Posted 10 May 2007 - 05:07
Yeah, I know I'm a little late, but as a fellow "Fluffyan," this touched off all kinds of memories. I have to chime in and say that while I do miss Strawbridge's (CC, Suburban Square, and don't forget Jenkintown!), as well as Lits ("hats trimmed free of charge") and Snellenburg's, Wanamaker's was THE store. Yeah, the Abington and Ardmore stores were nice, but CC had everything... not only the eagle and, until they fixed the one in AC, the world's largest functioning pipe organ (this is the truth; check it out), but how many other department stores boasted ...
-an antiques dept.
-a music dept. where you could buy everything from harmonicas to concert grands to harpsichords
-a full-blown shoe-repair shop
-a full-service post office
-three ladies who wrapped your gifts using glue -- never tape
-a pharmacy that looked like it was frozen in 1905 that sold not just the usual and filled 'scrips, but also offered things like straight razors, shaving brushes, and genuine horn and genuine tortoise combs
- a restaurant (Crystal Room) that was better than over half the other restaurants in the city.
- a theatre for fashion shows that was a masterpiece of 1930s Egyptian-themed deco
- John Wanamaker's original office, perfectly preserved
- a three-story grand court
- daily organ concerts (they still do this, but it's nothing like it was)
- not to mention all the historic markers embedded in the floor and walls here and there
It's sad to walk through the store now... forgive the cliche, but it really is a shell of what it used to be. It has no more soul, no more personality.
Antonios, you're very lucky to have a Strawbridge and Wanny's pen... I'd absolutely love to find one of each one day.
But Lits "made" 'em too...
When I was a kid, there was one fountain pen in the house ... a blue one with the Lit Bros name on the side. It was kept in the same tin with the other pens and pencils, but my dad only used it to write checks when he was paying bills. I was forbidden to play with it. God only knows who the manufacturer was; all I remember are 1) it was blue with a silver pull-off cap and two, had a VEY powerful lever and apparently a large sac. One day when my mom was on the phone (I was probably 4 or so), I began going through the tin, finally got my hands on the coveted pen, and wondered what that little metal thing was on its side, so I pulled it up ... and squirted ink all over the kitchen wall. Needless to say, I never saw the pen again, and got a few shots on the butt besides. Never found that pen, either; I think they gave it away to prevent a recurrence.
I think my first experience was the one that got me hooked.... but I'd love to find a Lits pen as well...
Anyway, thanks for stirring up some nice memories....