Lit Brothers, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

"A Great Store in a Great City"

Lit Brothers store, stetching from 7th to 8th Streets
 along Market Street in Philadelphia

The Corner of Market and 7th streets,
showing the 7-story 1919 addition to Lit Brothers

Lit Brothers (1891)
701 East Market Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

WA 2-8880

First Floor South
Fine Jewelry Centre, Dept. 331• Jewelry, Dept 131 • Silverware, Dept. 136 • Handbags, Dept. 136 • Gloves, Dept 180 • Hosiery, Dept 184 • Rainwear, Dept 135 • Neckwear, Dept. 111  Hat Bar, Dept. 173  Notions, Dept 115 • Cosmetics, Dept 130 • Drugs and Toiletries • Candy Shop, Dept 301 • Stationery, Dept 138 • Cameras, Dept. 126 • Watch and Jewelry Repair Centre • The Jefferson Room Restaurant

First Floor North
Shoe Salon, Dept 195 • Naturalizer Shoes, Dept. 190 • Casual Shoes, Dept. 192 • Men's Shoes, Dept. 196 • Children's Shoes, Dept. 193 • First Floor Sportswear, Dept 113 • Blouses, Dept 112  Sweaters, Dept 114  First Floor Lingerie, Dept. 107  First Floor Sleepwear, Dept. 108 • Table Linens, Dept. 106 • White Sewing Machine Centre, Dept. 333

First Floor - Seventh Street
Men's Furnishings, Dept 150 • Men's Sportswear, Dept. 139 • Boys' Furnishings, Dept 153 • Boys' Shop, Dept 145 • Sporting Goods, Dept. 295

Second Floor - Lits Fashion Centre
Misses' Dresses, Dept 160 • Casual Shop, Dept 187 • Uniforms, Dept. 188 • Daytime Dresses, Dept 199 • Sutton Shop, Dept. 162 • Women's Dresses, Dept 163 • Town and Country, Dept. 164 • After-Five Dresses, Dept. 103 • The Corner Shop, Dept. 175 • Young Elegant Shop, Dept. 103 • Misses' Sportswear, Dept 152, 159 • Active Sportswear, Dept 161, 169 • Blouses, Dept. 165 • Coats, Dept 156 • Women's Coats, Dept. 182 • Rain or Shine Coats, Dept.174 • Pant-Coats, Dept 174 • Suits, Dept 164 • Better Coats, Dept 176 • Millinery Salon, Dept 170 • Fur Salon, Dept 168 • Lingerie, Dept 107, 110 • Maternity Shop, Dept 155 • Sleepwear, Dept 109 • Leisurewear, Dept 198 • Corset Salon, Dept 181 • Good Neighbor Auditorium
Junior Colony Junior Sportswear, Dept 171 • Junior Dresses, Dept 160, 179 • Junior Coats, Dept 178 • Young Junior Shop, Dept. 197 • You Two Shop
Children's World Infants', Dept 185 • Toddlers', Dept 186 • Boys' 4-7, Dept 185, 189 • Girls' 3-6x, Dept 166 • Girls' Lingerie, Dept. 189  Girls' 7-14, Dept 167  Girls' Outerwear, Dept. 142 • Hi-Teen Shop, Dept 172

Second Floor - Seventh Street
Men's Clothing, Dept 140, 141 • Men's Outerwear, Dept 149 • Boys' Clothing, Dept 145 • Luggage, Dept. 137 • Books, Dept. 315

Third Floor
China and Glassware, Dept. 235 • Gifts, Dept. 240 • Housewares, Dept. 222 • Small Appliances, Dept. 221 • Magicolor Paint Centre, Dept. 223 • Famous Appliance Centre, Dept. 276 • Home Heating, Dept. 231 • Floor Care, Dept. 270 • Custom Home Improvement, Dept. 318, 321 • Television Centre, Dept. 275 • Radio Centre, Dept. 275 • Records, Dept. 339 • Patio Furniture, Dept. 230 • Garden Shop, Dept. 223 • Slipcovers, Dept. 215 • Trim-A-Tree, Dept. 245 • Magic Lady Toyland, Dept 244 • Beauty Salon • Fabric Centre, Dept. 100 • Beauty Salon, Dept. 310

Fourth Floor
Modern Furniture, Dept. 200 • Traditional Furniture, Dept. 202 • Dining Room Furniture, Dept. 205 • Colonial Furniture, Dept. 206 • Chairs, Dept. 203 • Sleep Center, Dept. 204 • Broadloom, Dept. 212 • Pictures, Dept. 235 • Lamps, Dept 236 • Mirrors, Dept 237 • Gifts, Dept 240

Fifth Floor
Domestics, Dept. 105 •  • Bedspreads, Dept. 214 • Curtains and Drapes, Dept. 215 • Records, Dept 336

Sixth Floor

Seventh Floor
Restaurant • Men's Grill
(500,000 s.f)

Upper Darby
69th St. & Ashby Rd.
115,000 sq. ft.

