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Wini and the King of Someplace 7. Christmas at Famous-Barr

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Winifred Barrett is good. She was brought in to help meld two corporate identities into one, and winds up taking on more and more responsibilities. Could a career woman back then have it all? One would think not….

Through a series of her letters and journal entries, we learn the answer.

 

The wiki page for Famous-Barr is under development, and offers very little information about the long history, and amazing importance of the company. See here for a posting I have made summarizing some facts I obtained from first-hand sources.

 

Here's a gallery for Famous-Barr in general.

Copyright © 2017 AC Benus; All Rights Reserved.

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Yes! We're finally off and getting Wini's story. I admire the way you manage to give us the background facts via the letters and the diary without making it feel contrived. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one to wonder about Thomas' friendship, but the main thing is the invitations keeps him away from home and a nasty father.
Interesting, how Wini feels about 'child labor' when we're not that many years removed from the industrial revolution in Britain where children were exploited terribly. :(
Her suggestions and rationale for a employees' society is positively modern - impressively progressive. I was glad to see Mr. May shoot down all the nay sayers. And of course we know from the 'later' novels what a success it became.

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On 06/17/2016 12:45 AM, Timothy M. said:

Yes! We're finally off and getting Wini's story. I admire the way you manage to give us the background facts via the letters and the diary without making it feel contrived. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one to wonder about Thomas' friendship, but the main thing is the invitations keeps him away from home and a nasty father.

Interesting, how Wini feels about 'child labor' when we're not that many years removed from the industrial revolution in Britain where children were exploited terribly. :(

Her suggestions and rationale for a employees' society is positively modern - impressively progressive. I was glad to see Mr. May shoot down all the nay sayers. And of course we know from the 'later' novels what a success it became.

Thank you, Tim, for your awesome support. As you know, I was very uneasy about this format. I believe I even send you half of the first page, once I had written it, asking if you thought it should be scrapped. Your encouragement kept me chugging along.

 

In terms of the Welfare Association, I have to confess I was bowled over as well. Very very progressive. As far as it being Wini's idea, I must also confess the Association was formed in 1908, pre-Barr merger, and was indeed the first in the department store world. The folks in Saint Louis' business world had their act together, and its this 'Spirit' of innovation that Lindbergh's plane was named after.

 

As for child labor, I was a bit surprised in my research to learn that it was only outlawed (mostly) in the U.S. in the 1930s, although the 19-teens saw the first restrictions and shaming of companies who exploited children for profit.

 

After I began, I ran into a photograph on Pinterest.com of a delivery boy in STL working circa 1910. And more recently, I encountered another one of two boys on break (from the same era, and also in Saint Louis). I will provide the links on the forum if anyone would like to check them out.

 

Thanks again for a wonderful review!

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