Business & Finance: Extra Special

Manhattan was a hustling little city of 124,000 when Samuel Lord opened a dry goods shop on Catherine Street in 1826. In those days most stores hired "pullers in" who fought for customers on the sidewalks. But the young British iron moulder who had borrowed $1,000 for his trading venture and taken in as partner a cousin named George Washington Taylor, had more genteel ideas about storekeeping.

As its swank clientèle moved slowly up the Island of Manhattan, Lord & Taylor's followed. In the 1850's the store was on Grand Street, where the "carriage trade" rolled smartly up to its doors. When...

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