The early history of F.W. Woolworth Co. - the pioneering 5 & 10¢ Store
Frank's Business Card From Syndicate HQ in the Stewart Building, NY
Trade Card from Lancaster Pennsylvania A trade card from the early days of the first Woolworth store
Lancaster Pennsylvania 1885 The team pose for a photo outside the first Woolworth store
A second view of the Lancaster PA store Taken from the other side of the store front
Failed venture: Utica NY in 1879 Makeshift displays at the short-lived Woolworth store, pictured in March 1879
Harrisburg PA in 1881 The Woolworth Bros store in Harrisburg was the first to add a 10 cent line, making it the first 5 and 10 in the world
Woolworth and Knox Trade Card A trade card from Reading Pennsylvania where Woolworth and his Cousin opened a joint-venture store on September 20, 1884
S.H. Knox and Co., Lockport, New York The card boasts that this store was the busiest place in the world!
The Knox Five-and-Ten in Detroit The defining city-centre store, which trebled in size within two years of opening and became the model for many more
The E.P. Charlton Co. 5 and 10 HQ in Fall River, MA Earle Perry Charlton built a 5 and 10 chain in the Woolworth Syndicate, which was based here in South Main Street
The interior of the E.P. Charlton 5 and 10 in Fall River, MA Charlton's 5 and 10s featured polished wooden floors, electric lighting and elegant mahogany counters
Patriotic decorations at a former S.H. Knox store in 1913 F.W. Woolworth Co. added small signs declaring that they were successors to... the former Syndicate 5 and 10s
The Charles Sumner Woolworth 5 and 10 in Bradford, Pennsylvania Sum was the brother of Frank and steadily built his own chain of 5 and 10s between 1885 and 1912
The upper floor at the C.S. Woolworth store in Scranton, Pennsylvania Elegant displays of china and glassware feature on mahogany counters at this 5 and 10 store
A list of the Woolworth Stores operating in 1905 Each store was issued with business cards featuring a list of all the addresses on the back
The Managers of the Woolworth Syndicate, 1894 Photographed relaxing with Frank Woolworth at home. These men and women helped pioneer the 5 and 10 business
The Woolworth Management team, pictured on the roof of the Lancaster PA store in 1901 Compare this to the previous picture and it shows just how much Woolworth grew between 1894 and 1901. (And how everyone had to have a moustache!)
The W.H. Moore 5 and 10 Store in Watertown, New York William Moore was credited with giving Frank Woolworth the idea for his business. The branch was known as the birthplace of the Five-and-Ten
W.H. Moore and Son 5 and 10 in Schenectady, New York c1910 Frank Woolworth bankrolled this branch for the son of his former boss to manage
The interior of the W.H. Moore and Son 5 and 10 in Schenectady, New York The well appointed interior of the Moore store featured mahogany counters and sandblasted red and gold on glass hanging signs
New premises for Woolworth in Lancaster PA, pictured in 1905 The large, modern store was in the first Woolworth Building, the six storey skyscraper was the first real estate venture of the Founder, Frank Woolworth
Glass showcases at the Woolworth Five-and-Ten in Lancaster PA in 1905 The glass islands were for the extensive range of jewellery sold for 10 cents or less. Some was even made of 24 carat gold!
China and Glass Displays at the F.W. Woolworth 5 and 10 in Lancaster, PA in 1905 The displays replicate those created by Charles Sumner Woolworth in his stores. Frank was always happy to adopt good ideas.
Illuminated Counter Display for Notions and Decorations Frank Woolworth was among the first retailers to embrace electric lighting, and certainly the first to use it to spotlight his highest margin ranges
How to make 5 and 10 cent items look a million dollars Just add a bit of Frank Woolworth magic. The eye-catching illuminated counter was photographed in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1905
The main salesfloor in Lancaster in 1913 By 1913 the Lancaster store had conformed to the strict F.W. Woolworth Co. corporate identity, with evenly space aisles and neatly ticketed displays
Lunch counter prototype The Lancaster Lunch Room was one of the first ideas that came back across the Atlantic after a similar feature in Liverpool, England proved a hit with shoppers
The team at the Charles Sumner Woolworth 5 and 10 in Glen Falls pose outside their store Suited and booted for a corporate photoshoot in around 1910
The Glen Falls C.S. Woolworth team inside their store Everyone in this picture had to stand completely still for over a minute to get such a sharp picture to come out using 1910 technology!
