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|1910s Baseball Uniform. Newark "Saxons". L. Bamberger & Co.
Bamberger's was a New Jersey and national institution for much of the 20th century.
Louis Bamberger (1855-1944) was Newark, New Jersey's leading citizen from the early 1900s until his death in 1944. He was a businessman and philanthropist and at his death all flags in Newark were flown at half-mast for three days, and his large department store closed for a day.
Louis Bamberger came to Newark in 1892 and bought at auction a failing general goods store on Market Street, renaming it L. Bamberger and Company. The store was an immediate success, and Bamberger was able to open an ornate chateauesque building in 1912 that covered a whole city block.
By the mid-1920s, Bamberger's employed 2,800 people and was ranked in the top five department stores in the country in terms of sales volume. The Bamberger-owned delivery trucks (a 36-vehicle fleet) would deliver any purchase or order without charge.
For decades, Bambergerís clock was the downtown meeting place for Newarkers. In 1928, the store's sales were $28 million, making it the fourth highest grossing store in the United States.
In 1929, Bamberger sold his department store to R.H. Macy and Company, who kept the original Bamberger name. Such was the power and prestige of the "Bamberger" name in Newark that, although Macy had owned the store since 1929, it did not change the Newark store name to "Macy" until 1986, fifty seven years after the purchase, and just six years before the store's final closing. Bamberger knew that he owed his success to hundreds of able employees, and split $1 million among 240 employees.
When he died in March 1944, he left money for every employee that had worked there for a certain period of time. Bamberger never married and was extremely generous to the City of Newark and its institutions.
The store closed in Newark in 1992.