Trenton, NJ

South Broad and Front Streets
Acquired Swern & Co.

Castor & Cottman Shopping Center

Camden, NJ
Broadway & Federal Streets
155,000 sq. ft.

Morrisville, NJ
Morrisville Shopping Center
N. Pennsylvania & E. Trenton Aves.
31,000 sq. ft.

Atlantic City
Atlantic Ave.  & Carolina

Willow Grove
Snellenburg Shopping Center
York Road & Easton Pike
1962 b. 1963
75,000 sq. ft.

Oregon Ave. Shopping Center
Oregon Ave & 23rd St.
105,000 sq. ft.

Lawrence Park Shopping Center
Sproul & Lawrence Roads, Broomall
1962 b. 1960
100,000 sq. ft.

Plymouth Meeting Mall
Hickory Rd. & W. Germantown Pike
Plymouth Twp.
185,000 sq. ft.

Echelon Mall (1970)
Voorhees, NJ

Berkshire Mall (1970)

Neshaminy Mall (1974)
Bensalem Twp.

Coming in due course.


  1. The Lit's at lawrence Park used the early 1960's typecast on the building.

  2. In the mid-50s, Lit Bros. gobbled up another famous Philadelphia store, Snellenburg's ("The Thrifty Store for Thrifty People"). I wonder if you have any plans for adding Snellenburg's to the list of exhibits?

  3. The 4 Lits's locations that opened in 1962 (Willow Grove, Lawrence Park, South Philadelphia, and Atlantic City) are the 4 former branch stores of Snellenburg's

  4. Thank you for posting this. I used a link to this blog on my blog about some Lit Brothers Ephemera.

  5. Diane:

    You are welcome. It's sad that Lit Brothers id gone for so long - even in the 1970s, when I first became interested in these stores, Lit's had just closed.


  6. If you want to see the LB ephemera, here is the link to my blog:
    You don't need to post this if you don't want, I just thought the article might interest you. Diane

  7. Diane:
    It certainly is worth sharing with anyone who has an interest in Lit Brothers, or history in general.



  8. The Plymouth Meeting Lits is now a Boscov's. It was a Hess's for a while before that...I think the original (to Lits) furnishings are still in that store.

  9. I am doing a project of Lits in Philadelphia. I was wondering if you had any additional information and if so if you could email me it at

  10. Hi Steve,
    My grandmother had a Lit Brothers women's wool trench coat with silk lining that she wore everywhere. It was meant a great deal to her. I really want to find out more about this coat but there is not much on the internet. Would you be able to lend some advise on where I would be able to find more information about this coat?


  11. I worked at Lits center city Philadelphia store in 1975 and was the best place to be at holiday time as that store had the best ever candy department.

  12. Hi BAK!You forgot the basement at Lit's which was a store within the store which even had its own resturant. Back in the mid 1960s I rememeber the furniture floor was the highest floor customers could go and the air conditioning stopped the floor below. I believe the top floor had a giant auditorium with stage. The company didn't go to separate store inventories until 1965-1966.

  13. I have a product (litnette inv human hair net) from lit's &b@ was wondering if anyone had info on it?

  14. I have a litnette inv human hair net from lits. Any info on it?

  15. I have a 1967 Lit Brothers company newsletter. I'll scan it for you if you are interested...

    1. My grandmother worked at Lit brothers for over 30 years . I've recently inherited her 5 years 10 years Abby Natlie brothers bracelets with charm would like to know further information on them

  16. I would love to see it, and incorporate parts into the Department Store Museum. You may e-mail to


  17. BAK, I don't know if this would interest you, but Lit Brothers is the only department store that is confirmed as having done business with the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. The sales ledgers are presumed to have been destroyed in the fire; if either of the Triangle's owners had backup copies, they never admitted to it. The only reason anyone knows about the connection is that earlier on the day of the Triangle Fire, one of Lit Brothers' buyers was at the factory. She was called to testify at the trial.

