Monday, April 29, 2013

More J.L. Hudson Department Store Memorabilia

In June, I will be speaking about the J.L. Hudson Department Store at a ladies' tea, so I've been keeping my eyes open for memorabilia to add to my collection.  You may recall, I did a four-part series on the famous department store in March 2012.  The first post in the series can be seen here.

I thought I'd share my newest memorabilia in today's post.  I already had a July 1946 Hudson's Mezzanine Tea Room menu, thanks to Angela at Tea With Friends blog, but I recently acquired another one that's dated April 29, 1942, when a pot of tea was .15 cents!  I love the JLH initialized logo on the back of the menu cover.

The Mezzanine Tea Room opened in 1928 and was converted to a buffet in 1962.


[inside - click on to enlarge]

I acquired a second Hudson's trade card.   It's not dated, but based on the items listed on the reverse side, it was during the early days of the store, since they weren't yet selling women's ready-made clothing.



I also obtained a copy of the Sunday, October 25, 1998 Detroit News/Free Press newspaper that covered the store's implosion on October 24th, 1998 at 5:47 p.m.

The article stated the mammoth 25-story structure wobbled like a drunk, then collapsed into a 60-foot-high pile of rubble. 

Lastly, a piece of brick that was retrieved from the rubble.  An acquaintance whose husband worked at Hudson's gave it to me.

The store once ranked as #2 of the nation's three largest department stores in the 1960's, both in size and sales volume, and boasted the world's largest basement budget store.  The first phase of the store's building took place in 1891.


  1. What a wonderful way to learn history!

  2. How interesting! You have been gathering information and memorabilia that will be a great asset to your presentation. I am especially impressed that you have a brick from the store that imploded.

    Is the J.L. Hudson Department store related in any way to the Hudson Bay Company?

    Gracious Hospitality

  3. About 1965 I worked for Catalina Swimwear and Cole of California doing collections for past due accounts. J.L. Hudson was one of the stores in my account list. I don't remember that they were ever behind on payment, but that job gave me a familiarity with so many of the large department stores of that era. It is always fun when I see one of their names come up. Good luck with the talk.

  4. Oh, wow, I just love the additions to your Hudson memorabilia collection--all splendid! Sooooo wish I could come hear you speak. Any chance they could do a simulcast to Georgia? ;)

  5. I grew up with Hudson's, but was too young to really experience the downtown "flagship" store. I knew it was legendary, as my mama talked about it with admiration. Our house in Dearborn, Mich. was furnished with stuff from Hudson's; we shopped at Fairlane Town Center in the 80s. I love tea! Thanks so much for this lovely blog page!


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