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Marshall Field III

Marshall Field III

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Marshall Field III was born in Chicago, on 28th September, 1893. His grandfather, Marshall Field, was an extremely wealthy businessman and he was sent to be educated at Eton College and the University of Cambridge.

Field returned to America and during the First World War served with the 122nd Field Artillery on the Western Front. He enlisted as a private and rose to the rank of captain.

After the war he worked as a bond salesman before joining Charles F. Glore and Pierce C. Ward to form the investment banking firm of Marshall Field, Glore, Ward & Company. Field became extremely wealthy after receiving a significant proportion of his grandfather's $118 million estate.

Field was a strong supporter of Britain in the Second World War. He worked closely with the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Fight for Freedom, an organization established by the British Security Coordination. In October 1941 Field started the Chicago Sun to counter the isolationist policy of Colonel Robert McCormick, who owned the Chicago Tribune. According to Field's editor, Turner Catledge: "It was early in 1941 that Field resolved to start a newspaper... Roosevelt was trying to move the nation toward support of England and Colonel McCormick was fighting him tooth and nail... The Tribune's influence on the American heartland was great, and to Field and others who thought the United States must fight Nazism, McCormick's daily tirades were agonizing."

Walter Trohan argues in his autobiography, Political Animals: Memoirs of a Sentimental Cynic (1975), that J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI became involved in this project: "In order to help the paper get an Associated Press franchise, then a guarded possession, FDR had FBI agents call upon various small-town publishers and urge them to support Field's bid for a franchise. J. Edgar Hoover, head of the FBI, later showed me the order he had received to undertake a campaign, which he considered above and beyond his unit's functions."

Field was also a major financial backer of Ralph Ingersoll and his pro-intervention journal, Picture Magazine.

Marshall Field III died of brain cancer on 8th November, 1956.

Family tree of Marshall FIELD III

Born in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, he was raised primarily in England where he was educated at Eton College and at the University of Cambridge. In 1917 he joined the 1st Illinois Cavalry and served with the 122nd Field Artillery in France during World War I. He built an estate in 1925.

On his discharge after the war ended, Field returned to Chicago where he went to work as a bond salesman at Lee, Higginson & Co. After learning the business, he left to open his own investment business. A director of Guaranty Trust Co. of New York, he eventually teamed up with Charles F. Glore and Pierce C. Ward to create the investment banking firm of Marshall Field, Glore, Ward & Co. In 1926, Field left the firm to pursue other interests.

© Copyright Wikipédia authors - This article is under licence CC BY-SA 3.0

Geographical origins

The map below shows the places where the ancestors of the famous person lived.

Mark Suppelsa's Closer Look

When he first got to town, he didn't even know where State Street was, let alone the store his great, great grandfather founded. But once Marshall Field V saw Chicago, he never wanted to leave.

First blush, you'd think it would personally pain Marshall Field to see his name taken off his family's retail empire. Frankly, no. He doesn't even like being called Marshall Field "the fifth." In my Closer Look, why he's more than just a name. He worries about bigger things, like how to raise funds for the various charities he heads and where Mother Earth is headed.

SUPPELSA: Marshall Field name no more.
FIELD: Right.
SUPPELSA: What do you think?
FIELD: I think it's too bad because I think the great old tradition has gone away. It's just another one -- when big Eastern or foreign companies have picked off Chicago companies and they've disappeared. I think that's kind of sad. I think short term, business-wise, it was a dumb decision of Macy's because tourists who come to town always have a visit to Fields on the list. Well, they're not going to have Macy's on the list because they're either not going to want to go or they've seen it in New York or any other spot.

SUPPELSA: So, it's sad in a civic, Chicago heritage, tourist way.
FIELD: Right.
SUPPELSA: Is it sad in a family way?
FIELD: No, not really. We've been out of that company for 50 years or more. While it's wonderful to think about having an ancestor who started something that great, you know, there's a time to move on. That time probably started about 30 years ago. I think the name's run out of gas, frankly. Most of my brothers and sisters and their kids, they don't even live in Chicago. You know, "Chicago" is gone. We're in a world now where people sort of think in bigger areas. And there's a bunch of great new names like [Microsoft founder Bill] Gates, et cetera, and now those should be the names that really stand out in today.

Marshall Field V never ran the store his great, great grandfather founded. But he knows why it lost luster decades ago.

FIELD: The thing that happened is what allowed the WalMarts and Targets of the world to come in. All of the stores that used to have unique supplies of things -- that made it worth your while to go into their store and no one else's -- started to buy from these huge suppliers. So pretty soon, I think the customer learned that everything was pretty much the same and so they lost store name loyalty. They just began to shop price. [That was the] perfect opening for WalMart or Target.
SUPPELSA: Could there be a niche out there somewhere for a department store to find goods you can't find everywhere?
FIELD: Oh sure. I think Neiman Marcus still has a bunch of things that are for Neiman Marcus. And they're still alive.

Marshall Field sees a similar crisis at the local newspaper his family once owned, where he was once publisher, the Chicago Sun-Times.

FIELD: That business, you can argue, thanks to computers, et cetera, doesn't have a glorious future. The biggest strength I see, frankly, in a newspaper today is its newsgathering ability. Or if it really worked on columnists, its writers' ability. And they should really be more of a software supplier than a hard newspaper. They should spend less time worrying about putting out their paper and more time worrying about what's in it.

Field left publishing in 1984, and has since thrown his heart and money at all things environmental. Including running the museum that bears his family's name.

FIELD: I see things at the Field Museum that are fascinating. We've got a gal who measures global warming over time. She figured out that if the average temperature on the globe goes up by 11 degrees, that everything dies. So we're up three.
SUPPELSA: Three now?
FIELD: Yeah. We got eight to go and we're all out of here.

That broad, confident grin says: this is a man who doesn't have to worry about anything. But from his plush office, overlooking the Chicago River, Marshall Field works full-time on causes he loves. The environment? Right at the top. The arts? Not far behind, for this one-time art history major.
Field says his favorite cause is whatever's in front of him. His chief "job," if you will, is raising money. He says it's getting harder than ever. For the first time since moving to Chicago, he says, charities and universities need more money than is out there to give.

The Chicago Crime Scenes Project

Marshall Field, Jr., heir to the department store fortune and holder of the most famous name in Chicago history, died here at his home of a gunshot wound on November 22, 1905. Who fired the shot? There are three theories.

The official inquest concluded that Field had accidentally shot himself while cleaning his gun. Practically everyone saw this as an unlikely story from the start.

A number of witnesses claim that Field was a guest of the famous Everleigh Club brothel that evening, and was shot during foreplay with one of the residents. Fearing public embarrassment, he asked to be driven home, where his wounds proved more serious than expected. However, some of these supposed witnesses cannot be considered reliable, as they stood to benefit from selling their stories to the press.

A third theory -- and possibly the most likely -- is that, regardless of whether Field was at the Everleigh Club that evening or not, he was severely depressed and committed suicide in his bedroom. On the other hand, no suicide note was ever discovered, although it is possible that a note may have been suppressed by his powerful family to avoid embarrassment.

Field's mansion on S. Prairie Avenue still stands, and is currently being renovated into a six-flat condominium. It's not clear whether buyers would find Field's history a positive attribute in a home, but the developer certainly seems to be making it a keystone of the advertising campaign.


Actually, although he was shot on November 22, Marshall Field, Jr died on November 27, 1905.

After reading every book I could find written by newsmen of the day, it is my opinion that he was shot while gambling at the Everleigh club. The sisters banned gambling immediately after his death. The whores at that place were carefully vetted by the sisters and they wouldn't employ a girl nutty enough to do that. But if Field was cheating at cards, a wealthy, big ego man who could afford to go there would get that mad and be carrying a gun.

I don't know about everyone else, but I quite enjoy the fact that he was shot in the house I live in. I move things around to screw with my parents and make them believe it's a ghost.

My great grandmother was his housekeeper and was home that night.

To Chicago girl. what was your great grandmothers story??

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Did your great grandmother say whether or not Mr. Field was already wounded when he entered the house? Also, if he entered the house with his injury - was it inflicted by an Everleigh "butterfly," or by another patron?

Went all around that house in the late 70's as a prospective "buyer". It was for sale for years then and the realator was angry thatshe couldn't sell it. I believe it was an ex-retirement home then: you could see how the big rooms were all split up. No one wanted to live behind the R.R. Donnelly printing behemoth.

I’ve done some genealogy and it was indeed a retirement/nursing home. I have since learned I had a great Uncle who lived there and other relatives who visited him there described it as a creepy place.

Los Angeles Sunday Times on November 23, 1913 gives an account from the woman who claims to have shot Marshall Field , Jr. after an unacceptable sexual encounter. Check out Vera's story.

Comments (5)

My 90 year old aunt passed away and I am finding small items, for example, gold foil gift tags with the initials MF&Co. about 20 of them. are they of any interest to you? Peace

Hi Donna, Thank you for your interest in donating to CHM. Please check the “How to donate” page on our website, which includes an online donation form. https://www.chicagohistory.org/collections/donations-to-the-collection/how-to-donate-to-the-collection

This is fascinating. Is there a photo collection from Marshall Field & Company that is online? I am interested in looking through vintage photos from the State Street store, but live in Phoenix.

Hi Luann, Thanks for your interest! The Museum’s digitized images related to Marshall Field’s are here http://bit.ly/2sUU3rn or you can browse images from several Chicago institutions here http://bit.ly/2ujX3kz.

My grandmother worked for Marshall Field’s as a seamstress around the turn of the century to the early 1900’s. My grandfather also worked there as a “cash boy.” My father worked there seasonally as a clown in the mid-1920’s. I grew up in the 1950’s and early 60’s in Villa Park,IL until age 15 when my family moved to OK. I have wonderful memories of shopping trips to the store with my grandmother and my parents. When visiting Chicago in the early 2000’s I had gone to the floor where the archives were normally open to the public hoping to look at pictures to see if my grandparents or my father appeared in any photographs of employees, however I was told the archives had been moved to storage to accommodate a display about Paris. We were leaving Chicago the next day so would not be able to see the archives. I was deeply disappointed, however the concierge presented me with a Marshall Field’s bag filled with little gifts. Still, to this day I purchase Frango Mints to enjoy at Christmas. I have a Christopher Radko ornament of the famous Marshall Field clock, and had taken a photo of the clock on my last visit to Chicago. My daughter, who lived in the area at the time, having not seen the photo I took, bought a photograph from the Chicago Historical Society which depicts a street scene (circa 1930’s) which includes the clock. Coincidentally the photo I took seventy years later was almost identical to the one she purchased. I hope to visit the historical society someday to see the archives. Thank you for preserving them

Marshall Field III - History

The imposing building of Marshall Field & Company
was not only the second-largest department store in
the world, it was a Chicago landmark
and tourist attraction par excellence.

By 1912, Marshall Field & Company
covered the whole block bounded by
State Street, Randolph Street, Wabash Avenue,
and Washington Street.

