Business & Finance: To the Old Adam

In the once-great trading post of Vincennes, Ind., there is no longer a Gimbel Brothers-owned store; but four Gimbels went there last week to honor their tribe and business, founded there just 100 years ago. At table's head sat Grandson Bernard, president of Gimbel Brothers, Inc. and present family hetman. Knowing his genealogy as well as his retailing (to a Gimbel, the two are one), Bernard proudly enumerated the far-flung Gimbel line.

When 20-year-old Adam, immigrant Bavarian peddler, opened his "Palace of Trade" in Vincennes in 1842, his policies looked mighty suspicious to...

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