The on-line museum of North America's independent department stores. The museum holds all sorts of information about classic department stores which either no longer exist, or are changed beyond recognition. A few of them are still with us, and provide an interesting connection to North America's retail past. The others are presented so that they may be properly remembered as a tangible part of the lives of their customers, shopping destinations where memories were often made.
In the very early 70's I had the chance to work at Lowenstein's east. Gordon Archibald was the manager, Rady Crocker assistant manager, later Gary Carter. I went from Men's Furnishings, with Juanita Shepherd, Mgr., to the loading dock with Pete Shea as boss, with Johnnie Garrison, Ray Self, and Jimmy Waller. Mrs. Heard ran the business office, and the notorious ding-dong doorbell sounding store notification system. Mrs. B. Smith ran the Linens section and various young people placed to run the other various departments. Mrs. Coleman ran the "Charl-Mont" in store cafeteria. Store security was Lt. Joe Tucker,of the Memphis Police Department off duty, Mike Dennis and Jeff Johnston. This was my first real full time job!!ReplyDelete
It was a great place to work and I have nothing but really great memories of the people who worked there. Due to age, I have forgotten some of them. One notable exception was Mr. Royal, Manager Emeritus, who always wore a 3 piece suit and white carnation (real) in his lapel. He actually knew one of the Lownestein family in his time. Mr. Royal was in his earlry 80's at this time period.
I left to join the Memphis Police Department but always remembered the wonderful people I worked with.
One last bad memory was the annual sidewalk sale in front of the store. Held in mid July, it was a miserably hot time to hold that sale!! Off loading those canvas sealed merchandise bins was literal "hell on wheels." They were always loaded to the bursting point and 4 man lift heavy. A fellow named "Prince" Nelson handled the delivery, full size, tractor trailer rig with the ease one would a wheel barrow.
Wonderful times, and I recall the store always was full of shoppers.
John "Igor" Dwyer Wereraccoon@aol.com
Growing up in Memphis, I fondly remember the display windows in December at Lowensteins Main St store. Mr. Bingle had his own TV show for a few weeks - singing and dancing (Mr. Bingle was a snowman with an ice cream cone hat!
Since credit cards were just over the horizon, the well-to-do had 'charge-a-plates' and could pay at the end of the month. Yes, I remember the pneumatic tubes. Lowensteins, Goldsmiths and even the mid-town Sears had them.
When I was in high school, there was a class called "Office Practice" that taught every piece of office equipment used in the Department Stores. Typewriters, Spirit Masters (an early copies, adding machines and even the comptometer was part of the curriculum. Each spring the department stores that used comptometers had a contest for high school students with the best offered summer jobs in the accounting department. I was lucky to take part in 1965.
There was always a giant model train layout in December - truly a Winter Wonderland.
Wow I cannot believe you remember all of those names .Jello John this is Ray Self That was an incredible time Thanks for the Memories. We could talk a lot about those times for sure some great times and some things we probably don't want to talk about 😊Delete
Hey Ray Self,Jimmy Waller & John Iger, this is Bobby Roach and I worked at Lowenstein's from 1972 - 1978 and what a blast we had back then. I started out working on the back dock unloading trucks and we worked for Johnnie. He had a great room in the basement. What great times and I remember Mr. Archibald and Mr. Royal as well. I remember the night sales and going down to Danver's eating burgers and drinking beer before the big sales. What fun we had and what a great place to work.Delete
Rady Crocker was my father-in-law. My wife and mother-in-law will be thrilled to read this.ReplyDelete
I have a charge A plate still! found it in my atticReplyDelete
I worked at Lowenstein's East when I was in college, and remember Jimmy Waller and Mr. Royal very well. I worked there from September 1976 until December 1980. Dot Temple was the Personnel Manager; the store managers that I worked for were Phil DeVore and Ron Filbert, with Roger Marion as the assistant manager. Very good times--I learned a lot and enjoyed my time there.ReplyDelete
I have one of the collectors plate in excellent condition if anyone is interested, Thank you, Bonnie PritchardReplyDelete
Lowenstein's East was the goto shopping store for my family. We could combine a visit to Lowenstein's with a trip to the Kroger grocery also in the shopping center. My best memories were of the candy counter downstairs where my father sometimes gave me a dime or quarter and I would have a big bag of hard candy for a couple days. Also, downstairs is where I saw my first color RCA TV. Must have been around 1955. I was eleven years old at the time and going to Lowensteins East was a very vivid memory of mine.ReplyDelete
Loved this store! My memories date to the 1940's when my mother, sister, and I would spend all day going from Bry's to Gerber's to Lowenstein's to Goldsmith's shopping for back to school clothes. In the late 50's I worked for a law firm in the Commerce Title Building which was close to Lowensteins's. Many lunch hours were spent there, and I used their lay-away program at lot! In 1957, I was dating a young man who had spotted an evening bag in the window of Lowenstein's East which he wanted to get me for Christmas. Not having enough money, he waited until he was paid on Christmas Eve to purchase it. When he got off work downtown, drove to Lowenstein's East at Poplar and Highland, the store had closed. He called the emergency number and asked if someone would help him get this present for his girlfriend! Sure enough, an employee was sent to the store, not only sold him the purse, but Christmas wrapped it! Still have the bag! Wonderful memory of a great time of shopping in special stores known for the quality of their products and their service!ReplyDelete
What a wonderful fellow who must have liked you a lot. Do you know what happened to him? I, too, remember shopping all those stores in downtown Memphis in the late 1940s and through the 1950s. Much fun.Delete
I worked at Lowenstien's East in 1964 and 1965 summers and at Christmas. I floated between departments but spent most of my time with Mr. Scott in furniture. I also learned a lot working with the ladies in china and crystal.ReplyDelete
I recently found out my grandmother Betty Malone worked at Lowenstein after moving to Memphis from Charleston MS. She was a set designer, she can't remember how long she worked their but I was hoping to see if anyone could help me track down some of her work.ReplyDelete
Just finished posting about remembering kids names from 3rd grade. Thought I was doing pretty good. I forgot about the two-tone doorbell as you entered. I was familiar with Lowenstein's East but recall one time my mother went to the old downtown location which I could only assume was her old stomping grounds. Sad to see so much change. A far more civil time. But it too had it's troublesReplyDelete
Kathy Gorgone I worked at Lowenstein's department store in 1972.. i came from Charleston Ms. I worked in the advertising department for the Vice president Ms Laversa. It was a beautiful store and everyone was so nice to me. I was right out of high school. The lady that did the advertising drawings used my initials for initial jewelry. I bought my wedding dress there and they gave me a good employee discount. I wish the store was still there. We need beautiful independent stores like that.ReplyDelete