The Tiffany Dome
First Floor, South State
First Floor, North Wabash

The Fine Jewelry and Silver sections
First Floor, South Wabash

A panorama of Marshall Field & Company
along Wabash Avenue -
Buildings (l to r) of 1914, 1893, and 1912
The 28 Shop -
Sixth Floor, South Wabash

The Walnut Room -
Seventh Floor, South State

The Narcissus Room
Seventh Floor, North Wabash
The 1914 Store for Men
on the southwest corner of
Wabash and Washington Streets

First Floor,
Store for Men

Marshall Field & Company
111 N. State Street
Chicago, Illinois (1852)

STate 1-1000

Budget Floor North State
Women's Shoes • Casual Shoes • Daytime Dresses • Moderately Priced Dresses • Sportswear
Budget Floor Middle State
Belts • Cosmetics and Toiletries • Costume Jewelry • Hosiery • Handbags • Millinery • Notions • Watches
Budget Floor SouthlState
Small Leather Goods • Gloves • Umbrellas • Blouses • Scarves • Linens • Curtains and Draperies • Sewing Accessories • Snack Shop • Candy • Stationery
Budget Floor North Holden Court
Miss Tempo • Junior Tempo Sportswear
Budget Floor Middle Bridge
Decorative Accessories • Cutlery • Dinnerware • Glassware • Lamps • Luggage
Budget Floor North Wabash
Junior Tempo Dresses • Junior TEmpo Coats & Suits • Coats & Suits • All-Weather Coats
Budget Floor Middle Wabash
Nighttime Lingerie • Daytime Lingerie • Foundations • Lounging Apparel • Junior Tempo Intimate Apparel • Woman's Choice • The Flower Basket
Budget Floor South Wabash
Boys' Shop • Children's Apparel • Infants' Shop • Kindergarten Shop • Girls' Shop
Budget Floor South Holden Court
Closet Coordiantes • Pictures • Children's Underwear
Home Accessories
Budget Floor Store For Men
The Clothes Circuit • Hosiery • Cosmetics and Toiletries • Jewelry • Underwear • Pajamas • Slippers • Shoes • Hats • Shirts • Ties • Sportswear • Suits • Outerwear

First Floor North State
Our Wonderful World of Cosmetics • Drugs • Notions • Prescriptions • Tourneur Salon
First Floor Middle State
Blouses • Sweaters • The First Place • Boutique

First Floor South State
Sunglasses • Belts • Fashion Jewelry • Gloves • Handbags • The Flower Market • The Hat Bar • Hosiery • Scarves • Umbrellas
First Floor North Wabash
Candy • Greeting Cards • Stationery
First Floor Middle Wabash
Luggage • The Wine Shop • Small Leather Goods • Smoking Accessories • Stainless Tableware • Adult Games • Bar Accessories • Cameras • Cutlery • The Electronic Age • Field’s Afar • Pewter Shop • Antique Pewter • Repair Service Desk

First Floor South Wabash
Watches • Clocks • Diamonds • Fine Jewelry • Silver • Silver Jewelry
The Georgian Room Antique Jewelry • Antique Silver

Second Floor North State
The Bath Shop • Linens
Second Floor Middle State
TableLinens • Fine Linens • Bridal Gift Registry
Second Floor South State
Fashion Fabrics • Singer Sewing Center • Sewing Accessories
Second Floor North Holden Court
Second Floor Middle Bridge
Second Floor North Wabash
China • Casual Dinnerware
Second Floor Middle Wabash
Glassware • Casual Living Accessories • The Crystal Room • The Steuben Room

Second Floor South Wabash
Picture Galleries • Fine Paintings • Oriental Room • Artwares • Collector’s Room • Antiques • Family Album Corner
Second Floor South Holden Court
Events Center

Third Floor North State
Personal Service • Gift Wrapping • American Express Travel Services • The Juice Bowl • The Crystal Palace
Third Floor Middle State
Lounging Apparel • Nighttime Lingerie • Contempo Intimate Apparel
Third Floor South State
Bare Necessities • Foundations • Daytime Lingerie • Young Chicago Intimate Apparel
Third Floor North Holden Court
Third Floor Middle Bridge
Paperback Book Shop
Third Floor North Wabash
Books • Collectors Coins & Stamps • Old Map and Print Room • Antiquarian Books & Fine Bindings • Literary Guild
Third Floor Middle Wabash
The Candle Shop • The Williamsburg Shop • Closet Coordinates • The Gazebo Shop • Decorative Accessories • Decorative Flower Center • The Christmas Court

Third Floor South Wabash
Creative Stitchery
Third Floor South Holden Court
Uniforms • Maternity Shop

Fourth Floor North State
Young Peoples Shoes • Teen Shoes • Infant’s Shop • Infant’s Furniture • Nursery Accessories
Fourth Floor Middle State
Kindergarten Shop • Tiny Finery • Toddler’s Shop

Fourth Floor South State
The Boy’s Shop • The Prep Shop • Student Shop
Fourth Floor North Holden Court
Girls Accessories
Fourth Floor Middle Bridge
Children’s Lingerie
Fourth Floor North Wabash
Schoolgirls Shop • Teen Scene • Tween Teen Shop • Teen Accessories • Scouting Accessories

Fourth Floor Middle Wabash
The Toy Center
Fourth Floor South Wabash
The Toy Center • Pet Accessories
South Holden Court
The Toy Center

Fifth Floor North State
Young Chicago Coast & Suits • Junior Scene • French Room Millinery • Young Millinery • Wig Salon
Fifth Floor Middle State
Young Chicago Sportswear

Fifth Floor South State
Misses' Dresses • After-Five Dresses • Young Chicago Dresses • Hairways
Fifth Floor North Holden Court
Beauty Salon • Elizabeth Arden Boutique
Fifth Floor Middle Bridge
Shoe Salon
Fifth Floor North Wabash
Fashion Classics Shoes • Young Chicago Shoes
Fifth Floor Middle Wabash
Leisure Square • Etienne Aigner Boutique • The Shop for Pappagallo • Contemporary Shoes • The Wig Boutique

Fifth Floor South Wabash

Town and Casual Dresses • Woman's Way

Fifth Floor South Holden Court
Misses' Sports Dresses

Sixth Floor North State
The Coat Room • The Suit Room • Leather Bound • All Weather Coats • Pacesetter

Sixth Floor Middle State
Sweaters, Skirts • Sportswear
Sixth Floor South State
Contempo • Active and Spectator Sportswear • The Country Shop

Sixth Floor North Holden Court
Sunningdale Shop

Sixth Floor Middle Bridge
Sunningdale Shop
Sixth Floor North Wabash
The Fur Salon • Fur Storage • French Room Millinery Salon • Globetrotter

Sixth Floor Middle Wabash
The Chicago Room • The Showcase • The Dress Room • The Sundown Shop • Alterations and Monogramming Service Desk

Sixth Floor South Wabash

The 28 Shop • Zandra Rhodes Boutique • Gifts for Her

Sixth Floor South Holden Court
The 28 Boutique

Seventh Floor North State
The English Room • The Verandah
Seventh Floor Middle State
Gourmet Foods • Cold Foods • Frozen Foods • Candy
Seventh Floor South State
The Walnut Room
Seventh Floor North Holden Court
Main Kitchen
Seventh Floor Middle Bridge
The Wine Shop
Seventh Floor South Holden Court
The Wedgwood Room
Seventh Floor North Wabash
The Narcissus Room • Party Bureau
Seventh Floor Middle Wabash
The Bakery • The Crystal Buffet
Seventh Floor South Wabash
Bowl and Basket • Dry Cleaning

Eighth Floor North State
The Decorating Galleries • American Antiques
Eighth Floor Middle State
Occasional Furniture
Eighth Floor South State
Pool & Patio Furniture • Modern Furniture
Eighth Floor North Holden Court
Crossroads Market

Eighth Floor Middle Bridge
Dining Room Furniture
Eighth Floor South Holden Court
Scientific Sleep Equipment
Eighth Floor North Wabash
Upholstered Furniture • Trend House • Antique Reproductions

Eighth Floor Middle Wabash
Bedroom Furniture
Eighth Floor South Wabash
The Pilgrim Shop

Ninth Floor North State
The Appliance Center • Appliance Repair Service • Executive Offices
Ninth Floor Middle State
The Garden Spot • Kitchen Furniture • The Color Bar • The Tool Chest
Ninth Floor South State
Floor Coverings
Ninth Floor North Holden Court
Gourmet Galley
Ninth Floor Middle Bridge
Ninth Floor North Wabash
Housewares • Household utilities
Ninth Floor Middle Wabash
Curtains and Draperies • Decorative Pillows • Drapery Hardware • Bedspread Ensembles • Drapery and Upholstery Fabrics
Ninth Floor South Wabash
Home Entertainment Center • The Music Center • Advertising Division

Tenth Floor North State
Adjustments • Customer Service • Central Cashiers • Credit Office
Tenth Floor Middle State
Statistical Office • Personnel Office
Tenth Floor South State
Tenth Floor North Wabash
Tenth Floor Middle Wabash
Information Services

Eleventh Floor North State
North Receiving & Marking Room
Eleventh Floor Middle State
Middle Receiving and Marking Room
Eleventh Floor South State
Receiving Office • Southeast Receiving and Marking Room • Southwest Receiving and Marking Room
Eleventh Floor North Wabash
Eleventh Floor Middle Wabash
Jewelry Repair Workroom

Twelfth Floor North State
Upholstery Workroom • Fur Workroom
Twelfth Floor Middle State
Personal Shopping • Mail Order Service • Import Office
Twelfth Floor South State
Accounts Receivable
Twelfth Floor North Wabash
Medical Bureau • Employee Development Center • Visual Communications
Twelfth Floor Middle Wabash
Employee Cafeteria

Thirteenth Floor North State
Sign Bureau • Design Division
Thirteenth Floor Middle State
Thirteenth Floor South State
Store Design • Display Division
Thirteenth Floor North Wabash
Bakery Workroom
Thirteenth Floor Middle Wabash
Carpenter and Work Shop • Candy Workroom

Fourteenth Floor South State
Construction & Maintenance Division

First Floor Store for Men

Small Leather Goods • Sport Shirts • Sweaters • Ties • Underwear • The Answer Shop • Belts • Gloves • Handkerchiefs • Hosiery • Shirts
Second Floor Store for Men
Hats • Shoes • Pajamas and Loungewear
Third Floor Store for Men
Gentlemen’s Clothing • The 27 Room • Young Chicagoan • Aquascutum of London Shop

Fourth Floor Store for Men
Sportswear • Contempo for Men •In Site • Pacesetter for Men
Fifth Floor Store for Men
The Sportsman’s Shop • The Gun Shop
Sixth Floor Annex
Corporate Executive Offices • The Annex Grill
Seventh Floor Annex
Men's & Boys Alterations

(2,225,000 s.f.)

