Why Department Stores Are Dying

Reflected by Macy’s and Walmart’s store closings, the death of the department store is an example of the impact of Joseph Schumpter’s creative destruction.

Elevator Economics

Where would we be without the elevator? To deliver a bed, sometimes you need an elevator. It is easy now…but not during the mid-19th century. When a bed company mechanic, Elisha Graves Otis, was asked to create a freight elevator,…

When Did We Become Shoppers?

Who would have thought that the elevator helped us become shoppers! In Made in America, Bill Bryson tells us that the safety elevator enabled stores to expand upward. And having multiple floors meant we could have department stores. We have…

Temperature Matters

Shot on July 2, 1881, President Garfield lay dying in a room with the first air conditioner.  Naval engineers, whose primary expertise was ventilating mining shafts, had been called in to help the ailing leader. The cooling device they assembled…