John T. Shayne & Company


John T. Shayne & Company

John T. Shayne & Company, a Chicago-based woman’s clothier, was founded on November 6, 1884 by John Thomas Shayne (b. August 26, 1852) an importer/manufacturer of furs, civic leader and Democratic politician. The firm was formally incorporated on May 23, 1899 [ [http://books.google.com/books?id=OyV4vWP7aG4C&pg=PA522&lpg=PA522&dq=%22john+t.+shayne%22+the+book+of+chicagoans&source=web&ots=fsUkNUhYJM&sig=vw2KPxbmSw-LRV1Is6Xhr4TMJbY&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=2&ct=result] ] and held the distinction of being "the largest business of its kinds outside of New York City." [ [http://www.chipublib.org/cplbooksmovies/cplarchive/archivalcoll/tcc.php id=OyV4vWP7aG4C&pg=PA522&lpg=PA522&dq=john+t+shayne&source=web&ots=fsUfLQgVNJ&sig=MFhHvWb4z5IubugMo8H8r1liPXs&hl=en] ] . The store was first located at 187-189 State Street in the Chicago Loop (the city of Chicago’s central business and shopping district) and later moved to the John Crerar Library building at 150 N. Michigan Avenue where it remained until the department store ceased operations in 1979.

International Recognition

The achievements of the Shayne brothers in the manufactur of fine furs helped to bring a new found respect for American goods which were primarily reserved only for the elite European manufacturing houses of Russia, France and Germany. At the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition (also known as the Chicago's World Fair), The New York Times reported, "The joint exhibit of C.C Shayne of New-York and John T. Shayne of this city has received awards which, by reason of their number and their language, leave no doubt that the Shayne fur products surpass those made in any part of the world." [ [http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9A0DE0D7103BEF33A25756C0A9679D94629ED7CF] ]

America's Burgeoning Mail Order Business

John T. Shayne & Company was one of the earliest Chicago retailers to join in America’s burgeoning mail order business during the turn of the 20th century. Shayne’s first mail order publication dates back to 1906 and is featured in the Chicago Public Library Trade Catalog Collection at the Harold Washington Library. [ [http://www.chipublib.org/cplbooksmovies/cplarchive/archivalcoll/tcc.php Chicago Public Library ] ]

Mail order merchandising played an important role in retail distribution during the 20th century. These catalogues brought the city to the country and provided access to an array of merchandise. Items ranging from tooth paste to prefabricated houses were marketed to small towns and remote rural communities; transforming the way American’s purchased goods.

Chicago area retailers were among the nation’s first companies to publish mail orders. [ [http://www.chipublib.org/008subject/012special/tcc.html] ] The city was ideally suited for America’s growing mail order business due to its central location, access to a national rail system and advances made in mail delivery. Chicago became a nationally recognized city through the many images that found their way into these catalogs and publications which also helped to shape the nation’s perspective of Chicago. Through these publications, mail order recipients were encouraged to visit the city.

References

*Leonard, John W. (1905). "The Book of Chicagoans: A Biographical Dictionary of Leading Living Men of the City of Chicago." Page 522. Chicago, Illinois: A. N. Marquis & Company.

Further reading

* [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9A0DE0D7103BEF33A25756C0A9679D94629ED7CF "The Shayne Furs Admitted by Foreign Experts to be the Best Made". New York, NY: The New York Times, November 5, 1893.]

* [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9801E4D61131E033A2575BC1A9679D94659ED7CF "Fur Garments At Low Prices.; C. C. Shayne's Attractive and Varied Display of Winter Goods. New York, NY: The New York Times, November 18, 1894."]

* [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9501E2DE1638E433A2575BC2A9649D94669ED7CF "A Show Building for Chicago; John T. Shayne Projects A Structure To Cost Nearly $2,000,000." New York, NY: The New York Times, December 28,1897.]

* [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9905E6D81E39E433A25753C1A9659C94699ED7CF "For Honest Advertising.; C.C. Shayne Argues in Support of the Bill to Prevent Misrepresentation." New York, NY: The New York Times, March 10, 1898.]

* [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9A05E2D91730E132A25751C2A9659C94689ED7CF "John T. Shayne Shot; Attacked by Harry H. Hammond, a Tailor, While in a Chicago Restaurant -- Brother of C.C. Shayne." New York, NY: The New York Times, March 22, 1899.]

* [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9F04EFD91730E132A25750C2A9659C94689ED7CF "John T. Shayne's Condition.; Chicago Furrier Shot by H.H. Hammond May Recover. New York, NY: The New York Times, March 23, 1899.]

* [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9E07E2DC1531E733A25750C2A9649C946797D6CF "C.C. Shayne Dies Suddenly At Atlanta; Furrier Had Been Compelled to Turn Back from the West. His Success Remarkable Began as a Railroad News Agent -Failed in '73 -- His Employees Remembered in His Will. New York, NY: The New York Times, Fenruary 23, 1906."]


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