Customer Service • Repair Service Desk • Dry Cleaning • Gift Wrapping
Budget Floor

First Floor
Fine Jewelry • Fashion Jewelry • Watches • Clocks • Our Wonderful World of Cosmetics • Sunglasses • Belts • Gloves • Handbags • Small Leather Goods • The Hat Bar • Hosiery • Scarves • Umbrellas • Blouses • Sweaters • The First Place • Candy • Greeting Cards • Stationery • Greeting Cards • Adult Games • Cameras • The Electronic Age • Luggage • Books • Paperback Book Shop
Store for Men Small Leather Goods • Sport Shirts • Sweaters • Ties • Underwear • The Answer Shop • Belts • Gloves • Handkerchiefs • Hosiery • Shirts • Hats • Shoes • Pajamas and Loungewear • Smoking Accessories • Sportswear • In Site • Gentlemen’s Clothing • Young Chicagoan
The Pantry Gourmet Foods • Cold Foods • The Bakery • Frozen Foods • Candy • The Wine Shop
• The Flower Market

Second Floor
Lounging Apparel • Nighttime Lingerie • Bare Necessities • Foundations • Daytime Lingerie • Young Chicago Intimate Apparel • Infant’s Shop • Infant’s Furniture • Nursery Accessories • Kindergarten Shop • Tiny Finery • Toddler’s Shop • Schoolgirls Shop • Girls Accessories • Children’s Lingerie • Teen Scene • Tween Teen Shop • Teen Accessories • The Boy’s Shop • The Prep Shop • Student Shop • The Toy Center • Artist's Supplies

Third Floor
Young Chicago Sportswear • Young Chicago Dresses • Young Chicago Coats and Suits • Contempo • Beauty Salon • Shoe Salon • Fashion Classics Shoes • Young Chicago Shoes • Leisure Square • Contemporary Shoes • Sportswear • Active and Spectator Sportswear • Misses' Dresses • Town and Casual Dresses • After Five Dreses • Woman's Way • The Dress Room • The Coat Room • The Suit Room • Alterations

Fourth Floor
China • Casual Dinnerware • Table Linens • Casual Living Accessories • Bar Accessories • The Candle Shop • Decorative Accessories • Silver • Cutlery • Stainless Tableware • Artwares • Housewares • Gourmet Galley • Household Utilities • The Garden Spot • The Color Bar • The Tool Chest

Fifth Floor
Linens • The Bath Shop • Creative Stitchery • Curtains and Draperies • Decorative Pillows • Drapery Hardware • Bedspread Ensembles • Floor Coverings • Lamps • Offices • Cashier • Credit Office

Customer Service • Repair Service Desk • Dry Cleaning • Gift Wrapping
Budget Floor

First Floor

The Pantry Gourmet Foods • Cold Foods • The Bakery • Frozen Foods • Candy • The Wine Shop
• The Flower Market

Infant’s Shop • Infant’s Furniture • Nursery Accessories • Kindergarten Shop • Tiny Finery • Toddler’s Shop • Schoolgirls Shop • Girls Accessories • Children’s Lingerie • Teen Scene • Tween Teen Shop • Teen Accessories • The Boy’s Shop • The Prep Shop • Student Shop • The Toy Center • Artist's Supplies

Third Floor
Lounging Apparel • Nighttime Lingerie • Bare Necessities • Foundations • Daytime Lingerie • Young Chicago Intimate Apparel • Young Chicago Sportswear • Young Chicago Dresses • Young Chicago Coats and Suits • Contempo • Creative Stitchery • Beauty Salon

Third Floor Annex
Books • Paperback Book Shop • Shoe Salon • Fashion Classics Shoes • Young Chicago Shoes • Leisure Square • Contemporary Shoes

3 1/2 Floor
Alterations • Personnel Office • Special Events Center

Fourth Floor

Sportswear • Active and Spectator Sportswear • Misses' Dresses • Town and Casual Dresses • After Five Dresses • Woman's Way • The Dress Room • The Coat Room • The Suit Room

4 1/2 Floor
China • Casual Dinnerware • Table Linens • Casual Living Accessories • Bar Accessories • The Candle Shop • Decorative Accessories • Silver • Cutlery • Stainless Tableware • Artwares • Housewares • Gourmet Galley • Household Utilities • The Garden Spot • The Color Bar • The Tool Chest

Linens • The Bath Shop • Curtains and Draperies • Decorative Pillows • Drapery Hardware • Bedspread Ensembles • Floor Coverings • Lamps • Scientific Sleep Equipment • Offices • Cashier • Credit Office

First Floor
Fine Jewelry • Fashion Jewelry • Watches • Clocks • Our Wonderful World of Cosmetics • Sunglasses • Belts • Gloves • Handbags • Small Leather Goods • The Flower Market • Hosiery • Scarves • Umbrellas • Blouses • Sweaters • The First Place • Candy • Greeting Cards • Stationery • Greeting Cards • Adult Games • Cameras • The Electronic Age • Luggage
Store for Men Small Leather Goods • Sport Shirts • Sweaters • Ties • Underwear • The Answer Shop • Belts • Gloves • Handkerchiefs • Hosiery • Shirts • Hats • Shoes • Pajamas and Loungewear • Smoking Accessories • Young Chicagoan

Shoe Salon • Fashion Classics Shoes • Young Chicago Shoes • Leisure Square • The Shop for Pappagallo • Contemporary Shoes • Young Chicago Sportswear • Young Chicago Dresses • Young Chicago Coats and Suits • Contempo • Sportswear • Active and Spectator Sportswear

Third Floor
Misses' Dresses • Town and Casual Dresses • After Five Dreses • Woman's Way • The Dress Room • The Sundown Shop • The Country Shop • Sunningdale Shop • Pacesetter • The Designer Salom • Zandra Rhodes Boutique • Fur Salon • The Bride's Room • The Coat Room • The Suit Room • Millinery • Wig Salon • Beauty Salon

Lounging Apparel • Nighttime Lingerie • Bare Necessities • Foundations • Daytime Lingerie • Young Chicago Intimate Apparel • Infant’s Shop • Infant’s Furniture • Nursery Accessories • Kindergarten Shop • Tiny Finery • Toddler’s Shop • Schoolgirls Shop • Girls Accessories • Children’s Lingerie • Teen Scene • Tween Teen Shop • Teen Accessories • The Boy’s Shop • The Prep Shop • Student Shop • The Toy Center • Artist's Supplies

Fifth Floor
Linens • The Bath Shop • China • Casual Dinnerware • Table Linens • Casual Living Accessories • Bar Accessories • The Candle Shop • Decorative Accessories • The Williamsburg Shop • Silver • Cutlery • Stainless Tableware • Antique Silver • The Pewter Shop • Field's Afar • Artwares • Collector’s Room • Home Entertainment Center • Music Center

Sixth Floor
The Decorating Galleries • Furniture • Lamps • Curtains and Draperies • Decorative Pillows • Drapery Hardware • Bedspread Ensembles • Floor Coverings • Creative Stitchery • Offices • Cashier • Credit Office

Seventh Floor
Customer Service • Repair Service Desk • Dry Cleaning • Cashier • Credit Office • Gourmet Foods • Cold Foods • Frozen Foods • The Bakery • Candy • The Wine Shop • Gourmet Galley • Housewares • Books • Paperback Book Shop • Antiquarian Books and Fine Bindings • The Tower Room

Many famous names came to work at Field’s business and were promoted to responsible positions, once their merit caught the founder's attention. One of these was John G. Shedd, who developed the wholesale side of the business to the point where it needed its own building. Accordingly, in 1887, a new warehouse at Quincy, Franklin, Adams and Wells streets was built to a design by architect Henry Hobson Richardson, in a Romanesque revival style. As a result, the newly-vacated upper floors of the State Street building allowed for further expansion of the retail store.

The store’s architecture was magnificent it’s atmosphere sublime in many ways. One of a handful retail buildings created by Burnham, who was also coordinating architect for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exhibition (the others were John Wanamaker in Philadelphia and Filene’s in Boston) it enclosed the great myriad of things offered in a cohesive and relatively-easily navigated way. The building program resulted in a store roughly divided in two by a north-south cross-block alley known as Holden Court. One half of the building fronted on State Street, from Washington to Randolph, and the other half, including the oldest section at Washington Street, fronted on Wabash Avenue.

These two portions were divided into three by banks of elevators (and later, escalators) that neatly divided the store into six “rooms” known as “South State,” “Middle State,” “North State,” “North Wabash,” and so on. Where the upper floors crossed over the alley, the de signation of a location in these areas was known as “North Holden Court” or similar. This resulted in a building in which locations were quite easy to identify, and when Field’s ads named a section, they always indicated a floor and location so customers could find merchandise easily in the 2.25 million square foot building complex.

Further distinguishing the store were two light-wells located on the State Street side of the building. A six floor atrium in the South State building was topped by a beautiful Tiffany glass-lined vault. The North State building featured a light well which extended 13 stories up to the roof of the building. Likewise, the seventh floor Walnut Room restaurant centered on a two-story atrium directly above the Tiffany dome. This atrium allowed the installation of the famous "Great Tree" during the Christmas season and gave great character to the popular tea room, arguably one of the finest in the world.

It is no wonder then, that in an ad shortly after the store was completed, Marshall Field & Company referred to itself as a "Cathedral of all the Stores."


The Park Forest store actually opened in 1955 and the Oakbrook in 1962 (March 5th).

Thank you for the clarification . . . a nice thing about putting all of this on line, is that the information can be more accurate with readers' assistance.

Soon, I will add 1970s official pictures of the State Street Store First Floor remodeling.

The Field's "exhibit" has more information than most of the others, because after visiting the store several times in my youth, I thought, and still do, that it was the best and brightest of any such institution in the USA, and perhaps the world for that matter.

Again, thanks for helping to keep things accurate

There was also a Marshall Fields in Galleria Dallas in Dallas, TX which is now Saks. As well, there was a Marshall Fields in Houston Galleria which as well is now a Saks and in Town and Country Mall in Houston which has now been torn down and rebuilt as a Lifestyle Center.

I worked in Chicago during the 60's and 70's and I shopped at Marshall Fields each payday. That was twice a month. They had the best and nicest clothes I ever had. Years later I shopped at the the Marshall Fields store in Woodfield in Schaumburg, IL and the one in the West Dundee Mall in West Dundee, IL. When Macy's bought them out it only took one time for me to shop there to know I would never be back. The merchandise is cheap. Marshall Fields come back we need you.

I STILL can't belive Marshall Field's is no more. What on earth was Federated thinking. Macy's is nothing compared to Marshall Field's. They should have kept Field's, along with Bloomingdales, and continued with the more upscale tradition that was Marshall Fields :(

Unfortunately, consumers want the least expensive goods possible (Walmart, Target, etc) and Marshall Field was not that type of retailer. Macy's is trying to be both and failing.

My mother had a colleague who was addicted to the Country Shop. She stipulated in her will that her ashes be scattered there, unfortunately, Field's did not allow it.

It was always a big deal when the big green drums of detergent showed up. My mother (who worked there very briefly in the 80s - her sister worked there in the 50's for a summer) always ordered them every six months. In fact, the rather posh town we lived in (out in the country then, now exurb) decided upon how the name would work with zip codes based on the Marshall Field & Co chargeplates.

One can certainly see how a Chicagoan could become obsessed with Field's. They carried so many different things of value, and their house brands, at least during the ྂs, were of a high order. They used to send me their catalogs, and twice a year, I got one called "Stock Up Selling" or something similar, with staples, even including Marshall Field & Company detergent, paper plates, and even toilet paper!

I am sure you noticed the "Country Shop" logo in the store directory above. Your mom's colleague would have been happy it's there, I bet.

