The Woolworths Museum

Woolworths Sources

These are the main books and documents used to compile the Woolworths Museum

Commercially published books

Paul Robert Seaton
A Sixpenny Romance, celebrating a century of value at Woolworths
3D and 6D Pictures Ltd, London, 2009. ISBN 9780956382702.

Barbara Walsh
When the Shopping was Good : Woolworths and the Irish Main Street,
Irish Academic Press, Dublin and Portland Or., 2010. ISBN 9780716530534. 

Nina Brown Baker
Nickels and Dimes, the story of F. W. Woolworth (Harcourt, Brace & Co., NY, 1952)

Paul Bookbinder
Simon Marks Retail Revolutionary (Weidenfield and Nicholson, 1993)

(Lord) Asa Briggs
Marks & Spencer 1884-1984 (Octopus Books 1984)

James Brough
The Woolworths (McGraw Hill Book Company, New York, 1982)

Earle Perry Charlton II, George Winius and Richard Clement
The Charlton Story - Earle Perry Charlton 1863-1930. (Peter Lang Publishing, USA 2001) *

Albert C. Grzesinski (translated Alexander S Lipschitz, LL.D)
Inside Germany (E.P. Dutton & Co. Inc., NY, 1939)

C. David Heyman
The Life and Legend of Barbara Hutton (Lyle Stuart Inc., NJ, 1983-4)

Sigmund A. Lavine
Famous Merchants (Dodd, Mead & Company, NY, 1965)

Elisabeth P. Myers
F. W. Woolworth Five and Ten Boy (Bobs Merrill Co Inc, 1962)

John P. Nicholls
Skyline Queen and the Merchant Prince (Trident Press NY, 1973)

Bob Ogley
Doodlebugs and Rockets (Froglets Publications 1992)

Eric W. Pasold
Ladybird, Ladybird, A Story of Private Enterprise (Manchester University Press 1977) *

Jean Maddern Pitrone
F. W. Woolworth and the American Five and Dime (McFarland & Company Inc., 2003)

Karen Plunkett-Powell
Remembering Woolworth's (St Martin's Press, New York, 1999)

Winston G. Ramsey
The Blitz Then and Now, Volumes 1-3 (Battle of Britain Prints International 1987-9)

Goronwy Rees
St Michael: A History of Marks & Spencer (Weidenfield and Nicolson 1969)

Philip Van Rensselaer
Million Dollar Baby, An Intimate Portrait of Barbara Hutton (G. P. Putnam's Sons, NY, 1979)

J. K. Winkler
Five and Ten
The Fabulous Life of F. W. Woolworth (Robert Hale & Co. London, 1941 and Bantum Books, New York, 1957) *

Bridget Williams
The Best Butter in the World, A History of Sainsbury's (Ebury Press 1994)

Derek Phillips
The Wonder of Woolies: memories from both sides of the counter of Britain's best-loved store
(Footplate Publishing 2009 ISBN: 978-0955333453 )

Privately published Books

Albert Merton McBrier
The Origins of the Five & Ten. (USA c 1908. McBrier opened a five and ten cent store jointly with S. H. Knox in the 1880s)*

James Murray
The Woolworths Way - a great Australian success story 1924-1999 (Focus Publishing Pty Ltd, New South Wales)

Montgomery Schuyler
The Woolworth Building (Published in a limited edition of one thousand for distribution by Frank W. Woolworth by Munder Thomsen Co, Baltimore and NY, 1913)

Vernon F. Snow
JBS, The Biography of John Ben Snow (Privately published, USA, 1974)*

Viyella International Division
Ladybird - The Legend Lives On (London, 1988)

Deutsche Woolworth GmbH & Co.
75 Jahre Woolworth Deutschland (Woolworth, Frankfurt 2001)

*Books marked with an asterisk were the most influential in preparing A Sixpenny Romance.

Woolworths Published Corporate Books/Pamphlets (US and UK)

Metropolitan News and Views, the unofficial organ of the staff of the Metropolitan District of
F. W. Woolworth & Co. Ltd. Vol. 1, No 1, March 1933 to Vol. 2, No. 6 October 1935

The New Bond, the staff magazine of F. W. Woolworth & Co. Ltd. Vol. 1, No. 1, December 1935 to Vol. 31, No. 3, June 1972*

A broken collection of copies of the company newspaper Woolworth and later Woolworths News August 1982 - June 2001

Woolies News, The Magazine for Woolworths colleagues March 2001 - August 2004
(The series was replaced by an on-line newsletter The Quickie)

The F. W. Woolworth Co. Histories published in the USA in 1919, 1929, 1939, 1954 and 1979 *

The Management Rule Book, 1939 as maintained until 1969 by F. W. W. 768 Crawley

Careers booklets published in US (1948) and UK (1950, 1960, 1970, 1985, 2008), under various titles including You career at Woolworth, Your management career at Woolworth, Working for Woolworth, Customer Service -the Golden Rules, Working for Woolworth Self-Service, The Woolworths Scene, Making Friends with Customers and Colleagues, and Career Adventures with a Family Favourite

The Annual Reports of the British and American Companies 1909-2008

Introducing the new (decimal) money to your store (1969-1971)

Articles in Journals and Magazines

Bennett Chapple
Mr F. W. Woolworth Nestor of the Five and Ten-Cent Trade 1908 (National Magazine)

Joe Mitchell Chapple
An Appreciation of Frank W. Woolworth in National Magazine Volume XLVIII, No. 6, July 1919

Robert Foxworthy
From Poor Boy to Head of Five and Ten Cent Stores in The Stenotypist Volume IV, No. 7, August 1916.

