main Street Department Stores in the Rocky Mountain West.” Montana: The Magazine of Western History 62 (Autumn 2012): 3–26.

Leach, William R.  "Strategies of Display and the Production of Desire," in Simon J. Bronner, ed., Consuming Visions: Accumulation and Display of Goods in America 1880-1920. New York: Norton, 1989.

    Leach explains major changes in retail practices and the rise of the urban retail store in the late 19th century.  He outlines a cultural shift from a "Land of Comfort" in which Americans were surrounded by natural abundance and restraint to a "Land of Desire" centered on accumulation and the creation of wants and desires by advertisers and store windows.  A key element in this shift was the use of electric lighting, colored glass, realistic mannequins, and music to transform a shop into a "retail environment," creating a spectacle and attracting potential customers.  John Wanamaker of Philadelphia, in particular, was a major innovator in the use of these modern techniques.  Leach expanded greatly on these points in his 1993 Land of Desire.  See following entry.

Leach, William R.  Land of Desire: Merchants, Power, and the Rise of a New American Culture. New York: Pantheon, 1993.

Lebhar, Godfrey M.  Chain Stores in America, 1859-1950.  Chicago: Crain, 1952.

Levinson, Marc.  The Great A&P and the Struggle for Small Business in America.  Boston: Hill & Wang, 2011.

Longstreth, Richard.  The Drive-In, the Supermarket, and the Transformation of Commercial Space in Los Angeles, 1919-1941.  Cambridge: MIT Press, 1999.

Longstreth, Richard.   “Sears, Roebuck and the Remaking of the Department Store, 1924–42.”  Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 65 (June 2006): 238–79.  

Longstreth, Richard.  The American Department Store Transformed, 1920-1960.  New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011.

Luxenberg, Stan.  Roadside Empires: How the Chains Franchised America.  New York: Viking, 1985.


MacMaster, Richard K.  “Philadelphia Merchants, Backcountry Shopkeepers, and Town-Making Fever.” Pennsylvania History 81 (Summer 2014): 342–363.

Mahoney, Tom, and Leonard Sloane.  The Great Merchants: America's Foremost Retail Institutions and the People Who Made Them Greatrev.ed.  New York: Harper and Row, 1966.

Marcus, Leonard S.  The American Store Window.  New York: Whitney Library of Design, 1978.

Mayo, James M.  The American Grocery Store: The Evolution of a Business Space.  Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1993.

O'Connor, John E. and Charles F. Cummings, “Bamberger’s Department Store, Charm Magazine, and the Culture of Consumption in New Jersey, 1924-1932.” New Jersey History 1984 102: 34 (1984): 1-33.

Pitrone, Jean M.  F.W. Woolworth and the American Five and Dime: A Social History.  Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2003.

Radtke, Terry. "Shopping in the Machine Age: Chain Stores, Consumerism, and the Politics of Business Reform." in The Quest for Social Justice, Alan D. Corre, ed. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1992.

Ressequie, Harry E.  "Alexander Turney Stewart and the Development of the Department Store, 1823-1876."  Business History Review 39 (Autumn 1965) 301-322.

Robbins, Pamela D.  "Stack 'em High and Sell 'em Cheap: James "Doc" Webb and Webb's City, St. Petersburg, Florida." PhD dissertation, Florida State University, 2003.

Scott, Peter M., and James Walker. “Sales and Advertising Expenditure for Interwar American Department Stores.” Journal of Economic History 71 (March 2011): 40–69.

Scharoun, Lisa. America at the Mall: The Cultural Role of a Retail Utopia. Jefferson: McFarland, 2012.

Smith, David Sellers. “The Elimination of the Unworthy: Credit Men and Small Retailers in Progressive Era Capitalism.” Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era 9 (April 2010): 197–220.

Smith, Mary Ann.  "John Snook and the Design for A.T. Stewart's Store."  New York Historical Society Quarterly 58 (January 1974): 18-33.

Spears, Timothy B.  100 Years on the Road: The Traveling Salesman in American Culture.  New Have: Yale University Press, 1995.

Stranger, Howard R. “The Larkin Clubs of Ten: Consumer Buying Clubs and Mail-Order Commerce, 1890–1940.”  Enterprise & Society 9 (March 2008): 125–64.

Taft, William Nelson.  The Handbook of Window Display.  New York: McGraw-Hill, 1926.

Twyman, Robert W.  History of Marshall Field & Co., 1852-1906.  Philadelphia, 1954.

Weisman, Winston.  "Commercial Palaces of New York: 1845-1875."  Art Bulletin 36 (December 1954): 285-302.

Wenger, Diane.  "Delivering the Goods: The Country Storekeeper and Inland Commerce in the Mid-Atlantic."  Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 129 (January 2005): 45-72.

Whitaker, Jan.  Service and Style: How the American Department Store Fashioned the Middle Class.  New York: St. Martin’s, 2006.

White, Sophie.  “A Baser Commerce: Retailing, Class, and Gender in French Colonial New Orleans.”  William and Mary Quarterly 63:3 (July 2006): 517-550.

Woloson, Wendy A.  “Wishful Thinking: Retail Premiums in Mid-Nineteenth Century America.”  Enterprise & Society 13:4 (December 2012): 790-831.

Wood, Barry James.  Shop Windows: 75 Years of the Art of Display.  New York, 1982.

Zukin, Sharon.  Point of Purchase: How Shopping Changed American Culture.  New York: Routledge, 2003.