Skip to main content

Wanamaker, John

John Wanamaker (wŏn´əmā´kər), 1838–1922, American merchant, b. Philadelphia. He went into the men's clothing business in Philadelphia with Nathan Brown, his brother-in-law, in 1861. The firm was Wanamaker and Brown until the death of Brown in 1868, and from 1869 it was John Wanamaker and Company. In 1875, Wanamaker bought the site of the old Pennsylvania RR freight station and opened a new dry goods and clothing store, which later became one of the first and best-known department stores. He was Postmaster General (1889–93) in Benjamin Harrison's cabinet and greatly improved the efficiency of the service. He extended his business into New York City in 1896, when he took over the store which had formerly been A. T. Stewart and Company. He was identified with religious work in Philadelphia, as a paid secretary (1857–61) and later president (1870–83) of the Young Men's Christian Association and as superintendent of the Bethany Presbyterian Sunday School for many years.

See biographies by H. A. Gibbons (1926) and J. H. Appel (1970).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Wanamaker, John." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Nov. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Wanamaker, John." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/wanamaker-john

"Wanamaker, John." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved November 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/wanamaker-john

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.