How I wish I took pictures when I shopped at Field's with my grandmother in the 1960's. Such good memories. Coming off the escalator, zipping around the corner and getting a drink of water at those beautiful water fountains. The Christmas house where Santa sat during the holidays. The children's book department. And the toy counter where I always asked for the little metal toys with the wheels. Does anyone have old interior pictures of the different departments?

Wonderful job in sharing this blog with those of us in love with all things old, especially famous places for fashion.
As a native Chicagoan I grew up taking the El downtown to the State St. store with my mother, back in the old days of white gloves. Eating there was a definite bonus, to keep up enough strength to spend hours there. There was a ice cream parlor that even existed when my children were young. Hot Fudge sundaes never tasted so good.
But although we never failed to visit the yard goods, and china/table linen areas, the hats were probably my favorite. When I needed a hat for my 1974 wedding, it was from Field's. It was more important than the dress, and cost more as well. Since today is National Hat Day, I shall now need to go look for some of my many vintage Field's hats in an abundant collection of Chicago hats. I'm sure each of the original owners would have enjoyed this blog about Fields as much as I have. Thanks for sharing.

Thank you for your lovely note. (I like your last name - - it means "bug" in Polish, and it was a term of endearment used by my sweet mom on me before I turned into something much bigger)

Since I was from Detroit, I first visited Field's in 1974, and was overwhelmed by the architecture, and the aristocratic nature of the store. I will never forget the aisles and aisles of beautiful counters, stretching a whole Chicago city block, the grandiose light-wells soaring upwards, and the chandelier/torchieres above the counters in the wells themselves, helping to create a museum-like atmosphere of utmost refinement and beauty in which to shop.

Everything was of such a high order the staff definitely had "manners," the clientele was sophisticated, but there were also things like that Ice Cream Parlor on the Third Floor, North State. I actually have a picture of it from a Marshall Field & Company Annual Report I will publish it in due course, since I think it may bring back more memories for you. Did you know that Field's home-made ice cream had the highest butter-fat content of any made in the U.S.? That's probably why the memory is so indelible!

Thank you for sharing your memories, and I do appreciate your kind comments on this true institution - if we still had it today, I think the world would certainly be a better and more humane place.

I have an original oil painting of Sam Hecht. Any suggestions of whom may want it?

From Donna
Thanks for the memories. I helped open the store at Hawthorne Center worked for 9 years in bedding, and loved it! Mom took me to State Street every year at Christmas to shop (bags and bags we carried on th "L")and, of course, to eat "under the tree". Mom, now 93 had been an employee there years ago.I also had a cousin at Old Orchard. The company was super, great sales training, products,and staff that gave a great schedule (they even let me tranfer to Woodfield while at college),discounts and TIME AND A HALF for Sundays. Wfew! Thanks for letting me vent!Please come back. Miss you and the Frango mints.

Macy's will never be what Marshall Field's was. It will probably go down as the biggest mareing blunder in retails history. Bring back Marshall Field's. It is not too late.

What a delight to find this web site. I am about your age Bak and remember my Aunt trekking me downtown to go shopping every forth Saturday. We had to dress up, I was always in a young man’s suit, as she called it, with short britches and she with white gloves and furs. It was not shopping as we know it today but an experience. I was a little kid but knew this was something to be appreciated and a little taste of the finer things of life. We would lunch in the Walnut Room or Carson's Highland Room. I was never allowed to order a hamburger. It had to be something I couldn't get anywhere else. It was an all-day event. Before heading home she would stop in the ladies room. This wasn’t a small door off a hallway it was a huge sitting room that sold refreshments, repaired shoes and you could check or pickup packages when you were ready to leave. I remember I always got coconut milk while waiting for her to come out and can still remember the taste 50+ years later. In those days you could leave a young kid at a counter and knew they would be there when you returned. The staff actually watched me. What service you received then. Not the snarly unhappy people you encounter at check outs now.

I remember all the things you mentioned in your article. It brought back great memories. It's a shame that Macy's, although they keep the building up, didn't carry on the traditions. I think they could have kept it a special place rather than homogenizing it to their standards. The quality and specialty was lost. Perhaps not a good business move on their part.

I appreciate your hard work in this endeavor and will bookmark this site for frequent updates and more walks down memory lane. Pete

Macy's made a huge public relations blunder by obliterating our beloved regional stores. So many famous and loved names were tossed aside in city after city.
Did they really think that because we all loved "Miracle on 34th Street" and watched the parade on Thanksgiving Day, that we would embrace the Macy name. I resent them to this day!

Sadly, their Houston stores were very lackluster and run of the mill, if you will. I don't think MF ever took Texas seriously. I guess that Neiman Marcus was too much to compete with! Both locations eventually morphed into Saks, with the Town and Country location being demolished for one of those "lifestyle centers". Speaking of Macy's, I will never forgive them for what they did to our Foley's! The Macy's stores in Houston always look bare and about to go out of business.

Unfortunately Field's was already turning away from its heritage as a great institution by the time that they came to Texas. If you read Michael Lisicky's book about Hutzler's (Available through The Department Store Museum bookshop) you will see that Angelo Arena, who had become CEO of Marshall Field & Company by this time, is not painted in a particularly positive light, and I wonder to what degree the lackluster image you report was a result of the store's changing management at the time. Arena's predecessor, Joseph Burnham, passed away suddenly, prior to Arena's assumption of the position. He was reportedly a prince of a man, who was not above getting on the floor and selling handbags on a Sunday during the holidays, as much to help out as to get to know his customers.

The two initial stores in Houston and Dallas were designed by Philip Johnson, a noted, but not really infallible desigenr of buildings, who might be called the first "celebrity architect." Certainly those who love the great old department stores hold him in disrespect for the role he played in the destruction of the beautiful "City of Paris" on Union Square. He and the client, Neiman-Marcus, bitterly fought even the preservation of the lovely oval atrium which was a landmark of the old store.

Don't take it from me, just seek out the comments on elsewhere on this site for some criticism of what eventually replaced what remains a sadly-lost landmark building in San Francisco.

While I have only seen rough sketches and aerial views of the Texas stores, now occupied by Saks Fifth Avenue, I wonder how they relate to the above anecdote. The fact that Field's pulled out of the Texas market before to long indicates that the story was not a happy one from any perspective.

To anonymous above, regarding your trips to Field's when a young boy . . .

Sorry I have taken so long to respond. Your tales are very poetic and really do convey what was described as "That's Field's" (meaning something good) as opposed to "That's not Field's" (meaning the opposite).

I guess we have to be thankful for our memories. I for one, am glad you shared your story, and agree with you that "the quality and specialty was lost." I will continue to work hard to make this a place of memory, and at least we can say that the "quality and specialty" have not been forgotten.

What a wonderful blog reminding me of the glory days of department stores. They used to be such special places. I miss Field's.

We all miss it! I am glad, though, that you stated that my work on the blog reminded you of the "glory days of the department stores." That is exactly what I am trying to do, and I feel as though the amount of time spent compiling and presenting this material has been worthwhile.

I cried the day Fields "died". Marshall Field's will ALWAYS be Chicago!
I remember every Saturday going down to State Street to shop. Like others have said, it was not shopping, it was an experience!
I have been searching in vain (about 10 years) for the recipe of the little tea cookies with the pink icing that you would sometimes get if you were very lucky (if they were passing them out) at the Crystal Palace. Would you be able to find out?

As a native Clevelander. I experienced the demise of our beloved Halle's which merged with Field's in the early 70's-
I was disappointed to hear that Federated refused to keep the Marshall Field name on the state street store-
The store is ruined & all that is left are the memories.
Outside of New York City. fine department store shopping as we knew it is finished-
It's a shame.

Please don't forget the Marshall Field's that had a short occupation at Northbrook Court Mall in the former Sears/JCPenney anchor spot on the west end of the mall.

I was a buyer for this chain, and I can't even tell you the amount of pride that would well up inside of you when you stood on the selling floor of your department and just looked around. I have bought for 4 other companies, but the Marshall Fields downtown store took my breath away every visit. I buy for a national chain now, and I long to feel those feelings. It started as a child when I went uptown with my grandmother. The smell, the sights. sigh. I am so glad you are trying to preserve some of this for future generations, although I truly wish they could experience it as I did. Let's all keep documenting it with stories and pictures so it does not just fade away. Thanks

I really appreciate your comments . . . they are very accurate indeed and sum up a very, very special place. As an infrequent visitor to Chicago, it was always a pleasure to walk through those doors because Field's was unique. It is hard to describe today what that means, but your comment about "the smells, the sights" allows a little window into the store which was truly the best in the US.

In particular, I celebrate small details that helped the store have its own character, like the beautifully hand lettered signs on pedestals throughout the store which made it seem somehow "human," the character of the (beautifully dressed) sales staff, or the aisle after aisle of substantial counters which gave the first floor a museum-like quality.

Thanks for remembering with me.

Marshall Field's built a beautiful store in Dallas in the 80's. Not listed in above branches. The store did very well, catering well to conservative Dallasites, until closed by the May co. The IM Pei designed store facade was amazing. The store now operates as a Saks Fifth Avenue.

Thanks for your comments. I only include "suburban stores" up to the late 1970s, when Fields began struggling and began to lose a lot of its character. The Texas stores were good ones, of course, but the entire adventure wasn't too long-lived (1979-1996) when you consider the age of the company as a whole.

I do believe that the stores were the work of Philip Johnson, and the concave facades only. Readers can find a newly posted picture of one of them on Flickr, I believe.

Where can one purchase one or more of the Xmas (M F & Co.) tree ornaments? I don't see them in their online cat.

You have both Hudson's and Feild's but no Dayton's? Where is the love for minneapolis? You're missing Dayton's, Donaldson's and Power's. All premiere regional department stores in their time!

Please have some patience . . . this is a huge undertaking, and until I have better access to the Minnesota newspapers of the past, I cannot add these stores because I have insufficient information at present. I recommend that you take the time too look at the welcome page, and you will see that it has been my intention to add them. Wherever I can, I visit libraries and pore over old newspapers, clipping files, scrapbooks, and archives to find this information, and share it freely with the general public, but I am not a magician and most definitely not a millionaire, so it isn't a matter of lacking "love for Minneapolis" but one of time and accessibility of credible information.

If your are in Minnesota, and want to spend many hours at the library, seaching for photos, logos, histories, department locations, and all sorts of other information, and are prepared to dilligently scan and archive the information, I would be happy to send you detailed instruction on what would make such an exhibit possible. Until then, though, we shall have to wait until the information becomes more accessible for me to perform the work, as I have with the other exhibits herein.

I think you are doing a wonderful job Bak. I stumbled upon your blog and read several pages. I remember the old B. Altman in Short Hills as I worked in that mall right before it closed in 1990.Even though it was a suburban store at the end of it's life, you could still see remnants of it's style and greatness, esp. in the people who had worked there for many years. I worked at Bonwit Teller in the mall there. I felt some of that "grand dame of retail" before they closed as well. Some of the women and men I worked with actually came from NYC flagship that was destroyed by Donald Trump who replaced it with his ghastly tower! Some of the furnishings and paintings were sent there, and I actually have a beautiful hand-carved wooded mirror I bought from the store before they closed. It is one of my most cherished posessions. I learned alot at Bonwit's and I am still in retail and use many of the things I learned from them in my everyday operations. I met many friends there and still keep in contact with some, 2 have even worked for me to this day! What a wonderful retailer, gone like so many. Keep up the good work and be well! Joseph Licata

Thank you, Joseph, for the kind & important comments. I appreciate your thoughts on the work I have done to put this material together I am so gratified that people like you have memories stirred . . . this way we keep the essential quality of these institutions alive.