    Incidentally, the store name is misspelled in the trial transcript as "Litt", thanks to a court recorder a century ago. I've also seen the misspelling on more modern sources, like photographs. This caused me a sleepless night of research, as it turns out that there was also a "Litt Brothers" chain in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana, but it was founded after 1929.

    Anyway, I thought that it was an interesting bit of relevant trivia. I'll check back to see if you'd like the links. :) (Also, I really ought to set up my research blog. It would make things easier all around.)


  18. Manager Charlmont Candy01 September, 2012 22:06

    I worked for Price Candy Co.selling Charlmont Candies in all of the Lit Brothers stores.

    1. i worked in security from 1968 til 1977

  19. i have a armiore piece from lit brothers philadelphia its sometime before the 30s but not sure can some one help me with were i can fine info

  20. I remember going to Lits every year at Christmas. We would go by bus from Trenton and My mom would take us to see the Christmas village. Of course there was a stop at Wanamaker's to see the tree and maybe lunch.

    My Grandma worked for the Lits store in Trenton until it closed. I was still young when that happened. I still have really good memories of going there.

  21. My father had 3 monkeys that he said were from the window display, 1960, any info?

  22. Thank you for putting together this site. My Dad worked at S&C at 8th and Market for 45+ years, was the silver, glass and china buyer. We used to watch Santa climb the fire ladder into Gimbels from Dad's office in the S&C building. I remember the first year in the Gallery and they removed a huge white panel in the wall of the Gallery to allow Santa to climb in.
    I am now in an office on the 5th floor of the Lit's building, does anyone know if this was a retail floor or an office floor, the office overlooks 8th street including the corner overlooking the old Gimbel's site.

  23. Yes the 5th floor housed the executive offices.It was beautiful,and was called Magahony Row.

  24. have a beautiful white pitcher and water basin from lit brothers is ther any sites for value

  25. The Lit Brothers store was in Morrisville PA not New Jersey.

  26. My Dad worked in the federal building at 9th. and Market,over top of the post office. We used to sit outside on the balcony and watch Santa climb up the ladder and go into Gimbels at the Thanksgiving day parade.About 1948.They were great times.

  27. stephanie helm14 June, 2013 12:06

    i have a beautiful sequin blouses with the Lit Brothers tag on it. any information you can give me on it. It weighs at least a 1/2 pound.

  28. Does anyone remember a Lenny Max the Northeast store manager in the 70's?

  29. James Trovarello09 October, 2013 11:16

    I worked at Lit's Beginning in 1967 in the 8th and Market store as a stock boy in the women's fashion shoe department, later becoming a salesman in the same department. But the real fun began in 1969 when I became a store detective also occasionally serving as a night watchman when the regular guy was off. I knew every inch of the store and had a tremendous amount of fun working with a great bunch of people that became great friends. The work was sometimes dangerous as I was shot at by a fleeing shoplifter and became embroiled in many physical struggles while apprehending thieves. The then Police Commissioner Frank Rizzo, who often lunched at the Jefferson room observed me struggling with a thief and assisted me in controlling the guy. He asked me if I knew who he was and I said that I did. A few years later Rizzo became mayor. My father was the last employee of Lit's doing security work and lasting until 1980.

  30. Thanks my father worked for lit brothers for 27 years and never got a pension because they closed there doors.

  31. Nice site! Does anyone know what became of Jacob Lit's widow, Gladys (Carruthers) Lynch - Lit? I know she was about twenty years younger than her husband who died in 1950. She may have died shortly after her husband. I am trying to find Gladys younger sister, Helen Carruthers. Thank you.

  32. I remember as a kid driving by the Oregon ave store. it was border up and I was always fascinated with the building. to this day I have a fascination with old historic abandon buildings. this is a great the history

  33. Can anyone tell me more about the great Christmas train layout I vividly recall from my childhood at Lits Market St store in the 1970s, it was on the ground floor grand court and was spectacular, but most research rarely comments on it focusing mostly on the Christmas Village. What happened to it after Lits closed? I wish someone would set one up again there.

  34. Does anyone remember the Jefferson Room restaurant at the center city location?

  35. I worked in the advertising dept. 1969-1971. It was on the fifth floor, just down from the mahogany offices, but rather decrepit. We used to eat lunch in the Jefferson Room and that's where I first had a chef salad. It was huge. We sometimes went across the street to Strawbridge's. It was my first experience in a big city and I loved it.

