The First Department Store

September 17, 2012 in Trivia

A.T. Stewart's Retail Store, Broadway and 10th Street, from Robert N. Dennis collection of stereoscopic viewsQ: When was the first department store opened?

A: In 1848, the Marble Dry Goods Palace opened on Broadway in New York City. Owned by Alexander Turney Stewart, the Marble Dry Goods Palace was the largest shop in the world, taking up the entire length of a city block.

In 1823, Stewart had emigrated to New York from Ireland, where he was a schoolmaster of little means, to start his own business. By the time of his death in 1870, Stewart’s company had an annual income of about $70 million. His personal fortune was estimated at $80 million.