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John Wanamaker

John Wanamaker (July 11, 1838 - December 12, 1922) was a United States businesman, considered the father of the department store. Wanamaker was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

In 1876 he purchased an abandoned railroad depot and converted it into a large store, Wanamaker's, generally considered the first department store. He opened a second store in New York City in 1896 and continued to expand his business.

Wanamaker was appointed United States Postmaster General by President Benjamin Harrison in 1889. Wanamaker served until 1893, and was credited with introducing many efficiencies to the Postal Service.


"Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don't know which half."