Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A London Department Store in 1809

Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Harding Howell & Co interior
Loretta reports:

I was excited in recent weeks to discover at Internet Archive a fine online collection of the beautiful early 19th C magazine, Ackermann’s Repository, courtesy the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  Though the magazines online at Google Books have been cleaned up, the fairly complete (so far as I could determine) collection of color plates and the generally good condition of the pages at Internet Archive compensates, I think, for the yellowing. 

I was particularly interested in checking out the very first volume of a high quality magazine that lasted about twenty years.
Store description

From that first volume, I present what seems to have been been London’s first department store, called Harding, Howell & Co. in 1809. The text indicates that the firm was founded by “Messrs. Dyde and Scribe” twenty-five years previously.  Naturally, I had to look them up—and wandered into a shoplifting case, here at The Proceedings of the Old Bailey.

The Repository of arts, literature, commerce, manufactures, fashions and politics, Vol. 1, 1809

Clicking on a picture will enlarge it.  Clicking on the caption will take you to the online page.


Anonymous said...

I found it interesting that one of the customers has (I assume) her dog with her while shopping. That is not a lap/carry dog, either. And while not everyone is accompanied, it must have been a frequent enough occurrence to warrant inclusion in the color plate.

Cheryl said...

Two things: First, I checked the address. Today it is the very posh home of the Royal Automobile Club!!! Second, I, too, noticed the dog. Reminded me of my last trip to England. Stopped over every morning at a local deli to get a sack lunch for later. There was a little neighborhood dog who stopped in on a regular basis for a strip of bacon from the deli owner. Once fed, off he went about his business. I thought it was so sweet. Would never happen in America. Someone would have a fit.

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