Thanks again for your wishes,

My wife and I found a Marshal Field & Co. Household Utilities Porcelain Top Kitchen Table for sale and would like to buy it but know nothing about them. Do you or anyone out there know anything about them and how much they are worth?

Alan Baranowski :[email protected]

Field's and Wanamaker's were the two standard barriers by which every other department/specialty store deemed to be. They were merchants with palaces of buildings, who treated their staffs with respect and dignity. While architecturally I will give some credit to Dayton/Hudson, May Co and yes, even Macy's for preserving and upgrading the State Street store, it is still not what it was with the Field's name. even as it began to error, it was so far superior to any of its contemporaries. even Nordstrom or Neiman's.

Changing the name to Macy's was the final step in a long progression. For over a decade Marshall Field's had been making itself more and more like Macy's.

Many Chicagoans prefer calling it Macy's to seeing the respected Field's name further cheapened.

For me, as an admirer of Field's, the name change from Marshall Field & Company to the truncated "Marshall Field's" was the real indicator that decline was coming. The logo looked bad, and many of the store's unique touches soon became things of the past. It is true, though, that the store retained much that was good until its rightful name disappeared.

The ring of "Marshall Field and Company" definitely has the elegance that it was so famous for. My mother recounts fondly the years that she took the train from Wisconsin with my grandmother to visit the State Street store during Christmas. I remember going as a child with my family for those same joyous trips. I also lived in Chicago for a while and loved spending the day there. It was the best ever. Sorry Macy's but I actually hate shopping in your stores. Merchandise is junk, stores are dirty and run down, clerks are rude, all the amenities of Marshall Fields have left the building. There was nothing like the feeling of shopping at Marshall Field and Company, the quality merchandise, the wealth of selection, the beautiful, well kept, clean stores, and the marvelous clerks that made you feel like family as they carefully wrapped your purchases and loaded them in the iconic green shopping bags. I love you Marshall Field and Company and am deeply saddened by your demise.

I am doing some research on a Marshall Fields bag that is part of the Benz Gallary of Floral Art collection at Texas A&M University. We have a crocheted MF bag, in nearly excellent condition, and would like to know more about its history/dates/what departments used it. Thanks for any info you might have.

Hello, I enjoy reading your site. Brings back memories. I wanted to know if you know more about the art gallery at the downtown Chicago location. I have acquired a very large oil enchanced chromolithograph of an E.I.Couse framed print. The dust cover was intact, except for one end. I took it apart to clean it. the verso of the dust cover had Marshall Field & Co. printed on it. My question is,would you know where I can find more information about the art gallery at Marshall field & Co. circa 1920's-1930's. I'm trying to find out if they ever hosted artists, such as Couse,in an exhibit of their works,which would be for sale.

About the only specific I could offer is to check The Chicago Tribune via ProQuest Historical Newspapers - available through many libraries and search for the information during the desired period.

Thanks so much for the advice! Keep up the good work.

Hello everyone, I was hoping someone somewhere might be able to give me some ideas on how to find out the approximate age of my vintage Marshall Field & Company handbag. It's a tan snakeskin (although I don't know if it's real snakeskin or not)and on the inside on the front of a pocket it has a name on it that looks like Sellestons and there's a bell behind it. I would really like to find out how old this bag is and if anyone has any ideas or suggestions let me know I'd appreciate it. Thanks.

I'm so glad I stumbled across this site. I grew up in Marshall Fields. from visiting the christmas windows as a little girl wearing my white gloves, to learning to sew and then turning myself loose in MF's sewing department with the rich fabrics and amazing trims and buttons, dreaming of the many things i would make, and of course visiting the walnut room for lunch. i'd stop in on the 7th floor on my way home from work to buy a frango mint pie. it was carefully enclosed in a padded bag with dry ice to keep it frozen. i was always warned by the clerks not to touch the ice when i got home, a touch very much appreciated. i was there a few years ago and while the walnut room menu had some of the old items on there, it wasn't the same. the building remains beautiful, but not well maintained like it used to be. back in the day, it was a refuge from the grind of daily life. walk into marshall field and company and you were transformed into all that was clean,shining, fresh and lovely, if only for a little while. macys - shame on you.

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I understand that furniture was manufactured in Oak Park, but not sure what years. When I lived in Oak Park, 1976 to 1988, I was given a used desk that became my son's school desk at home - and only recently, as I was moving to CA discovered a metal plate inside the skinny drawer that one's knees fit under reading, "Marshall Fields". The name is gold, like the metal, and the green background is painted onto the plate.

"One can certainly see how a Chicagoan could become obsessed with Field's. They carried so many different things of value, and their house brands, at least during the ྂs, were of a high order. They used to send me their catalogs, and twice a year, I got one called "Stock Up Selling" or something similar, with staples, even including Marshall Field & Company detergent, paper plates, and even toilet paper!"

I remember the newspaper insert/catalogue that had Toilet paper etc. I wish I could find a copy of that! I believe most of there house hold products were known as the 333 Marshall Field & Company brand. What the 333 stood for I have no idea.

I also remember when store restaurants had the famous Field’s monogram engraved on all the silverware. Vey nice touch but one has to wonder how much of that silverware “magical” jumped in the more then a few purses.. lol!

Thanks, Mike for all of your interesting comments. It is clear that you knew the Field's I did, when I visited Chicago in the 1970s.

I will admit that I had one of those spoons at one time!

Looking at your name, I have to wonder, are you related?

Also, I have some photos of the store as it was remodeled in the 1970s, which were once posted here, but have been removed. I will bring them back soon. They represent, in retrospect, not the best idea for the State Street Store, but even so, it was done with a taste and style that were uniquely Field's.

What ever happened to the giant American Flag(95 feet long & 50 feet wide)that was made in Manchester N.H. at the Amoskege mills that was sent to Marshall Field & Co. Chigago.

To BAK : regarding comment on 4/12. Interesting observation that once a retailer deleted the ". and Company" most of them saw a decline in their standards. I never thought of it that way, but it is an accurate statement.

That seemed like a big deal at the time, and as I said, the logo looked terrible and unbalanced asfter they changed it from Marshall Field & Company. The change indicated that the store was no longer unique and just like others, in my opinion. I wonder what the rationale was at the time - was it to make the store better match a dumbed-down prospective customer base who had trouble pronouncing more than three words in a row, or one which couldn't distinguish between the formal name of the company and it's popular diminutive of "Field's?"

@ BAK. God, I hope the original Marshall Fields and Company customer was not that "dumbed down". Most retailers as you may remember had the ". and Company" after their names. Even the evil Macy's was once known as "R.H. Macy and Company" (although in all honesty, the "and company" was gone by the turn of the 20th Century). so, I guess the rationale is Macy's began the dumbing down of the American Department store. Prior to its purchase of my beloved "Bamberger's" , the company was known as L. Bamberger and Company. Once Macy's purchased it in 1929, it became "Bambger's", even the "L" was gone. I think we just found the missing link, my friend :-)

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Oh my- so glad to find you. This has hit a nerve- worked there (Section 70, folks!) in the 60s as I made my way through the School of the Art Institute (SAIC). I will never forgive a) the substitution of metal ones for the original counters on the first floor and b) the introduction of impersonal chaos after that. It was always so beautiful and perfect. They had already started messing with the Walnut Room and even then I prayed they would cause no further damage EVER. I love new as much as anyone but some things were right the first time.

There are so many happy memories associated with the place, yes- I guess I did not have the white glove experience going downtown as a little girl but I did go downtown as a little barehanded girl and I was not too small to have my junior sensibilities piqued by the architecture and all the rest of it. Never underestimate what a kid takes in. So I bear the Field's imprint as so many of us do.

Also I agree about the name changes- it's always been Field's to me, and Marshall Field & Co. if feeling formal. I have scavenged the house (I have lived in western NYS for over 40 years now) and pulled together all my Field's boxes and trivia into a sad treasure trove/memorial. I even found one of my baby teeth in a Field's gift envelope. Yes, Field's surrounded me all these years in every corner of the house.

There is nothing like Field's back home, for sure. Thanks for the web site. I am always amazed to see how profoundly a mere store could affect people of all ages. Macy's has no clue except the ability to recognize a mountain it cannot climb, so it has tunneled, chipped and chopped away trying to bring Field's down to size. Can't happen- we all still own it.

Bruce: Just bought a lithograph titled The Quiver Maker by E. I. Couse with a Marshall Fields' tag on the back. I found that the image is painted in several areas and I can envision Marshall Fields having Couse make an appearance at the store and he embellished the art to promote sales. Have you discovered anything that suggests that Couse or other artists made personal appearances at the store. Thanks for the help. Rick

Hi, Great site! I did not see mention of the fact that the "L" train actually stopped inside Marshall Fields downtown starting in the late 50s. You can read more about it here: http://www.chicago-l.org/stations/randolph-wabash.html
Having grown up in Oak Park during that bygone era my mother with us young children in tow would on occassion ride the "L" literally into the downtown Field's store then liesurely select wardrobe and household items (that were typically not available in Oak Park). We lunched in the Walnut room then boarded the "L" train inside the store and returned home. My mother did not have to carry bags or packages at all since Marshall Field's would deliver all her selections to the home promptly the next morning. A Field's truck would arrive and the driver would bring everything into the home while a lady would help my mother deploy and arrange everything while checking items, etc. Fields was known for hands-on service at the store and in a customer's home. Just like Doctors making house calls customer service unfortunately is almost non-existent today!

As I recall the El stop was outside the store on the Budget level where the El was underground. No way the trains would have been running through the store 24/7. I have a feeling the first sentence could only be understood by a Chicagoan!

Do you know what happened to the State Street store's company archives ?
I've tried to find out where they're now housed, but have come up with nothing.
I'm interested in finding photographs of their window displays from the early part of the 20th century.

I would check on the Seventh Floor, Middle Wabash, where there is a museum and the store's archives.

Thank you for your suggestion.
I stopped by the State Street store and learned that the Marshall Field's archives are now housed in the Chicago History Museum.

Terrific! Thank you, and now I know, too!

Does anyone have pictures of the cozy cottage when Mrs.Clause, Uncle Misiltoe, and Aunt Holly were with the real Santa? My Grandmother worked in the foundation dept in the 40's and 50s.Every year we would go to the employee Christmas party.What an experience and what great memories I have of those spectacular parties.

My Grandmother was an employee of Marshall Field and Co during the 1940's and 50's. One of the best perks she had, in my opinion, was the employee Christmas party for their family. I have very vivid memories of those events.

The Party was usually the first Sunday of December, which was always near my birthday, so this became a double special event. I would put on my new holiday dress, the new holy trimmed anklets, and my shiny black patten-leather shoes. My Mother and Grandmother would have their best on, which always included hat and gloves. We would all board the South Shore and go the end of the line at Randolph. We came early so we could see the windows and waited for the doors to open for the quests.

