North Attleboro Historical Society presents a talk on Department Stores. Downtown Department Stores were once the soul of America’s Broadways and Main Streets. They were much more than mere businesses selling goods. Hometown department stores symbolized a city’s individuality, energy, wealth, and progressiveness. They were local institutions where people could listen to concerts, see fashion shows and art exhibits, learn how to knit or play bridge, pay utility bills, plan vacations, and eat lunch. For women, they served almost as personal clubs. The story of the downtown department store is as fascinating and diverse as the stores’ names, owners, and merchandise lines. Jan Whitaker will present her research into department stores and will be illustrated with images from her collection, focusing especially on the department stores of New England. Jan is the author of two books on the history of department stores. Service & Style is about the rise of American department stores, while The World of Department Stores features stores from around the globe.
The meeting takes place in the Little Red Schoolhouse next door to the Woodcock Garrison House at 362 North Washington Street in North Attleborough. The meeting is free and open to the public.