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Foley's Department Store Records

Overview

Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Finding Aid/Inventory

1845-1940

1941-1947

1947

1948

1949

1950

1951

1952

1953

1954

1955

1956

1957

1958

1959

1960

1961

1962

1963

1964

1965

1966

1967

1968

1969

1970-2002

1937-1999

1953-1957

1958-1963

1964-1971

1970-1987

1973-2006

2001-2002

2003-2004

2005-2006

Photos - Management

Photos

Photos - Management

Photos - Management

Artifacts

OVS - Photos

OVS – Magazines

OVS - Magazines, Articles, Reports & Envelopes

OVS - Envelopes

OVS 1917-1949

OVS 1950-1952

OVS 1953-1956

OVS 1957-1963

OVS 1964-1968

OVS

OVS - Posters

OVS - Advertisements

OVS - Advertisements

OVS – Newspaper & Advertisements

OVS

OVS

Bound Ledgers

Bound Real Estate Documents

Scrap Books (Closed)



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Foley's Department Store Records, 1845-2006 | University of Houston Libraries

By Brittainy Perry, Madhavi Prasad, David Brown, Tanmay Wagh, and Jermaine Brown

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Collection Overview

Title: Foley's Department Store Records, 1845-2006

Predominant Dates:1900-2005

ID: 07/2007-004

Primary Creator: Foley's Department Store

Extent: 117.0 Linear Feet

Date Acquired: 02/08/2007

Subjects: Advertising, African Americans - Segregation - Texas, Building, Dundas, Robert, Fashion - 20th century - History, Foley's (Firm), Foley's (Firm) - Finance, Foley's (Firm) - Marketing, Foley's (Firm) - Public relations, Parade floats, Storefronts - Exhibitions, Store hours - Law and legislation, Sunday legislation, Transportation

Forms of Material: Advertisements, Agreements, Annual reports, Architectural records, Bylaws (administrative records), Charters, Correspondence, Financial records, Legal documents, Memorabilia, Minutes, Newsletters, Newspapers, Photographs, Plans, Reports, Scrapbooks

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

Foley's Department Store Records comprise 42 record cartons, 16 oversized boxes, 32 bound ledgers and real estate records that are open to the public. In addition, there are 32 scrapbooks that are too fragile for public viewing. Records begin with the first stockholders' meeting held in 1911, preserved in a bound journal. Each year (primary organizational series) of the collection is divided into sub-series including Finances, Management, Marketing, Public Relations, Publications, and Oversize.

Several topical motifs recur throughout the collection. One prominent area is architectural design, represented by the construction of the modern Main Street store in 1947, followed by expansion with suburban branches in the 1960s. Suburban expansion required studies of transportation, consumer habits, as well as architectural design.

Advertising is another major theme and covers fashion, appliances, furniture, and special events. Management and public relations records reflect issues of social concern including depression era issues, war bond sales during the Second World War, and desegregation during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Preserved newspapers reveal Foley's publicity and advertising, while photographs feature coverage of the parades, Christmas windows, desegregation protests, and construction and grand opening of the Main Street store as well as the branch stores.

Biographical Note

Pat and James Foley opened their Dry Goods Company in 1900, moved three times, and by 1922, Foley’s was the largest department store in Houston.  Much more than a retail business, Foley’s Department Store became a fixture of Houston’s community, offering philanthropy, employment, entertainment, and fashion.

By 1927, Foley’s store included an auditorium that that substituted for a civic center and served as a rehearsal hall for the Houston symphony.  During the Bank Holiday of 1933, Foley’s replaced patrons’ personal checks with Foley’s checks which were accepted at stores around town.  When the banks reopened, and Foley’s deposited the personal checks, every check cleared.  During World War II, Foley’s supported war efforts with bond drives and an overseas canteen.  After the war, Foley’s became the “store of tomorrow” with a new building at 1100 Main Street, the first store in the south with escalators.  Designed by Kenneth Franzheim, Foley’s signature store became a beacon for post-WWII consumerism.

In 1950 Foley’s sponsored Santa’s ride from Union Station to Foley’s.  The following year, it became a full-fledged parade (Thanksgiving) that continued for 44 years.  Photographs from the Foley’s collection include images of the segregated Fountain and civil rights protests at the Main Street entrance which was a major Metro bus stop.  In 1961, Foley’s opened its first branch store in Sharpstown.  In 1970 women marched on The Men’s Grill at Foley’s commemorating 50 years of right to vote – and suddenly the name changed to “The Grill.”  Foley’s has a long history of philanthropic effort in the Houston community, honored in 1996 by Sheltering Arms as the single largest corporate contributor in the non-profit organization’s history.

Foley’s history as a local community partner ended in September 2006, when Macy’s assumed store operations and rebranded with the Macy’s name and logo.  Many Houstonians, however, will never forget the annual Thanksgiving Parades and the Foley’s Christmas windows.

