Wanamaker, John

Engraved calling card signed as US Postmaster General, as Philadelphia retailer, the master marketer created the “money-back guarantee”!

Price: $25.00

Description:
(1838-1922) American merchant and pioneer marketer, started men’s clothing business in Philadelphia in 1861 which became largest US retail men’s clothier after 10 years, expanded to department store in 1877, originating the “money back guarantee”. US Postmaster General (Harrison) 1889-1893). When he was appointed Postmaster General, he was accused by the press of buying the post. Wanamaker was credited by his friends with introducing the 1st commemorative postge stamp and many efficiencies to the Postal Service. He was the first to make plans for free rural postal service in the US although the plan was not implemented until 1896. In 1890 Wanamaker persuaded Congress to pass an act prohibiting the sale of lottery tickets through the mail, and aggressively pursued violators. Those actions effectively ended all state lotteries in the US until 1964, partly as an effort to undermine organized crime. However, his tenure at the Post Office was riddled with controversy, including the firing of some 30,000 postal workers under the then “spoils system” in his 4-year term, which caused severe confusion, inefficiency and a run-in with fellow Republican and civil service crusader Theodore Roosevelt. In 1890 he commissioned a series of stamps that were derided in the national media as of the poorest quality ever issued, both for printing quality and materials. Then, when his department store ordered advance copies of the newly translated novel “The Kreutzer Sonata” by Leo Tolstoy, the deadline had been missed and only the regular discount was offered. He retaliated by banning the book from the US Mail on grounds of obscenity which earned him ridicule in many major newspapers. In 1891 he ordered changes in letter carrier uniforms and was then accused of arranging for all the uniforms to be ordered from a single Baltimore firm in which he was believed to have financial ties. In 1893 he publicly predicted at the Chicago World’s Fair that US mail would still rely on stagecoach and horseback delivery for a century to come, failing to anticipate the impact caused by the coming of the automobile. Signed 2 x 3 1/2 engraved official calling card as Benjamin Harrison's Postmaster General.

Condition: Very good
Type:Signed Calling Card






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