Meier and Frank Company collection, 1855-2006  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Meier and Frank (Portland, Or.)
Title
Meier and Frank Company collection
Dates
1855-2006 (inclusive)
Quantity
25 cubic feet, (35 document cases, 7 flat boxes, 6 custom boxes, 11 oversize folders)
Collection Number
Mss 2866
Summary
Records of and relating to the Meier and Frank Company, a prominent department store in Portland, Oregon. Includes selections from the company's financial and administrative records; photographs; advertising materials; issues of the store's employee newsletter, The daily bulletin; ephemera; land records; plaques for Rose Parade floats; and Safety Program records from 2002-2006.
Repository
Oregon Historical Society, Davies Family Research Library
Davies Family Research Library
Oregon Historical Society
1200 SW Park Avenue
Portland, OR
97205
Telephone: 503-306-5240
Fax: 503-219-2040
libreference@ohs.org
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public.

Languages
English


Historical NoteReturn to Top

Meier & Frank was the premier department store in Portland, Oregon, from the late 1800s to 2006. The store originated in 1857, when Aaron Meier opened a small mercantile establishment on SW Front and Yamhill. In 1873 Sigmund Frank became a partner in the enterprise, and the store expanded rapidly as the city grew. In 1898 Meier & Frank moved to a large new five-story building at SW Fifth Avenue and Morrison Street, and between 1909 and 1915 this original structure was replaced with the complex that currently (in 2007) fills the entire block. Even greater expansion took place beginning in the 1950s, as branches were opened in Salem (1955), Portland’s Lloyd Center (1960), Eugene (1969), Vancouver, Washington (1977) and elsewhere. But by the mid 1960s the store was faced with competition from nation-wide chains, and the firm was sold to the May Company (later Robinsons-May) in 1966. The store continued to bear the Meier and Frank name, but with the merger of Robinsons-May with Macy’s in the mid-2000s, the Meier & Frank name was finally superseded by the Macy’s trademark in 2006.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection consists of a wide variety of materials, although it represents only a relatively small selection of the company's overall records. Included are a small number of photographs, primarily documenting the 75th anniversary of the store in 1932 and various events in the mid-1990s. Among these are: a set of images by noted Portland photograph Walter Boychuk showing the interior of the Portland store in 1932, shortly after an extensive remodeling; a group of photographs showing the store's display windows in 1912; and a photo album featuring displays and events relating to the store's 75th anniversary in 1932.

Among the general files is an important notebook, 1904, listing the members of Congregation Beth Israel, Portland's most prominent Jewish synagogue. Also among the general files is a notebook of Julius L. Meier from 1916, scrapbooks, and other ephemera. A run of the store's employee newsletter, The daily bulletin from 1928-1966 (with gaps) provides details of the day-to-day running of the enterprise. War advertising materials illustrate the store's publicity activities during World War II. Financial records date primarily from the 1920s through the 1940s and include extensive indexes of people holding Meier and Frank charge accounts, as well as a collection of the company's stock certificates issued between 1937 and 1944. The collection also includes award plaques for the store's Portland Rose Festival parade floats, with pictures of the floats; and saftey program manuals from 2002 to 2006.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

The Oregon Historical Society is the owner of the materials in the Research Library and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the Research Library prior to any use of reproductions. The Society does not necessarily hold copyright to all the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use of reproductions may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright holders.

Preferred Citation

Meier and Frank Company collection, Mss 2866, Oregon Historical Society Research Library

