Thanks to the generosity of corporate security veteran Lloyd Joseph Mecca, who is an avid collector of retail memorabilia and books, The Department Store Museum can display a collection of department store security badges.
The nostalgia for long-gone local retailers often focuses on memories of the stores' buildings, events, and employees, but the importance of the security staff who kept associates and customers safe while protecting the stores' investment in merchandise should not be overlooked.. In a very real way, these employees helped keep prices reasonable for the shoppers who patronized America and Canada's memorable department stores.
Actually, if you got too close to one of these badges, it meant you could be in a fair amount of trouble! For other customers, the familiar uniformed personnel who wore these badges offered a vision of security, service and protection that was also supported by a less-visible plain-clothes staff, who may have carried the badges in their pocket as identification and a sign of authority.
|Abraham & Straus|
|Lord & Taylor|
|Strawbridge & Clothier|
|Woodward & Lothrop|