Subject/Index Terms

Advertising
African Americans - Segregation - Texas
Building
Dundas, Robert
Fashion - 20th century - History
Foley's (Firm)
Foley's (Firm) - Finance
Foley's (Firm) - Marketing
Foley's (Firm) - Public relations
Parade floats
Storefronts - Exhibitions
Store hours - Law and legislation
Sunday legislation
Transportation

Administrative Information

Repository: University of Houston Libraries

Access Restrictions: Open for research.

Use Restrictions:

Special Collections owns the physical items in our collections, but copyright normally belongs to the creator of the materials or their heirs. The researcher has full responsibility for determining copyright status, locating copyright holders, and abiding by current copyright laws when publishing or displaying copies of Special Collections material in print or electronic form. For more information, consult the appropriate librarian.

Photocopy decisions will be made by Special Collections staff on a case-by-case basis. Patrons are responsible for obtaining permission to publish from copyright holders.

Acquisition Source: Donated by Macy's South, LLC

Preferred Citation: Foley's Department Store Records. Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: 1845-1940],
[Series 2: 1941-1947],
[Series 3: 1947],
[Series 4: 1948],
[Series 5: 1949],
[Series 6: 1950],
[Series 7: 1951],
[Series 8: 1952],
[Series 9: 1953],
[Series 10: 1954],
[Series 11: 1955],
[Series 12: 1956],
[Series 13: 1957],
[Series 14: 1958],
[Series 15: 1959],
[Series 16: 1960],
[Series 17: 1961],
[Series 18: 1962],
[Series 19: 1963],
[Series 20: 1964],
[Series 21: 1965],
[Series 22: 1966],
[Series 23: 1967],
[Series 24: 1968],
[Series 25: 1969],
[Series 26: 1970-2002],
[Series 27: 1937-1999],
[Series 28: 1953-1957],
[Series 29: 1958-1963],
[Series 30: 1964-1971],
[Series 31: 1970-1987],
[Series 32: 1973-2006],
[Series 33: 2001-2002],
[Series 34: 2003-2004],
[Series 35: 2005-2006],
[Series 36: Photos - Management],
[Series 37: Photos],
[Series 38: Photos - Management],
[Series 39: Photos - Management],
[Series 40: Artifacts],
[Series 41: OVS - Photos],
[Series 42: OVS – Magazines],
[Series 43: OVS - Magazines, Articles, Reports & Envelopes],
[Series 44: OVS - Envelopes],
[Series 45: OVS 1917-1949],
[Series 46: OVS 1950-1952],
[Series 47: OVS 1953-1956],
[Series 48: OVS 1957-1963],
[Series 49: OVS 1964-1968],
[Series 50: OVS],
[Series 51: OVS - Posters],
[Series 52: OVS - Advertisements],
[Series 53: OVS - Advertisements],
[Series 54: OVS – Newspaper & Advertisements],
[Series 55: OVS],
[Series 56: OVS],
[Series 57: Bound Ledgers],
[Series 58: Bound Real Estate Documents],
[Series 59: Scrap Books (Closed)],
[All]

Series 44: OVS - Envelopes
Box 46
Item 1: Foley’s Envelopes, n.d.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: 1845-1940],
[Series 2: 1941-1947],
[Series 3: 1947],
[Series 4: 1948],
[Series 5: 1949],
[Series 6: 1950],
[Series 7: 1951],
[Series 8: 1952],
[Series 9: 1953],
[Series 10: 1954],
[Series 11: 1955],
[Series 12: 1956],
[Series 13: 1957],
[Series 14: 1958],
[Series 15: 1959],
[Series 16: 1960],
[Series 17: 1961],
[Series 18: 1962],
[Series 19: 1963],
[Series 20: 1964],
[Series 21: 1965],
[Series 22: 1966],
[Series 23: 1967],
[Series 24: 1968],
[Series 25: 1969],
[Series 26: 1970-2002],
[Series 27: 1937-1999],
[Series 28: 1953-1957],
[Series 29: 1958-1963],
[Series 30: 1964-1971],
[Series 31: 1970-1987],
[Series 32: 1973-2006],
[Series 33: 2001-2002],
[Series 34: 2003-2004],
[Series 35: 2005-2006],
[Series 36: Photos - Management],
[Series 37: Photos],
[Series 38: Photos - Management],
[Series 39: Photos - Management],
[Series 40: Artifacts],
[Series 41: OVS - Photos],
[Series 42: OVS – Magazines],
[Series 43: OVS - Magazines, Articles, Reports & Envelopes],
[Series 44: OVS - Envelopes],
[Series 45: OVS 1917-1949],
[Series 46: OVS 1950-1952],
[Series 47: OVS 1953-1956],
[Series 48: OVS 1957-1963],
[Series 49: OVS 1964-1968],
[Series 50: OVS],
[Series 51: OVS - Posters],
[Series 52: OVS - Advertisements],
[Series 53: OVS - Advertisements],
[Series 54: OVS – Newspaper & Advertisements],
[Series 55: OVS],
[Series 56: OVS],
[Series 57: Bound Ledgers],
[Series 58: Bound Real Estate Documents],
[Series 59: Scrap Books (Closed)],
[All]

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