Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Marshall Field's delivery wagons

One of the most common memories of Marshall Field's must be its delivery trucks. Those gorgeous green trucks coming up the street with fabulous goodies inside. By the end, these were used for furniture and not a whole lot else. But for decades the store would delivery anything from a new refrigerator to a spool of thread.

What is probably barely remembered today is that during much of the heyday of the store's delivery service, horse-drawn wagons were used:

In those days, it was not unknown for retailers to whip horses and flog them, sometimes even to death. According to Give the Lady What She Wants, Field had different ideas. He made cruelty to horses grounds for dismissal. On the very hottest days, horses had to rest (young boys strapped packages to their backs instead). Horses only worked half a day, even if that meant a driver had to leave his horse at a neighborhood stable and go back for another horse so he could finish his deliveries.

I would love to locate a photograph of signs in the Marshall Field's barns that read “Don’t whip the horses!”

1 comment:

  1. I think my great grandfather worked as a delivery driver for the department store in 1920-1940. have you found records of employees