The salesfloor at the F.W. Woolworth and Co 5 and 10 in Camden, New Jersey Glass showcases of Jewellery have pride of place in this layout, which is typical of the period 1905-1912
Crowds outside the F.W. Woolworth and Co. 5 and 10 in Ashland, Wisconsin Picture postcard publishers were invited to take shots of opening day at every new 5 and 10 in the Woolworth Syndicate. If the boss liked the picture, he stocked it!
Crowds outside a new Woolworth store in Conneaut Ohio in around 1910 Another busy 5 and 10 opening in another Main Street as F.W. Woolworth became a retail phenomenon
Meet me at Woolworths Huge crowds outside the F.W. Woolworth store in South Norwalk, Connecticut in around 1910
Relocation, relocation, relocation The early Woolworth stores were for ever moving up and down Main Street, like this one in St Joseph, Missouri. Each re-opening brought a new crowd and a bigger store!
A cold morning in Barre, Vermont Shoppers braved the elements to get a hot bargain at the new F.W. Woolworth Five-and-Ten in around 1909
The Five-and-Ten in Buffalo in Upstate New York This iconic picture shows the look of a typical Woolworth Five-and-Ten at the turn of the Twentieth Century. Weeks after the picture was taken Woolworth sold it to his cousin Seymour Knox!
Here we grow again Frank Woolworth had to compromise to get more space in Reading, Pennsylvania, effectively operating two stores next door to each other. The salesfloors joined at the back of the premises.
America's Christmas Store for over 100 years A magical Christmas wonderland at the New Albany Indiana F.W. Woolworth store in 1908
Confectionery Window Display at the F.W. Woolworth 5 and 10 Woolworth pioneered fresh candy at prices everyone could afford, dropping the prevailing price by 75%
The salesfloor at the Marshalltown Iowa F.W. Woolworth 5 and 10 Glass cases of candy in the foreground, followed by Jewellery in this long-exposure shot
Big May Sale - next Saturday! A small Woolworth 5 and 10 dominated by a glass candy counter and pennant hanging banners promoting the next Sale event
Notions Week Window Banners announce the impending arrival of Notions Week, with deals on Haberdashery, Hair Goods and Gifts at Woolworths
Get set for College - 1915 F.W. Woolworth in Webster, MA, packed with flags, pennants and books for students off to College
Billing Department at the Woolworth Warehouse in 6th Avenue, NYC In the 1910s an army of clerks had to ensure that suppliers were paid the same day that their goods arrived
Brains of the Outfit - 1910s The Order Department at the Woolworth Warehouse in 6th Avenue, NYC managed the logistics and supply chain for the 5 and 10
The Founders of F.W. Woolworth Co. (est. 1912) L to R: Seymour H. Knox, C. Sumner Woolworth, Frank W. Woolworth, Earle P. Charlton and Fred M. Kirby
Frank Winfield Woolworth - the Chief Dimestore Magnate and Merchant Prince Frank W. Woolworth captured in oils for this portrait which hang for many years in the Board Room
Celebrating a Third of a Century - 1912 Not everyone celebrates their 33rd birthday in the year they were born! Marking the anniversary of the first 5 and 10 in Lancaster PA, est. June 21, 1879
Meet the Team Smartly turned out, the staff of a small Woolworth 5 and 10, comprising eight women and two men
Facing the Cameras outside F.W. Woolworth A young Manager at his first store, captured for posterity with his team and seven clerks, all women in around 1910
The managers and staff from a medium-sized F.W. Woolworth Co. store in 1914 This Woolworth 5 and 10 had twenty women and two men on its payroll. 8 of the women worked behind the scenes in the office or stockroom
A million dollar baby deserves the finest nuptuals The Wedding and Bridal counter at the F.W. Woolworth 5 and 10 guaranteed the million dollar look for just nickels and dimes