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Business and Finance


Leaders of business, union leaders plus banking and other money matters

Click each name to find a list of resources available at HSP.



John Wanamaker

    - Merchant, opened “Grand Depot” at 13th and Market

    - Pioneer of the department store concept/one stop shopping

    - Ran full length newspaper ads, had a restaurant in store, created fixed prices for merchandise, believed in truth-in-advertising, idea which exist today in stores

- Provided education for his employees and summer camp for their kids

- Was Postmaster General and started rural delivery, parcel post, banned lottery sales and started the postal savings system.


Morris Milgram

    - Builder and developer of integrated housing

    - After running into difficulty securing financing for new construction, purchased rental properties and changed their policies in order to all integration

- Provided integrated housing for 20,000 people in Philadelphia, Boston, Cambridge, Chicago, Princeton, Washington, DC, California, Maryland, New York, Texas and Virginia.


Terence V. Powderly

    - Mayor of Scranton

    - Took over leadership of the Knights of Labor in 1879

    - Transformed from a collection of small, local assemblies into the most prominent national union of the latter part of the 19th century.


Joshua Humphreys

    -Shipbuilder, built 6 ships that comprised first United States Navy

    - His ship designs were so well done that the USS Constitution is still around today


Stephen Girard

    - Wealthiest man in America at the time of his death

    - Made his fortunes from shipping

    - Opened up his own bank, Girard’s Bank

    - Was the principal source of government credit during the War of 1812, his backing enabled the war to continue.

    - Assisted Yellow Fever victims in the city

    - His will left an endowment for the creation of a boarding school for poor orphans, Girard College


Sara Oberholtzer

    - President of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union

    - Wrote about and promoted thrift and championed the School Savings Bank movement


Albert M. Greenfield

    - Began a real estate company that grew into one of the most lucrative in the city. He added picture theatres, building and loan associations and mortgages.

    - Acquired a total of nine banks under the Banker’s Trust name, which failed in 1930

    - Became involved with retail, owning 39 specialty stores in 19 states

    - Acquired numerous Philadelphia hotels

    - Served on over 43 boards

    - Switched political parties and became a strong Democratic supporter

    - Served as Chairman of the City Planning Commission for one year, laying foundations for Independence Square, Veteran’s Stadiums, Society Hill and Penn Center.