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Series A:  Photographs, 1855-2000Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/1
Blazers Wives party--Color snapshots
1994
1/2
Bridal fair, Eugene, Oregon--Color snapshots
1988
1/3
Cocktail party--Color snapshots
circa 1995
1/4
Cocktail party--Color snapshots
circa 1995
Extra oversize 7
Construction of wing of store
circa 1915
36/1
Diamond jubilee photograph album
Includes photographs of interiors, exteriors, and displays
1932
36/2
Historic delivery wagon
circa 1958
1/5
Event with executives--Color snapshots
circa 1995
1/6
Fashion show--Color snapshots
circa 1995
Oversize folder 1
May Company executives
1983
Extra oversize 7
Meier & Frank Association picnic, Government Island (cirkut print)
1911 July 23
39/1
Photographs of store interiors
Copies of vintage prints, formerly mounted on large display board, probably for an in-store display.
circa 1908
39/2
Oversize photographs
Includes: series of display windows designed by Edward F. Petersen, 1912; construction site of Portland building, circa 1909; and Rose Festival float, 1961.
circa 1909-1913; 1961
Extra Oversize 1
Rose Festival Floral Parade float
Photo of horse-drawn float, possibly from late 1930s or 40s, mounted on board
circa 1940
1/7
Rose Festival Floral Parades--Color snapshots
circa 1993; undated
1/8
Sale photos--B&W prints
circa 1950
1/9
Salem store--B&W snapshots
1966
Oversize folder 2
Scrapbook
1924-1966
Oversize folder 3
Scrapbook
1965-1966
42/2-3
Scrapbook of foms and prospectuses, Meier & Frank Investment Company
1917-1961
1/10
Slides of Rose Festival Floral Parades, Christmas party, Haloween, advertising layouts, etc.
circa 1980-2000
1/11
Trade show--Color snapshots
circa 1995
1/12
Walter Boychuk photographs of remodeled store interiors
These photos were used in an advertising supplment in the Oregonian, 1932 October 2.
1932
1/13
Winfield (?) party and trade show--Color snapshots
circa 1995
1/14
General photographs
Includes construction of building, 1913-1914.
circa 1850-1995

Series B:  General files, 1887-2005Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
2/1
Advertisements
circa 1910-1979
2/2
Advertising brochures--History of the store, charge account information
1959; undated
Oversize folder 4
Advertising campaign materials, 122nd anniversary
circa 1977-1978; undated
39/3-4
Advertising campaign materials, including drawings, past-ups, magazines, and clippings
circa 1978-1988; undated
Extra oversize 1
Advertising posters
1967; 1991; undated
Extra oversize 2
Advertising newspaper supplements
1905; 1932; 1959; 1979
42/1
Bag and box samples
circa 1985
2/3
Banking procedures
1977
2/4
Centennial program
1957
2/5
"A Christmas to remember"--Campaign notebook
1975
2/6
"Cinderella and the cat"--Sheet music and programs
Musical production by students of the Portland Public Schools. Materials were found loose in a scrapbook.
1924-1928
2/7
Clippings
Includes clippings regarding sale of the store to May Department Stores, 1966.
1919-1999
2/8
Congregation Beth Israel membership book
1904
2/9
"Cooks kitchen" catalog
1977
2/10
Customer registers (blank)
circa 1960
2/11
Correspondence concerning Amos Parrish Company and Meier & Frank centennial promotion
1957
2/12
"Diamond jubilee" of Kaufman's
1946
2/13
Employee directory
circa 1902-1904
2/14
Garment directory
1887-1890
3/1
General materials
Primarily ephemera, certificates, miscellaneous letters
1889-1970; undated
3/2
"I've seen the largest store in the world"--Illustrated pamphlet from Macy's, New York City
1939
3/3
Keys
undated
3/4
Menus from store restaurants
circa 1980-1990
39/5
Menus--Oversize
1984; undated
3/5
Meier and Frank Training Department--NCR Class 53 optical font data control register
1973
3/6
Meier and Frank Training Department--Telephone systems manual
1971
3/7
Meier and Frank Training Department--Systems training manual
1965
3/8
Notebook of Julius L. Meier
1916
3/9
Notebook of Julius L. Meier--Original leather cover
1916
Extra oversize 7
Placards with company logo, probably from 1980s
undated
3/10
Postcard of downtown Portland store
circa 1970
3/11
Receipts for warehouse construction, NW 14th Ave. & Irving St.
1922
3/12
Receipts, general
1911-1930
Extra oversize 6
Scale drawings (3) of 2 store elevations and Tea Room
1931
Extra oversize 3
Scrapbook: Meier & Frank Company activities and promotions
1951
3/13
The star (in-house magazine, 2 issues)
2005 February-May
3/14
Teaching guide
1973
3/15
Telephone directory of store personnel
circa 1971-1975