  36. My memory of the Jefferson Room was that it was by the men's dept. Somehow, I always thought it was on the first floor. In 1974 or 75, they had a kids' ''Shopping Bag Special'' For a dollar, you got a little shopping bag with a hot dog, drink, chips and a little plastic Snoopy. I still have the Snoopy. I remember getting open faced hot turkey platters before that. It came with ''Ambrosia Salad''. It was iceberg lettuce with cranberry sauce, mandarin orange slices and shredded coconut on top. One time my father ordered a corned beef sandwich. He sent it back because it was so skimpy on the corned beef. The restaurant had a colonial theme. I can't remember of it was painted light blue, then, changed to light yellow or vice versa.

  37. My Grandmother used to take us to the Christmas Village in downtown Philadelphia every year when I was a kid. We would always eat lunch at the Jefferson Room Restaurant where I got my annual BLT, no tomato on toast and a red jello with whipped cream. That was back in the 1960s and was always the highlight of my year. I loved riding the subway and seeing all the beautifully decorated store displays. What wonderful memories!

    1. In my memory, the Jefferson Room was on the first floor by the Men's dept. Was it on the first floor?

    2. Yes, it looks like to Colonial-style restaurant was dedicated in October, 1961.

  38. I have a Hallett Davis floor model phonograph that was sold by Lit Brothers in 1922, does anyone have additional information?

  39. Marvin M Litvak24 March, 2015 15:45

    My father Bernard Litvak was president of Lits in the Fifties and Sixties. He oversaw the expansion into the suburbs, as I recall. When I visited on some weekends, we would walk through the competitors' stores to see what they had going.

  40. I have a Lit Brothers Million Dollar Lit Day Coin dated Oct.5th 1931 with the Philadelphia pictured . Does it have any value ?

  41. I modeled for Lit Brothers in the late 1950's. My grandmother worked in the fur dept.

  42. Thanks for posting this! I was a little girl when Lits was still there and had their wonderful Christmas village display; my, what a wonderful thing that was!

  43. My mother worked at the downtown Lit Bros in the 1960's . She was in the cafeteria and I would visit her at work a couple of times a year and also get to go to the Xmas Village during the holidays. As a kid, it was a big deal going "backstage" to the employees areas and afterwards, I'd always go into Gimbles across the street and Wanamakers a few blocks away. My family is still in the close suburbs but going downtown has no special meaning what so ever

  44. Thanks for your insight - I also feel that without the great department stores, uniquely beautiful hotels, popular (and often "continental") restaurants (maybe with dancing, even), and spectacular film theatres, you are absolutely correct: "downtown has no special meaning whatsoever." It's true.

  45. Your pictures of Lit Brothers Department Store has brought back many memories. My grandmother worked in the Men's Dept. retired from the Center City-Market Street store in the late 1960's. Our family would visit our grandmother, Elizabeth 'Betty' McGlinn-Hehl, and then Santa every Christmas. Then right out of high school, I was fortunate to have my first job at the new Echelon Mall store-1976--Hosiery Dept. Job training was in Market Street. There were two floors under street level with subway access to the Bargain Basement--and Training Rooms. Very exciting adventure. Thank you so very much :)

  46. You are very welcome. I am glad someone remembers Lit Brothers!

  47. I grew up a mile from Lit Brothers at Echelon Mall Voorhees NJ. My mom worked there too. Before Lit Brothers occupied the 8th and Market location, J.B. Lippincott, a publisher, occupied that location, there was a fire before Lit Brothers ever occupied the space. Lippincott was the original publisher of To Kill a Mockingbird. They are still publishing today, although the name and owners changed a few times. I know all this as I have worked for Lippincott since 1996. Coincidentally after Lit Brothers closed, a bar named Market Street Live occupied the lower level of the former Lit Brothers location. I met a man there in 1991 that became my husband and we have been married over 21 years now, the same building that the company I would work for for 20 years was formally located in. Anyway, I have a special love for Lit Brothers. I have a gift box and a Stock Certificate I saved too.

  48. I grew up a mile from Lit Brothers at Echelon Mall Voorhees NJ. My mom worked there too. Before Lit Brothers occupied the 8th and Market location, J.B. Lippincott, a publisher, occupied that location, there was a fire before Lit Brothers ever occupied the space. Lippincott was the original publisher of To Kill a Mockingbird. They are still publishing today, although the name and owners changed a few times. I know all this as I have worked for Lippincott since 1996. Coincidentally after Lit Brothers closed, a bar named Market Street Live occupied the lower level of the former Lit Brothers location. I met a man there in 1991 that became my husband and we have been married over 21 years now, the same building that the company I would work for for 20 years was formally located in. Anyway, I have a special love for Lit Brothers. I have a gift box and a Stock Certificate I saved too.