• 1861 Wanamaker's became the first store to guarantee the quality of its merchandise in print.

  • 1865 Wanamaker's became the first store to have a guaranteed refund policy.

  • 1876 Wanamaker's opened the first public restaurant in a department store.

  • 1878 Wanamaker's became the first department store to be illuminated by electricity.

  • 1879 Bell telephone first used in a store.

  • 1880 First pneumatic tubes installed as cash carriers.

  • 1882 Elevators first installed.

  • 1896 John Wanamaker Commercial Institute established for young employees.

  • 1899 Pianos sold at the then-revolutionary fixed-price system.

  • 1910 Motion pictures of funeral of Edward VII first shown in America.

  • 1911 Largest organ in the world from St. Louis World's Fair inaugurated in the Grand Court. Building dedicated December 30 by President William H. Taft.

  • 1912 Wanamaker's, the first store in the nation to have a wireless, received news of the sinking of the Titanic.

  • 1915 Athletic field opened on the roof of the Philadelphia store.

  • 1916 New store medical offices opened with free care to employees.

  • 1918 Public singing of Christmas carols in the Grand Court inaugurated.

  • 1919 First Wanamaker Musicians' Assembly with the Grand Organ and Philadelphia Orchestra under Leopold Stokowski.

  • 1922 Organ concerts broadcast for the first time on Wanamaker station WOO.

  • 1948 First televised production of Wagner's "Parsifal" in the Grand Court, with the Philadelphia Orchestra.

  • 1956 Premiere of the store Christmas Light Show, continued today by Macy's.

  • 1980 The Wanamaker Organ becomes the first pipe organ to be designated a National Historic Landmark.




Wanamaker Building Dimensions

480' by 250' by 247' high

Grand Court Dimensions

112' long by 64' wide by 149' high



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