Series C:  Daily bulletin (store newsletter for employees), 1928-1965Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
4/1
These issues titled Toy Town Bulletin
1928 December 3-24
4/2
1931 October-December
4/3
1935 April-June
4/4
1935 October-December
4/5
1936 April-June
4/6
1936 July-September
4/7
1936 October-December
4/8
1938 January-March
4/9
1938 April-June
4/10
1938 July-September
4/11
1938 October-December
5/1
These issues titled Toy Town Bulletin
1938-1939
5/2
These issues titled Toy Town Bulletin
1940 November 25-December 24
5/3
1942 November 30-December 17
5/4
1944 January-March
5/5
1944 July-September
5/6
1944 October-December
5/7
1945 October-December
5/8
1954 January 2-March 31
5/9
1954 April 1-June 30
5/10
1954 July 1-September 30
5/11
1954 October-December
5/12
1957 March 20-26
5/13
1958 January-March
6/1
1958 April-June
6/2
1958 July-September
6/3
1958 October-December
6/4
1965
6/5
Salem store only
1965

Series D:  War advertising program materials, circa 1941-1945Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
7/1
Volume 3
1944 February 23-June 2
7/2
Volume 4
1944 June 3-September 10
7/3
Volume 5
1944 September 11-December 12
Extra oversize 4
Scrapbook titled "Book 3"
circa 1941-1945
Extra oversize 5
Scrapbook titled "Book 4"
circa 1941-1945

Series E:  Land records, 1880-1938Return to Top

Includes deeds, mortgage records, abstracts of title, and other records.

Container(s) Description Dates
General records
Box/Folder
8/1
1900-1914
8/2
1915-1919
8/3
1920-1924
8/4
1925-1929
8/5
1930-1935
Box/Folder
8/6
Auto Freight Terminal Company
1924-1929
Oversize folder 1
Clackamas County (Or.), Kulper property--Blueprints
circa 1920
8/7
Couch's Addition, Block 120
1925
Oversize folder 1
Hamilton, Louise E.--Certificate of delinquincy, Highland Park
1915
8/8
Jewish Shelter Home
1920-1938
8/9
Rethlefsen, Lena C.
1880-1922
9/1
Taylor Street (Caples Hotel)
1928-1933
9/2
Warehouse, 15th & Irving--Contractors
1922-1923
9/3
Waverleigh Heights
1910-1915
9/4
Willamette & Columbia River Towing Company
1908-1931
Abstracts of title
Box/Folder
9/5
Klickitat County
1890-1911
9/6
Lots 1 & 4, Block 97, Couch's Addition
1920
9/7
Aaron Meier estate
circa 1922
9/8
SW Broadway and Taylor Street
circa 1902
9/9
"Madrona" subdivision
1935
9/9
Irvington Park
1865-1919