When the doors opened only the special people were allowed into the store. We would all start up the escalator to the Walnut Room. No one else was in the store and I felt that we were privilege to be there. On the 7th floor you walked into a magical world. The TREE. It was all the way to the sky and Uncle Mistletoe was looking down from heaven. The room was full of different stages, where jugglers, magician, clowns, and more were performing non stop. The Dickens Carolers were singing and the Fairy Queen was spreading her magic dust to every child. The tables were full of Christmas cookies, candies and hot cocoa with the biggest marshmallow in the world. There were no adults stopping you from grogging yourself, so we did.

After a while my Mother would appear and tell me it was time to see Santa. Now I knew we were going to see the real Santa. All the other men in red suits and fake beards were just his helpers, but at Marshall Field the real Santa came to talk to us. We would take the escalator to the toy floor and stood in line. The time went by because we had miles and miles, or it seemed to me, of winter scenes and animated figures to keep a sugar high child busy for hours. We finally made our destination to the Cozy Cloud Cottage and were greeted by Aunt Holly and Uncle Mistletoe. Our next stop was to Mrs. Clause, who kept us busy until it was our turn to see Santa. No one had to force me to his lap. I was not a very outgoing little girl, but I had no fear to tell Santa what my wishes were for Christmas.

When I finished talking to Santa, we headed for the South Shore station and home. I sank into the red velvet chair and waited for the train to start rocking be to sleep. I had about 5 of these glorious days. My Grandmother retired from Fields and by the time my children were born the Parties had stopped. We still had our lunch under the sky high Tree, but I only had those special memories.

I have a copy of Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice which has printed in gold on the inside of the blue leather cover that it was for Marshall Field Company - probably bound in 1901. Does anyone know more about this book? Thank you.

I am researching an early copy of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen which is a beautiful blue leather book with gold print and gilted gold edges on all sides of the pages. On the top edge of the inside cover printed in gold it states: Bound by Sangorski & Sutcliffe, London, England.On the bottom of the inside cover printed in gold it states: For Marshall Field and Company. Would you have any information on this book? From what I could find it was a first edition trade book - and had plain hardboard covers that others would then have rebound. Since this states it was Marshall Field and Company I am very curious why and when would the store have done this. Many thanks.

What a fantastic memory Jeannine. Thank you, so much, for sharing it. Just lovely.

That's a fantastic memory and you are so lucky to have experienced what no longer seems to exist these days.

Hi, could you tell me anything about a Jane Austen book Pride and Prejudice that was bound for Marshall Field & Company circa 1900? Thank you.

hi, i was hopeing someone can direct me to someone who might help me find out who to sell or find out more information on a piano i have been given 20 years ago it has the marshall fields and co. gold stamp on the front. it was my girfriends grandmothers who passed away . i no longer have room for it and would like to part ways with it.

When you allow uneducated people to come into our country with 3rd world values who don't think standards matter when you allow schools not to do their jobs to teach the importance of citizenship in a free society when you allow ignorance to prevail and not hold people accountable the loss of these great institutions is what will result. I love the old department stores. People mattered in the old department stores that were great! They don't matter anymore :( (I THINK THEY DO BUT THE PEOPLE RUNNING The Big BOX RETAILERS THINK PEOPLE ARE EXPENDABLE). I wish I could have seen all these great department stores in their glory days :).

I grew up in downstate Illinois and remember taking the train with my Mom and Grandmother to State Street. Marshall Fields was always tops and first on the list, next to Carson's. I, too remember eating in the Walnut Room with a million other Mothers and Grandmothers. I'd give anything to have those moments back to tell my Grandmother what great memories I would have of our travels together. For a period of time I worked at Monroe and State and visited Marshall Fields or Carson's when I got paid.

I live in St Louis now and only get to Chicago on occassion. I miss those sights and sounds from my childhood. Nothing will ever replace Marshall Fields.

Dear Bruce, what a wonderful tribute your blog gives to what was once the finest store in the United States. Marshall Fields & Company. I live in Texas, and I was fortunate enough to run across an original watercolor by E. I. Couse, with a Marshall Field & Company price tag on the back. I have visions of the original purchaser strolling the Second Floor South Wabash section of Marshall Fields, State Street, and he/she falling in love with this beautiful work of art. How in the world this work found its way to the southern most tip of Texas is a question that will never be answered, but I am so happy that I found it in an antique shop the other day. The subject matter is of the Art Institute of Chicago building, with 1930's model autos in front of the building. As a fine art consultant, it is now one of the most treasured paintings in my art collection. not one of the most expensive, but certainly one of the most treasured works. I would be happy to send you images of this very special work of art if you will send an e-mail to [email protected] I sincerely appreciate the effort that you have made in keeping alive the memory of this historic institution! Best regards. Frank

I was wondering if you could give me the archival information for your images?

Hi, Mattea. If you'll send an e-mail to [email protected], I'll send you images of the watercolor. I'm having doubts that the work is by E. I. Couse, due to the subject matter, but it is a sensational painting nonetheless. I have contacted the Chicago History Museum and requested that they help me identify the artist via the Marshall Field & Company archives that they now possess. will let you know if they are able to help me identify the artist. Take care.

I am looking for the menu or anyone that remembers what the tea time plate in the Walnut room had on it. It was served at like 2-4pm. Had finger sandwiches with petit fours and gum drops and Constant Comment tea.

Found this site, after much research. We lived in the country in a small town in Ohio, so we didn't have the money to make a trip to the city "Chicago", so we ordered our "dress" clothes from the catalog. We had to wait until the "grown-ups" looked at all the clothes before we could look. Now this was back in the 40's. I remember my brothers saving their money to buy the serge suits. Couldn't wait til I got old enough to pick out some clothing. Ah! those were the days.

Could you please tell me if marshall fields products were ever sold in the UK MY dad seems to remember using soap and mens hair cream. Iknow they had buying offices here in the Uk could you give me any info onthe Uk side pleas
Regards DebbI (uk

When I was a very little girl, my parents took me downtown to see Santa. When I asked my mother about all the other Santas on the street corners ringing bells, she replied: "Those are Santa's helpers, collecting coins for the Salvation Army. There is only one real Santa, and he is at Marshall Field's."
--Gale (Chicago, now Irvine CA)


Oh my - what fun to find this blog. Finding my old Marshall Field & Company charge plate is what sent me to the internet. I showed it to a salesperson at Macy's last night and she stared and stared at it and said, "It's an antique!" Well, not quite. it's from the 70s. Don't know what to do with it - seems a shame to toss it. I guess I'll hang onto it.

One thing I did not see mentioned yet is the College Board. This was a group of college girls that were hired to work at Field's for the summer. My dad was a pastor in Chicago and one of his parishioners worked in the 28 Shop and helped me get the College Board job for the summer of 1970. Each year an outfit was especially designed for the College Board. I'll never forget how expertly the outfits were tailored to fit each girl. I felt like a million bucks when I went outside on my lunch hour (sometimes over to the Picasso statue). Lunch was often a hot dog from the basement snack bar.

After I was married and had a baby, as did my close friend, we started a tradition of going to Marshall Field's for a day during the Christmas season. Our day consisted of an "el" ride downtown, playing in the toy department, waiting in line to eat at the Walnut room (the mothers took turns shopping while the other stayed in the line with the kids), always ordering the Field's Special, getting fairy dust sprinkled on us, ordering drinks so we could take home the year's decorated glass mug, listening to the elves sing around the store, peeking in on Santa, looking at the windows, and then another el ride home. What great memories. We kept up this tradition with my 2 children and my friend's 4 until some of them were in college!

Thanks so much for this blog and to everyone for stirring up Field's memories.

Dear BAK -- First, thanks for the terrific website. It's a joy to peruse and makes me extremely nostalgic. Second, I couldn't get through all the comments above, but scanned many of them, so forgive me if I repeat anything already written.
As a native (almost 60) Field's was my second home. (Note: please either call it Field's or MF&Co. Calling it Marshall Field's endorses their company name change, but more on that below). I had such chauvinism for this store, I took it personally if someone said something disparaging. I knew the store inside and out. As a northsider, I also was well acquainted with the Evanston and Old Orchard stores. However, there was no store like the loop store. Nowhere.
In 1974 and 1975 I worked summers at the Store for Men -- when it was across the street. (I worked for a very brief time in Evanston in 1972). In 1974 a week of employee training was MANDATORY. We were paid our minimum wage of $1.85/hour AND had to wear a suit and tie (not even a navy blazer/gray slacks was allowed). The Store for Men was the real McCoy: five floors of elegant fixtures and interiors, a PAJAMA shop, a hat shop the size of hotel lobby, salesmen and women who had been at that store for upwards of 25 years, floor walkers!
But 1975 saw the beginning of the end . I believe the first sign was installing a giant staircase on the first floor of the men's store that connected the men's budget store to the main store's budget floor. It completely ruined the elegance of that first floor. But worse was in sight. The coup de grace, I believe, was building the Water Tower Store. This was acknowledging the demise of the loop and the emergence of the "new" downtown, north of the river. This only underscored, and in a way endorsed, "white flight" from downtown to the new mall called North Michigan Avenue. (That development represents its own tragedy -- a sophisticated, refined, human-scaled de luxe shopping corridor became and remains an architectural waste land of flip flops and tights). Then, adding insult to injury, as you mention, they dropped the & Company. I was horrified. Tasteless, incorrect, tacky, wrong. Oddly, I am a person who thinks the world would be a better place without this current "branding" phenomenon . that has completely extinguished the chic of a house brand . but I guess there's no other explanation than removing the & Company is a textbook example of brand devaluation.
Everyone was head over heels with Phil Miller. Certainly he had style and credentials -- but he wasn't Field's. (In those days something was or was not "Field's.") After that, things were out of control. Didn't Target then acquire the store? It just began the long, painful process of circling the drain, so that, frankly, when it closed, I said good riddance. It was no longer Field's, it didn't look like Field's, Uncle Mistletoe and Aunt Holly were sent to the graveyard, Frango mints were no longer being made in the store, horrific remodeling occurred (including the removal of the 28 Shop elevator!) . everything in order to win the unbeatable race of moving with the times, catering to American's never ending desire for cheaper and cheaper merchandise and the downgrading of one-time luxury brands (Louis Vuitton, Lalique et al.), right down to the present world in which we now live of make believe "bling." Disgusting.
I'll never forget Field's, but holding on to the hope it will come back is ludicrous and fruitless. I say to all those people still "sitting shiva" for Field's, get real. It wasn't Field's when it closed and it won't be if it reopens. If it looks like Macy's, smells like Macy's etc. It's over and never to come back. And if you think what happened to Field's is a travesty -- look down the street at what became of the wonderful, innovative store that was Carson's!
Thanks for letting me rant. Bruce

This is a great site. It has brought back so many wonderful memories for me.

As a child, my Mom and Dad would always take me downtown to see the windows at Christmas. I have great memories of eating with my Mom at the Veranda Room after an eye doctor's appt.

My Dad and I would always eat at the Walnut Room at Christmas time after we had selected a very nice present for Mom. We always got the Chicken Pot Pie and a piece for Frango Mint Ice Cream Pie for desert. Yum.

Who knew I would be lucky enough to work for them while I went to college. I worked in Fine and Fashion Jewelry in the 1970's.

