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De Escalation: 1959

De Escalation: 1959

October 23, 1959. "Bloomingdale's, Hackensack, New Jersey. Escalators. Raymond Loewy, client." 4x5 inch acetate negative by Gottscho-Schleisner. View full size.


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The store has an amazing amount of free space. It seems like the current trend is to pack them full. I would also love a time machine. I'd return to this store with my 2019 dollars and buy up those purses!!

My first escalator ride

Was in a department store while visiting Uncle Charlie and Aunt Caroline in LA in 1951. As I stepped off, I spotted a white 1951 AMT Pontiac wind-up sedan on a display and immediately wanted it. I didn't get it, though, because I'd acted up with Uncle Charlie the day before. I finally got one off eBay many decades later and satisfied that "want".

If I Had a Time Machine

I really like this photo.

If I had a time machine, I would spend more time visiting places like this just to observe. Just walk around and enjoy the sights, sounds, and people. No need to only visit historical events!


The table's stretcher and the diagonal support brackets have a beautiful Eames-like vibe - it's a clean and appealing design that would be a lovely addition to a modern home, or my home.

The years haven't been kind

The layout and design here look very much like two aging department stores in a 1970-era mall near me -- except that now the walking areas are narrower and the display surfaces more numerous. What seemed shiny and new is now stale and cluttered.

Scent from Paris

I'm interested in that two-tier table display of what I'm pretty sure is Arpege -- the "fragrance of 1000 flowers" -- by Lanvin. My mother wore it. Its name being a derivation of the musical term "arpeggio," according to Wikipedia: "It was created by perfumers André Fraysse and Paul Vacher for Jeanne Lanvin and presented to her musician daughter Marie-Blanche on her 30th birthday."

Chandelier Mobile Sculpture Combo

That is the most awesome thing I have seen in a while.

Not only does it give light, but it gives a new meaning to the word MOBILE LIGHT.


It looks so little different from any top anchor store in any mall today, if they've survived the retail apocalypse. But the in-store paging systems no longer go BOOP.

Thanks for the '50s

I was glad to see a photo from the '50s. I enjoyed the many department store and drug store photos from the '50s that Shorpy used to feature, but doesn't seem to do so much anymore. Please, keep them going!

Stairway to Heaven

Odd illusion, the way it appears that the escalators run flush into the ceiling. Of course, I’m assuming they run up to the next floor. (That triangular ceiling cutout to the upper right of the escalators is a definite tipoff.)

Ah, Marketing 101.

And get dropped off straight into the shiny bright gold and glitter jewelry section. Ladies get that brand new fangled object out of your purse called the 'Charge Card' it's like you get it for free. For a while, anyway.

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