Series F:  Financial records, 1871-1965Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Charge account indexes
Ledgers containing names of customers and their addresses
Box/Folder
10/1
1907-1916
10/2
1909 September-1911
11/1
1916 May 19-1919 August
11/2
1919 August-1922 March
11/3-4
circa 1918-1926
12/1
1926 February-1931 April 16
12/2
1931 April 16-1938 April 16
13/1
1938 April 16-1943 May 1
13/2
1943 May 1-1947 March 1
14/1
1947 March 1-1953 March 31
44/1
1953 April-1957 September 1
Banking materials
Box/Folder
15/1
First National Bank, account books
1885-1888
15/2
Ranley's Rhode Island Reds
1921-1923
15/3
Cornelia L. Meier Estate, Meier and Frank Profit Sharing Retirement Trust
1956-1957; 1962-1964
15/4
General passbooks and statements
1922-1965
Ledgers
Box/Folder
15/5
"Stock book"
This volume was found in the store basement along with other discarded records in 1980s, after sale of the firm to May Co.
1871-1873
15/6
Accounts of family members and other information
1901-1933
40/1
Ledger
circa 1924-1937
41/1-2
Ledgers of daily sales (2 volumes)
1921-1944; 1945-1949
15/7
Profit and loss; real estate; other information
circa 1912-1924
16/1
Meier & Frank Investment Company--Journal
1912-1933
16/2
Welfare funds ledger
1925-1932
16/3
Aaron M. Frank farm
1927-1931
16/4
Ledger
1937
17/1
"P.J. Misc." (payable journal?)
1942-1945
17/2
"P.J. Misc." (payable journal?)
1945-1951
40/2
Ledgers
These materials are closed for research until 2046.
1949-1956
45/1
Standard monthly journal
1937-1946
46/1
Accounts
1893-1895
47/1
General ledger, Meier & Frank Company
1894-1896
48/1
Furniture--Stock book--Warehouse
circa 1910
Insurance materials
Box/Folder
17/3
Report of insurance, Meier & Frank, Inc.
1939 November 1
17/4
Insurance apparisal of Meier & Frank Co.
1952 August 20
17/5
Insurance appraisal of Meier & Frank Co., Location 3
1940 November 4
17/5
Insurance appraisal of Meier & Frank, Inc.
1953 May 29
43/1
Register of insurance policies
1942-1944
Stockholders materials
Box/Folder
18/1
Legal proxies
1927
18/2
Stock dividends
1924-1925
Stock certificates
Box/Folder
18/3
Stock to family members
1921-1938
18/4
Certificates to Eleanor Yale and Foster & Marshall
1937; 1947
18/5
Certificates C-1245 SF501-SF1000
1937-1938
18/6
Certificates C-1245 SF1001-SF1501
1938-1944
18/7
Certificates C-1245 P1001-P1500
1937-1939
18/8
Certificates C-1245 P01501-P01750
1937-1938
19/1
Certificates C-1245 P01751-P02000
1938-1939
19/2
Certificates C-1245 P02001-P02250
1939-1940
19/3
Certificates C-2145 P01-P0250
1937
19/4
Certificates C-2145 P0251-P0500
1937
19/5
Certificates C-2145 P0501-P01000
1937
20/1
Certificates C-2145 P01001-P01250
1937
20/2
Certificates C-2145 P01251-P01500
1937
20/3
Certificates C-2145 P02251-P02500
1940-1942
20/4
Certificates C-2145 P02501-P02750
1942
20/5
Certificates C-2145 P02751-P03524
1943-1946
21/1
Certificates C-2145 P992, P995, P1501-P2000
1937-1942
21/2
Certificates C-2145 P2001-P2500
1942-1944
21/3
Certificates C-2145 PU1-PU50
1937
21/4
Certificates C-2145 PU51-PU100
1937
21/5
Certificates C-2145 PU101-PU250
1937-1944
21/6
Certificates C-2145 SF01-SF0500
1937
21/7
Certificates C-2145 SF0501-SF0500
1937
21/8
Certificates C-2145 SF1-SF500
1937

Series G:  Catalogs and other printed books, 1917-1953Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
22/1
Lenox china catalog
1922
37/1
Lenox china catalog
1937
38/1
Sterling flatware pattern index
1953
22/2
Bentley's complete phrase code book
circa 1918
22/3
Western Union telegraph code
1917
23/1
A.B.C. code, 5th edition
1919
23/2
Customs regulations
1937

Series H:  Safety program notebooks, 2002-2006Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
24/1
Emergency plans
undated
24/2-3
2002 February-July
24/4-6
2002 August-October
25/1-2
2002 November-2003 January
25/3
2003 February-March
25/4
2003 April-May
25/5
2003 June-July
26/1
2003 August
26/2
2003 October
26/3
2003 November-December
26/4
2004 January
26/5
2004 February
27/1-5
2004 March-2004 October
28/1-5
2004 November-2005 May
29/1-5
2005 January-2006 January

Series "I":  Plaques, 1972-2002Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Rose Festival Floral Parade plaques for Meier & Frank floats (with photographs of floats)
Box/Folder
30/1-4
1972-1975
31/1-4
1976-1979
32/1-4
1981-1984
33/1-4
1989-1993
34/1-4
1994-1998
35/1-3
1999-2002
Box/Folder
35/4
Associate of the month
2002
35/5
Manager of the month
2002

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Advertising--Oregon--Portland
  • Department stores--Oregon--Portland
  • Display of merchandise--Oregon--Portland
  • Portland Rose Festival.
  • Personal Names :
  • Boychuk, Walter, 1886-1967 (creator)
  • Corporate Names :
  • Meier and Frank (Portland Or.)--Archives. (creator)
  • Meier and Frank (Portland, Or.)--Photographs.
  • Family Names :
  • Frank family
  • Meier family
  • Geographical Names :
  • Portland (Or.)--History.
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Photograph albums
  • Photographs
  • Plaques (flat objects)
  • Scrapbooks
  • Other Creators :
    • Personal Names :
    • Meier, Julius L., 1874-1937 (creator)
    • Corporate Names :
    • Congregation Beth Israel (Portland, Or.) (creator)