I remember receiving a very extensive training course, before you got to work on the sales floor. You had to learn not only how to operate their cash register and learn to ring up cash and credit card sales but how to wrap gifts, fill out very specific forms for delivery of packages. Local delivery verses delivery across country. How to pack small items so they did not get damaged in transit.

I was able to work with the Antique Jewelry buyer on a trunk show. She would buy specific pieces on consignment with certain customers in mind. Usually she was spot on, the customers purchased the pieces. (Some of the items were quite expensive) Now that is the customer service that gave Field's their name and reputation. I remember handwriting invitations to customers to come to the show. It was very successful.

I read the above comment with reference to the employee dress code. I still have my book. The code was very specfic and strict. Women had to wear hose at all times, no open toed shoes, appropriate hemline. Dresses could only be so many inches above the knee, too short and an employee would be sent home. Hair had to be neat. For men, beards were to kept neat and trimmed. No long hair. Suits and ties were required. No casual clothes. No one really complained it was what added to the Marshall Field atmosphere and the privledge of working for Marshall Field's.

I remember learning to wrap packages and providing the complimenary gift card. In Fashion Jewelry, items were place in the sturdy white box with the gold Marshall Field and Co. Logo, then it was wrapped in gold cord and after the customer had written a personal note on a gold gift card it was attached to package with the same gold cord.

I remember in Fine Jewelry, items were placed in the appropriate green leather gift box. The leather box was put in a white MF & Co. box and then complimentary wrapping was offered to the customer. Lovely heavy white wrapping paper again with the gold MF & Co. logo, and white ribbon. The gift card was a little nicer, it came in its own little envelope. I remember practicing making the white bows. As if that was not enough, the customer could get it delivered locally the next day. No charge for shipping. All arriving neat and tidy on the Marshall Field and Co. small green delivery truck, with a uniformed guy bringing it to your door with a smile on his face.

Now that is the customer service, that kept people loyal to Marshall Field's.

They also provided free seminars to employee's about the items they were selling so they were knowledgeable about the merchandise they were selling and could provide that knowledge to their customers.

All in all great memories and lovely people to work with. Great customers too.

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History of asphalt mix design in North America, Part 1

Superpave, currently the most common method of asphalt mix design in North America, was developed in the early 1990s as part of the Strategic Highway Research Program. Superpave was not entirely new. The method draws upon history and incorporates new information. To understand current mix design, it is important to understand the development of mix design technology.

Early mix design methods

In 1890, E.G. Love published a series of articles on roads and paving. These articles were not technical but were similar to articles in current trade magazines. The articles contained ideas for designing a pavement. One article by F.V. Greene of the Barber Asphalt Paving Company was a specification for the construction of an asphalt pavement. Design technology was not discussed, but a recipe was given for the asphalt surface. A Barber wearing surface was specified as follows:

Asphalt cement 12 to 15%
Sand 70 to 83%
Pulverized carbonite of lime 5 to 15%

Mix was laid in two lifts. The first lift, called the cushion coat, contained 2 to 4 percent more asphalt and was compacted to a depth of one-half inch. The surface coat was made according to the specifications above. The lime was added cold to the hot (300º F) sand before the asphalt was mixed in. The quantity of lime was adjusted according to the properties of the sand. Proportions were adjusted based on visual observation of experienced personnel.

In 1905, Clifford Richardson, owner of the New York Testing Company published “The Modern Asphalt Pavement.” The 1912 second edition refers to many pavements built across the United States in the 1890s and 1900s. Richardson describes two types of asphalt mixes: surfacing mixtures and asphaltic concrete.

Surfacing mixture is a sand mix. Typical gradations are 100 percent passing the #10 sieve and 15 percent passing the #200 sieve. Asphalt contents are 9 to 14 percent. He discusses the ability of sand to carry asphalt and the calculation of the area of spherical particles. The asphalt content of these mixtures was determined by the “pat-paper test” (asphalt stain on paper), as shown in Figure 1.

In doing the pat-paper test, Richardson warns that the mixture must be sufficiently hot for the asphalt to be fluid. Cold mixtures are of no use and excessively hot ones may cause too much staining. Although he does not describe the test method in detail, the streaks on the paper suggest that the mixture is spilled onto the paper.

Asphaltic concrete is used for lower courses. Richardson warns that asphaltic concrete is not suitable as a surface layer on main streets but may be suitable for lesser streets. Horse’s shoes and hoofs ravel particles from the surface. In his opinion, the high asphalt content sand mix must be used to resist the impact of horseshoes.

Asphaltic concrete is more like current HMA. A cross section of asphaltic concrete is shown in Figure 2. Interestingly, the design of this mixture did not use the pat-paper test. Instead, Richardson calculates the voids in mineral aggregate. In fact, he refers to it as VMA.

Richardson describes adjusting the VMA to include the correct amount of asphalt. The gradation shown in the photo is similar to a pavement Richardson used in Michigan that was as follows:

1.5 inch 100%
1 inch 83.6%
½ inch 50.1%
¼ inch 40.3%
#8 36.8%
#200 5.2%
VMA 13.2%
Bitumen 7.4%

Under today’s specifications this mixture would be a 1.5-inch nominal maximum size mixture. It is a fine-graded mixture because the percent passing the primary control sieve (3/8-inch sieve which is not shown in the table) is above 40 percent. The VMA requirement of modern specifications is 11.0 percent that is 2.2 percent less than the VMA in Richardson’s mixture. This means the asphalt content would be about 0.9 percent lower than Richardson used.

Air voids are not calculated as part of Richardson’s mix design but he analyzed several pavements in his book and talks about the correct level of density as compared to the theoretical density. By calculation, the air voids are deduced to be about 2 percent. Note this is the in-place air voids. If air voids were higher, say 5 to 8 percent, Richardson commented that the pavements were unable to withstand thermal shock and would crack.

The key idea evolving from pavement design at the beginning of the 20th century was the concept of using an asphaltic concrete as the base layers with a sand asphalt mix as the surface.

Hubbard Field mix design

In the mid-1920s, Charles Hubbard and Frederick Field, with the newly created Asphalt Association (later the Asphalt Institute), developed a method of mix design called the Hubbard Field Method of Design. The Hubbard Field method was commonly used among state highway departments in the 1920s and 1930s although use continued on into the 1960s in some states.

Initially, the Hubbard Field method focused on the surfacing mixture, the sand asphalt-wearing course. Specimens were 2 inches in diameter and were compacted with a hand rammer.

A modified Hubbard-Field version was developed for asphalt concrete. It used 6-inch diameter specimens that were compacted with two different rammers. First 30 “heavy blows” were applied with the 2-inch rammer followed by 30 blows with a 5.75-inch rammer. The specimen was turned over and pushed to the opposite end of the mold. Again 30 blows of the 2-inch rammer were applied followed by 30 blows of a 5.75-inch rammer. The specimen was then placed in a compression machine and was loaded with a 10,000-pound load and was allowed to cool in a cold water bath under compression.

The Hubbard Field method built upon Richardson’s process. Specimens were made in the laboratory but instead of using a paper stain test, they developed an evaluation method to determine design asphalt content. Bulk specific gravity of the compacted specimens was measured. Maximum theoretical specific gravity was computed using aggregate bulk specific gravity (Note that asphalt absorption was therefore not accounted for.) Air voids were calculated as were voids in the aggregate skeleton (VMA by today’s terminology). So, the volumetric analysis was similar to the properties used today.

In addition to the volumetric analysis, the Hubbard Field method used a stability test where the compacted mix is squeezed through a ring slightly smaller than the specimen diameter. The peak load sustained before the mix started flowing through the orifice was called the Hubbard Field stability. In concept, this is identical to Marshall Stability where the specimen is loaded on its side and the peak load is the Marshall stability.

The Hubbard Field method selected asphalt content based on air voids and stability. Voids in the aggregate were evaluated to help adjust the mixture stability.

Early pavements in California were made using natural bitumen from the La Brea Tar pits located in the Los Angeles and Santa Barbara area. Although referred to as tar, these were actually natural asphalt seeps.

This asphalt was quite soft and was used in the role of penetrating macadam, in which it was sprayed on top of compacted open-graded aggregate, or it was used by mixing with gravel and making an oil mix.

In the 1920s, oil mix made with cutback asphalt was a common method of paving. It was mixed in windrows with the asphalt sprayed on top of a knocked-down windrow and mixed back and forth with a motor grader. Oil content was determined by eye, so an experienced person was needed to ensure that the mix had the proper brown color.

In 1927, Francis Hveem became a resident engineer in California, and having no experience with oil mixes, used the information about gradation with the paper stain test to evaluate asphalt content. He recognized this process was controlled by aggregate surface area and found a method to calculate surface area. He used surface area factors published in 1918 by a Canadian engineer, Captain L.N. Edwards, which were proposed for use in Portland cement concrete design.

Francis Hveem applied the design process used for oil mixes to hot mix asphalt. By 1932 he had developed a method to determine asphalt content based on surface area. He continued to make changes to the surface area factors and developed a test using motor oil to estimate asphalt absorption. The surface area factors in today’s Asphalt Institute manual MS-2 for Hveem mix design are those developed by Hveem for the California Department of Highways in the 1940s.

Hveem started developing a stability test. He recognized that mechanical strength of the mix was important and developed the Hveem stabilometer, which is a pseudo-triaxial test. A vertical load is applied to a confined specimen and the resulting horizontal pressure is measured. When asphalt content exceeds a threshold, the horizontal pressure increases, and Hveem used this property to discern stable and unstable pavements. Based on oil mixes, he developed threshold values for stability and applied them to HMA.

Hveem’s mix design philosophy is that sufficient asphalt binder is needed to satisfy aggregate absorption and to have a minimum film thickness on the surface of the aggregates. In order to carry load, the aggregates had to have a sliding resistance (measured by the Hveem stabilometer) and a minimum tensile strength to resist turning movement (measured by the cohesiometer). Stability and cohesion were influenced by the aggregate properties and the amount of asphalt binder. For durability, Hveem developed the swell test and moisture vapor sensitivity test to measure the reaction of the mix to water. The swell test used liquid water, and the vapor sensitivity test used moisture vapor. The effect on Hveem stability after conditioning was measured. Hveem found that thicker asphalt films had more resistance to moisture.

Air voids are not part of Hveem’s mix design system. He believed that film thickness and mechanical properties as described by stability were most important. In the 1980s or ‘90s, air voids were added as a consideration. Interestingly, if one looks at performance of HMA in the 1980s or early 1990s when rutting was a huge national problem and compares the general performance of Hveem mixes with Marshall mixes, a general statement could be made that Hveem pavements had lower asphalt contents and fatigue cracking was a major concern. It is not a coincidence that fatigue cracking research and beam fatigue is associated with research at the University of California Berkeley. In the Marshall states, fatigue cracking was not a predominant problem rutting was the issue.

Bruce Marshall of the Mississippi Department of Highways developed Marshall mix design in the late 1930s to early 1940s. In 1943 Marshall approached the Corps of Engineers in Vicksburg, MS about using the Marshall method of design and was hired. The Corps adopted Marshall’s system in World War II for use on airfields. Post WW II, it was “civilianized” for use by state highway departments.

