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COLLECTION Identifier: Mss:776 1932-1944 H634

Papers relating to the Higbee Company

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of papers relating to a survey of the Higbee Company, a department store in Cleveland, Ohio, conducted by E. H. Stewart of the Associated Dry Goods Corporation on behalf of the store's creditors in 1932 and subsequent years. It includes a series of reports analyzing Higbee's inventory, financial picture, wages as a percentage of sales, salary ranges, competitiveness as compared to other stores, and floor plans of the store.

The collection also contains training manuals, some written by women, for all parts of an operation that centered on women consumers. Stewart did an extensive survey of buying habits and store confidence comparing several department stores in the Cleveland trading area. The materials include the questionnaire, instructions for administering it to consumers (who are assumed to be women), notes on the survey and its survey results, and Stewart's suggestions to the Higbee store, "Notes on Public Opinion," of October 19, 1932.


  • 1930-1943


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials stored onsite. Please contact for more information.


2 linear feet (4 boxes)

Biographical / Historical

The Higbee Company was a retail department store founded in 1860 by Edwin Converse Higbee and John G. Hower in Cleveland, Ohio. Originally named Higbee and Hower Dry Goods, the name changed to Higbeen & Company after the death of John G. Hower in 1902. The company was acquired by Van Sweringen brothers in 1929 and filed for bankruptcy in 1935.

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers relating to the Higbee Company were received by Baker Library Special Collections as a donation from the estate of E.H. Stewart in 1968.
Stewart, E.H., -1968. Papers relating to the Higbee Company, 1930-1943
Baker Library Special Collections Staff
August 2017
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University Repository

Baker Library Special Collections holds unique resources that focus on the evolution of business and industry, as well as the records of the Harvard Business School, documenting the institution's development over the last century. These rich and varied collections support research in a diverse range of fields such as business, economic, social and cultural history as well as the history of science and technology.

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