Remembering Marshall Fields
For more than 150 years, Marshall Field's reigned as Chicago's leading department store, celebrated for its exceptional service, spectacular window displays, and fashionable merchandise. Few shoppers recalled its origins as a small dry goods business opened in 1852 by a New York Quaker named Potter Palmer. That store, eventually renamed Marshall Field and Company, weathered economic downturns, spectacular fires, and fierce competition to become a world-class retailer and merchandise powerhouse. Marshall Field sent buyers to Europe for the latest fashions, insisted on courteous service, and immortalized the phrase "give the lady what she wants." The store prided itself on its dazzling Tiffany mosaic dome, Walnut Room restaurant, bronze clocks, and a string of firsts including the first bridal registry and first book signing.