Marshall mix design is essentially an outgrowth of the Hubbard-Field method. The approach is similar although the practice was different. Hubbard-Field used two different sized rammers to compact samples. Marshall used one hammer and matched the compactor diameter to the mold diameter. Hubbard-Field had used a hand-tamp rammer. Marshall standardized the compaction energy applied by using a drop hammer.

Marshall included calculation of air voids from Hubbard-Field but not VMA. Instead, he used voids filled with asphalt as a criterion. In the 1950s, Norman McLeod advocated use of VMA in the mix design method. Presumably, he was aware of VMA in the Hubbard-Field method and believed it should apply to the Marshall method.

In the 1950s and 1960s, the Asphalt Institute was the de facto keeper of the Marshall standard and published it in “MS-2, A Manual of Mix Design Methods for Asphalt Concrete.” Although ASTM was the main home of the Marshall method (D-1889), the method was a reflection of MS-2. Even AASHTO, which adopted its own standard, mirrored MS-2. As a result ASTM and AASHTO had methods for Marshall mix design but the properties specified within them had been established by the Asphalt Institute from research and technical debates. Files at the Asphalt Institute contain letters and data from Marshall, who became a consultant after leaving the Corps, and McLeod, who worked for Imperial Oil in Canada.

Marshall was against inclusion of VMA McLeod favored including it. McLeod’s most notable research papers on VMA are a 1956 Highway Research Board paper, a 1957 AAPT paper and a 1959 ASTM symposium paper. Other papers argued in favor of film thickness. Particularly, L.C. Krchma argued for film thickness in AAPT and Highway Research Board proceedings.

McLeod’s original work considered using one level of VMA for all mixes. This was later changed to a sliding scale based on aggregate nominal maximum particle size. The need for additional asphalt binder as mixture size became smaller was recognized, but there was no direct connection between surface area and VMA criteria.

In 1962, after much debate, the Asphalt Institute changed MS-2 to include VMA as a mix design criteria. AASHTO and ASTM changed their standards to reflect the Asphalt Institute revision.

The Marshall and Hveem mix design procedures served as the primary means of designing dense mixtures until the mid-90s, when the Superpave procedure was introduced.

Gerry Huber is the Associate Director of Research for Heritage Research Group.

For Generations of Chicagoans, Marshall Field’s Meant Business, and Christmas

Christmas has not been celebrated at Chicago’s Marshall Field’s department stores since 2005, but mention the name to just about any Windy City native, and it will plunge them back into the childhood wonder of the flagship downtown shopping emporium during the holiday season: Gazing up at the towering evergreen of the Walnut Room, glittering ornaments weighing on its boughs. Winding through lines for Cozy Cloud Cottage, waiting for a moment with Santa. Marveling at the elaborate holiday windows along State Street, and savoring that first bite of a Marshall Field’s Frango Mint, made just upstairs in the onsite candy kitchen.

Cynics may dismiss these memories as mere reflections of cold retail strategies. But for Chicagoans, the emotional connections are real, as they are for shoppers across the country who cherished the family-owned department stores that anchored their downtowns. Bostonians had Filene’s. Atlantans had Rich’s. Detroiters had Hudson’s. Clevelanders had Halle’s. Philadelphians had Wanamaker’s. Though conceived primarily as commercial centers, they evolved into larger institutions of American life—places where families of various castes and classes were welcome to take in the spectacle of services and goods, no admission fee required. 

No time was this truer than the holiday season. And before the age of online shopping and franchise-heavy megamalls sent them to their demise (Marshall Field’s, for one, was converted into a Macy’s), these stores held a significant place in our collective Christmas memories.

But how did these houses of retail come to inspire such fond feelings?

That’s the question that I, as a historian, became fascinated by growing up in Chicago, where Marshall Field’s was as much a part of the soul of the city as our Lakefront or our Cubs. As a child, I would meet my grandmother under the famous clock at State Street and Washington Boulevard, and head up to the Walnut Room for lunch with my grandfather, who worked at Field’s as the buyer for the linen department for 25 years. When the change to Macy’s was announced, protestors gathered under the clock with signs reading “Field’s is Chicago – Boycott Macy’s.” They have been picketing there every fall since 2005. This year’s signs read, “If the Cubs can win the World Series, Marshall Field’s can come back to Chicago.”

Christmas wasn’t much of a holiday anywhere in America when Potter Palmer arrived in Chicago in 1852 and opened a dry goods store. By the turn of the century his successors, Marshall Field and Levi Leiter (and later just the now-eponymous Field) had built it into the premiere department store in the Midwest, known for impeccable customer care, generous return policies, quality merchandise, and a vast array of services (from tea rooms to relaxation rooms, shoe repair to hotel bookings—all of which kept shoppers in the building and reaching for their wallets).

Christmas, however, had received only modest attention. The store eventually began advertising Christmas cards and gift merchandise, and in 1885, they opened a seasonal toy department (which later became year-round). The first mention of holiday decorations at Marshall Field and Company came in 1907. The store had just opened in a monumental new building featuring the Walnut Room, and restaurant employees reportedly put up a small Christmas tree.

By 1934, the tree stood 25 feet high. By mid-century, Field’s laid claim to the world’s largest indoor Christmas conifer: A 45-foot evergreen hoisted atop the Walnut Room’s drained fountain. It took 18 decorators and three-story-high scaffolding to trim the live evergreen—to kids, it looked like it stretched all the way up to the sky.

Through the decades, department stores like Marshall Field’s employed ever more elaborate strategies to lure shoppers. As the smell of Mrs. Herring’s Chicken Pot Pie wafted from the Walnut Room, massive “ice” reindeer soared over displays, oversized candy canes and evergreen garlands wound down the aisles, and giant stars and mega snowflakes floated in the skylight. In dizzying displays of holiday spirit, Field’s insides conveyed top-to-bottom Yuletide joy.

And then there were the Marshall Field’s gift boxes. Each one bore the elegant calligraphy of the company name, signaling that the gift inside was worth savoring. It was not unheard of for gift-givers to repurpose the notoriously sturdy containers, packing them with “imposter” goods from other stores, both out of frugality and in an effort to impart that ineffable Field’s glow.

Field’s had good reason to continue these traditions. But their real power came from transcending their original commercial purpose. For many Chicagoans, Marshall Field’s at Christmas was transformed from a wonderfully stocked department store into a near-sacred family ritual.

None of these rituals was more legend than the holiday windows.

In 1910, thanks to improved glass manufacturing that could create massive transparent panels, stores across the U.S. began mounting elaborate window displays, and efforts quickly escalated as they became a powerful lure for shoppers.

Marshall Field’s inventive window designer, Arthur Fraser, used the big corner window at Washington Boulevard to showcase holiday gift merchandise. His first panel featured animated carousels and gift-ready toy trains. But in 1944 the store’s new stylist, John Moss, ditched the hard sell in favor of narrative windows—recreating Clement Moore’s A Visit from St. Nicholas. The story panels were such a hit they were repeated the next year.

Soon a new holiday window trend took hold: store-specific mascots. Montgomery Ward’s claimed Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Wieboldt’s concocted the Cinnamon Bear. Not to be outdone, one of Moss’s co-designers, Joanna Osborn, conjured Uncle Mistletoe, a plump, Dickens-like figure decked out in a red great-coat and black top hat. With white wings, he flew around the world, teaching children the importance of kindness at Christmas.

The first window displays of Uncle Mistletoe went up in 1946 in a series titled A Christmas Dream, which featured the generous old man bringing a young boy and girl to the North Pole to visit Santa. In 1948, Uncle Mistletoe got some company in the form of Aunt Holly , and the pair became a merchandizing bonanza. Over the years, shoppers could buy dolls, books, ornaments, coloring sets, molded candles, cocktail napkins, hot pads, puppets, glassware, and even used window props.

As time went on, Field’s window decorators mastered the art of fake snow (a combination of kosher salt and ground-up glass) and detailed animatronic antics. I remember when the windows had a Nutcracker theme. Below the big scenes depicting the main store were tiny windows where tiny mice figurines were enacting their own delightful version of the story.

At their peak, planning and designing the annual displays began more than a year in advance, with an eager public waiting every November for the reveal of each new theme. Tens of thousands of fans made pilgrimages from Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota to crowd around the earnest State Street displays in childlike awe.

There was a marketing aspect to the windows, of course. Delighted viewers, suffused with the seasonal spirit, would hopefully pop inside to shop. But there was no commerce in the displays themselves. Like many of the holiday creations inside, people became attached to the spirit, not the sales. The store’s brand became more than just the goods it sold, which ebbed and flowed over the years. For generations of Chicago families, Marshall Field’s simply inspired Christmas cheer.

Leslie Goddard is a historian and the author of Remembering Marshall Field’s (Arcadia, 2011). Her family has more than 50 years’ experience working for Marshall Field’s.

Chicago’s Ultimate Window Dressing

Whether your family arrived in Chicago in the 1850s or last year, it’s almost certain you have one thing in common: A love for the windows at the store on State Street formerly known as Marshall Field’s. Many of us who have been in this city for quite some time still can’t bring ourselves to refer to it as, well, the “M-Word.” Although credit must be given to the New York-based retailer for preserving the Walnut Room, Frango Mints, and yes, the magical window displays. Getting to State Street, whether by car, El, bus, commuter train or on foot might be one of the few times each year that die-hard suburbanites or out-of-towners traipse into The City to engage in a beloved ritual. You know it will be crowded, that you will have to wait your turn to inch up to the windows, and that the line for the Walnut Room will be beastly. But somehow, you find the patience because after all, this is the holiday season, and this is one of the few experiences that you simply cannot capture online.

The Great Tree in the Walnut Room, 2017

Marshall Field’s Christmas window, 1940s

It is hard to imagine a holiday season in which the windows and their bewitching designs did not exist. Were it not for technological developments that yielded large, durable plate glass, department stores would not have one of their most compelling marketing tools, let alone sufficient daylight to permeate their huge spaces. Not until the late 1800s did the manufacture of plate glass allow for a product that could provide for virtually wrap-around window displays. Once this became available, retailers realized the vast potential of windows and the space just inside them to promote the new, the stylish, the best they had to offer.

Marshall Field possessed the vision and work ethic behind what became one of the most successful department stores in the world. He also knew how to hire the best in the business. Harry Selfridge, the one-day owner of the legendary London emporium bearing his name, was a junior partner at Field’s when, according to the book, Give the Lady What She Wants, he became aware of the extraordinary window displays seen in a Creston, Iowa store. Selfridge obtained the name of the designer, and one Arthur Fraser instantly became Marshall Field’s window genius.

At the time of this writing, red has re-emerged as an It Color for fall and winter fashion. Red was also enjoying a surge in popularity in 1897, so much so that Fraser decided that six of Field’s windows would succumb to what was then called the “Red Epidemic.” Some windows featured voluptuous silks, others displayed decadent gowns. One window touted red laces, trims, wraps, hats, and – gasp – petticoats. Shoppers were smitten, and Marshall Field’s windows became a merchandising miracle.

With a huge merchandising budget in hand, Fraser designed hundreds of the most spectacular window displays imaginable. When Field opened its new building in 1907, its windows became a focal point.

Watch the video: Caumsett: The Marshall Field III Gold Coast Estate (August 2022).