Hess's Department Store
Hess’s Department Store was a unique department store that with a combination of style and showmanship became a shopping legend for almost 100 years. Hess’s was founded in 1897 in Allentown by brothers Max and Charles Hess. From its start as a dry goods store, it became the downtown heart of Pennsylvania’s third-largest city for much of the 20th century. Its reputation was further enhanced by Max Hess’s son, a showman for merchandising. Through a series of photographs, many from private collections and seldom seen, Hess’s Department Store brings the glory days of Hess’s to life again.
Author Bio: For 26 years, Frank A. Whelan was the historical feature writer for the Allentown Morning Call and has won numerous awards for his articles. He was on-air historian for an Emmy award–winning PBS documentary about Hess’s and is currently director of special projects at the Lehigh County Historical Society. Kurt D. Zwikl is a former Pennsylvania state representative from the Lehigh Valley and former chair of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. He is currently executive director of Schuylkill River National and State Heritage Area. His late father, William Zwikl, was the longtime photographer for Hess’s.