In retail history


Wanamaker_Organ_1904Striving to make his store the finest in the land, John Wanamaker purchased the world’s largest organ produced in 1904 for the World’s Fair in Saint Louis, MO.  The organ that had bankrupted the company that built it had languished in storage for years.

Requiring thirteen rail cars to move it to Philadelphia, the organ had over 10,000 pipes and took two years to install.  On June 22nd, 1911, the first organ performance was performed to coincide with the coronation of King George of England.  The organ was expanded several times and by 1930, it contained 28,482 pipes.

While the store has gone through a number of sales and name changes, the organ still entertains shoppers to this day over 100 years later.

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