Sue Hubbell
You can still get it at the 'dime store' but not for a dime in Smithsonian, Volume 25, No. 3, June 1994.

Henry R. Luce (Ed.)
Woolworth's $250,000,000 Trick in Fortune Volume VIII, No.  5, November 1933

Hubert T Parson with Earle C. Reeves
Woolworth's 10-Cent Store idea failed three times before it succeeded in Farm & Fireside Vol. 48, No. 6, June 1924

J.B. Peoples
The Woolworth Building Roof Garden Program, August 25 1906 (Lancaster PA)

Leo L. Redding
Mr F. W. Woolworth's Story in The World's Work, Vol XXV No. 6 April 1913

Staff Writer
The Two-Edged Sword of Nazi Boycotts in The Literary Digest, New York, Volume 5, No. 144, New York, April 8 1933

Staff Writer
Good-Buy - A once-beloved fixture of simpler times, Woolworth closes the door on the original five-and dime in People Weekly, August 4, 1997

John K. Winkler and Boyden Sparkes
Dime Store, a series of six illustrated articles in The Saturday Evening Post (Philadelphia, PA) Vol. 212 Number 52 to 58, February 5 to March 16, 1940.

Edward Mott Woolley
The Tower of Nickels and Dimes in Hearst's Magazine, October 1912

Frank W. Woolworth (Contributor/Foreword)
Everyman's Guide to Business Success, Section 14, Lessons XVIII-XIX, Published by the Efficiency Service Corporation 1919

*Items marked with an asterisk were the most influential in preparing A Sixpenny Romance.

Woolworths Unpublished Archive Documents

Minute Books, containing a signed, documentary record of each main meeting and sub-committee from August 1909 to February 1984 including:

  • Operations
  • Buyers'
  • Audit
  • Overseas
  • Remuneration


Written acceptances or rejections from each investor in Woolworths shares to a proposal, raised in Spring 1931, that the British company should be listed on the London Stock Exchange and the American parent should sell off shares to reduce their interest from 66% to 51%.
Directors' and Senior Managers' Remuneration and Expenses Documents (1909-1940)
The annotated Annual Accounts of Mr. W. L. Stephenson, Chairman, for the period 1940-47

Unpublished Archive Documents in Private Collections

Allen, Brady & Marsh (ABM) Ltd
F. W. Woolworth & Co. Ltd. Business Review September 1978

G. Bluett
Feasibility Study Report - On-line updating of Reference Files at EO. Feb 1977.

Charterhouse Japhet
Phoenix - a review of operations (Phoenix was an alias for F. W. Woolworth & Co. Ltd.). This includes an outline business plan for an independent MBO-type business, annotated with comments by Geoff Mulcahy. (September 1982.) *

McKinsey & Co.
Managing suppliers more effectively - sundry observations. F. W. Woolworth PLC. July 3 1985.

David J. Davis
Unpublished personal papers from a carer from 1906-1929 (Davis was a Store Manager and later a Superintendent of F. W. Woolworth & Co. / F. W. Woolworth Co. USA during this period and kept a scrap book of the letters and documents received and sent*

VanDyck Card Company of Bristol.
The VanDyck Series Birthday Cards for F. W. Woolworth & Co. (Bristol 1939)

Frank Winfield Woolworth
Letters (1879-1919, broken collection)*

F. W. Woolworth & Co. Ltd.
Golden Jubilee Convention, Monday 2 March 1959. This fully bound typewritten volume includes a transcript of the presentations at the Royal Festival Hall and of the speeches at London's Dorchester Hotel.  Speakers included the American President of F. W. Woolworth Co., Robert C. Kirkwood, Chairman of the Board of Trade Sir David Eccles, and most members of the British Board of Directors.

Record of Progress / renamed Record of Company Management (aka Mugshot Book)
Aa full set comprising the versions printed in 1924, 1928, 1934, 1938, 1950, 1959, 1964, 1969, 1974, 1979

Woolworths plc
Commemorative Year Book 2000 (this booklet was officially withdrawn and destroyed because of publication errors)

The Way Ahead, a presentation to Senior Management February 1988

*Documents marked with an asterisk were the most influential in preparing A Sixpenny Romance.

Company Product / Sales Catalogues

Home Shopping Guide (Nothing Over 10¢) and Home Shopping Guide - for the West (Nothing over 15¢). USA 1929.

Good Things To Know (Nothing Over 6D), Guaranteed circulation of over 1 million. UK 1938*

Woolworth Christmas Catalogue, USA 1940.

Good Things To Know (6D limit removed). Wartime economy guide. UK 1940*

Woolworth Christmas Catalogue, USA 1951
Woolworth Easter Catalogue, USA 1952
Woolworth Christmas Catalogue, USA 1955
Woolworth Christmas Catalogue, UK 1972, 1973, 1974 (inserts from Radio Times)
Shoppers World Catalogue Stores Catalogue UK (Autumn 1978 - Winter 1981 editions)
Woolco Catalogue (Canadian equivalent of the above), Montreal, Canada,
Woolworth/Woolworths Christmas Catalogues (UK), for each year annually from 1979-2005
The Big Red Book Winter 2006-07 to Winter 2008-09

Also substantial numbers of documents relating to the stores at (inter alia) Cornmarket Oxford, Commercial Road Portsmouth, London Road Liverpool, Swansea (all branches), Morecambe, Dun Loghaire Eire (a.k.a. 'Kingstown'), and Didcot.