Watt & Shand Collection, 1923-2003

Call Number:  MG-237

11 folders     .25 cubic ft.

Repository: (Lancaster, Pa.)

Shelving Location:  Archives South, Side 6

Description:  This collection contains employee handbooks, job description, beauty salon price list, bridal registry information, a history of the store, a Christmas catalog, an Historic Preservation Trust calendar, and children’s books.

Creators:  Watt & Shand Department Store (Lancaster, Pa.)

Conditions for Access:  Folder 2 contains restricted items. These items may not be used for research.

Conditions Governing Reproductions:  Collection may not be photocopied. Please contact Research Staff or Archives Staff with questions.

Language:  English

Source of Acquisition:  Items were collected by the Lancaster County Historical Society and, unless otherwise noted at the item level.

Biographical History:  On 22 February 1878, Peter Watt, James Shand and Gilbert Thompson advertised the opening of a new store, The New York Store, featuring new lines of foreign and domestic dry goods as well as fancy goods and notions. The New York Store opened on 9 March 1878 and was an immediate success focusing on customer service. The owners had an unwritten policy stating that they remained open until the last customer left. During that first year, partner Gilbert Thompson died. Watt and Shand purchased a building located at 8-10 East King Street and changed their name from The New York Store to Watt, Shand and Company. Then during 1885, the store name was shortened to Watt & Shand even though the business was expanding to acquire 6 East King Street. The Ladies’ Ready-To-Wear Department was added in 1889 which included coats, suits, dresses, and underwear. The owners proceeded to expand the business over several decades and procured Appel & Weber jewelry store and Hager’s Department Store during the 1950s and 1960s. The branch store opened in 1970 at Park City Mall. The Bon-Ton Stores purchased Watt & Shand in 1992 and the store officially closed in March of 1995.

Note:  The Watt & Shand Department Store scrapbook was cataloged and preserved with funding from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. ME60112.


Folder 1
Insert 1  Human Resources Performance and Development Program. 3 February 1982.
Insert 2
Sick list codes.
Workers’ Compensation Act, list of designated physicians. No date.
Letter to employees regarding health care. 16 May 1989.
Pamphlet, “Temporary Disability Program.”
Insert 3  Blank gift certificate for Watt & Shand and Appel & Weber, jewelers.
Insert 4  “Planning Guide for Brides To Be.”
Handwritten and typed information about the bridal gift registry.
Advertising card for Bridal Store. No date.
Inter-Office memo regarding Bridal Registry. 12 November 1990.
Insert 5  Job description. No date.
Insert 6  Letter to Kimberly Schaller, Hershey Park, from Donald Swarr, Watt & Shand, regarding the “School’s Out” Promotion. 30 June 1988.
Insert 7  Holiday greeting cards with pocket calendars.

Snowy field and mountain scene. 1982 calendar. 1981.

“A Time to Say Thank You.” Patriotic scene of Watt & Shand building with flags. 1989 calendar. 1988.

Watt & Shand building, Penn Square. 1990 calendar. 1989.

Lancaster’s Penn Square at Christmas Time, by T. E. Hermansader. 1992 calendar. 1991.

Insert 8  Calendar with image of Watt & Shand at Penn Square. “Watt & Shand Downtown Lancaster and Park City.” 1992. Gift of Roberta M. Bruns, 10 June 2009.

Folder 2  Restricted material.


Folder 3
Insert 1  Salaried employees booklet, Principal Mutual Life Insurance Company. Lists life coverage and health benefits. [1988].
Insert 2  Dictionary of Textile Terms, Dan River Inc. 1980.
Insert 3  Employee handbook. January 1991.
Insert 4  Bon-Ton Beauty Salon, price list. No date.
Insert 5  “Watt & Shand History.” No date.


Folder 4  Christmas catalog. Diamond Jubilee year. 1953.

Folder 5  Historic Preservation Trust calendar, featuring the Watt & Shand building. 2003.


Folder 6  Christmas Publications

Santa Claus’ Secret, by Louise Price Bell. Published by the Reynolds & Reynolds Co. 1934. Poem advertising Watt & Shand’s toy department on back cover.

Adventures of Santa Claus. Children’s book printed for Watt & Shand ca. 1940.

Jack and Jill. December 1942 edition printed for Watt & Shand. This children’s magazine contains stories, puzzles, recipes, and other activities.


Folder 7  Thirty-second anniversary sale catalog for the Columbia store. 4-7 April 1923.

Folder 8  “Happy Memories for the Bride.” A record book for wedding-related notes, bridal party, gifts, marriage record, honeymoon and wedding customs. Presented by Watt & Shand. Unused. 1940. Gift of Linda Stienstra, June 2011.

Folder 9  Store Topics. Watt & Shand employee newsletter. April 1991. Gift of Judith and Pedro Lopez, 4 June 2011.


Folder 10  Store Topics. Watt & Shand employee newsletter. 1923, 1924, March 1928.

Folder 11 Menu with luncheon and fountain selections. Separate sheet with daily specials. No date. Gift of Barbara Breneman in memory of Robert Posey Breneman, Sr., 12 April 2014.


Scrapbook  Watt & Shand Department Store, 1910-1968 scrapbook was compiled by D. J. Watt, this scrapbook contains a variety of information about Watt & Shand Department Store and its employees. The main subjects are the 60th Anniversary of the store and employees. There are descriptions of banquets and awards for the store employees, as well as bulletins with updates on current and retired staff members. Building improvements, including the installation of the first escalator in Lancaster, are conveyed through a series of newspaper articles. An assortment of photographs, correspondence, programs and ephemera about Watt & Shand Department Store are housed in this scrapbook.



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