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Something for Everyone: Memories of Lauerman Brothers Department Store Hardcover – August 27, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Something for Everyone: Memories of Lauerman Brothers Department Store is a thoroughly accessible history of this chain that began in 1890 as a general store in the town of Marinette, Wisconsin. Lauermans' popularity and success climbed in subsequent decades, yet competition from big-name stores such as K-mart and Walmart eventually brought the business to an end in 1987. Something for Everyone blends business, economics, and nostalgic memories into an appealing whole, charting the rise and fall of a family-based retail chain. Black-and-white photographs pepper this excellent addition to Wisconsin history collections! (James A. Cox, Midwest Book review, October 2013)

About the Author

Michael Leannah has had a long career in the public schools of Milwaukee and Sheboygan. His stories for children have been published in magazines in the United States and in Australia; his radio plays have won national awards and have been performed in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and elsewhere. In 2007, he edited Well! Reflections on the Life and Career of Jack Benny. Leannah grew up in Marinette, Wisconsin, within walking distance of Lauermans Department Store. He now lives with his family in Sheboygan.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Wisconsin Historical Society Press; Revised edition edition (August 27, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870205811
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870205811
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #667,867 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By The Copper Bookroom on August 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I received my book a mere five hours ago and am nearly finished with it. This is a very special book, especially if you grew up in Marinette, Wis., or neighboring Menominee, Mich., and remember Lauerman Brothers Department Store, which closed its doors in 1987. But it is also written for the reader who simply loves the elegant department stores of the past that were as much grande dame as retail establishment.

Lauerman's was our grand dame. The departments are gone, but thankfully the solid and beautiful building survives as a landmark in the heart of Marinette today. Long may she stand!

If you grew up in a small town in say, the 1950s, you will know what I mean when I say Lauerman's was the lynchpin of the downtown. It was where you could buy clothing, shoes, fabric, hardware, carpet, appliances, groceries, paint, bulk candy, jewelry, cosmetics and more - something for everyone. It was where you would always run into someone you knew, catch up on the latest, and drool over items you couldn't afford. Lauerman's is likely a store in your town, too, only the name is different.

The store once had a whole-sale business, offered trading stamps, delivered groceries, hosted public events in its fancy "Blue Room" and sold what may have arguably been the world's best malteds at its lunch counter. It was, in a way, a community within a community.

Department stores like this were dream merchants as much as retail merchants, and they shaped the tastes of generations in the towns they served. My point is that this isn't merely the story of a particular store, it's the story of 20th century department stores.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you have ever had a desire to go to back in time so you could once again shop at your local department store, this book is for you. No, the book won't transport you back, but it will do the next best thing, it will bring back many memories of the golden age of the department store. Leannah'a book focuses on Lauerman Brothers Department Store in Marinette, Wisconsin. Marinette happens to be where Leannah is from and he, with most of his family, worked at Lauerman Brothers Department Store at one time. His father, Francis X. Leannah worked there for nearly 50 years and this book is a loving tribute to him. However, I would like to add that you do not have to be from Marinette to enjoy this book, you don't even have to be from Wisconsin. Most towns of a certain size had department stores and this book could fit any one them nicely.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I can't say I loved this book, but it has some very nice memories. I hoped the pages would transport me back to the days I remember of elevator rides, milkshakes at the smokey counters, brand new shoes, devil's food cookies, Santa Claus in the basement, crabby female clerks, record albums and scarey basement bathrooms. Sadly, this book missed the mark. It seems to me to be filled with a lot of name dropping and facts that really don't leave the founders in a very flattering light. One line after another how they started out giving big discounts to their employees---and took them away. How they used to give a great wage, and ended with a wage no one other than a student could live with. Sad.
Update: I have read more of this historical account of this large turn-of-the-century department store, and I stand by my initial assessments. However, I believe even an uninvolved party would enjoy the book as a historical reference for several reasons. There are quite a few photos that reflect the different eras, not just of the store, but the times and people. Also, in the later chapters of the book, it gets to the meat and potatoes of the workings of such a large store and not just name dropping.....my previous complaint. I believe this accounting is a good effort on the part of the author (by the way, a very nice man) and a very important record of the Lauerman Brothers Department Store.
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By Duchess on November 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I grew up in Marinette Wisconsin, and Lauerman's was our favorite place to shop! I can still remember how exciting it was when my mother brought us there to get the malt cones or have lunch at the lunch counter. And, Christmas time was awesome in Lauerman's! It was like stepping back in time to read this book, especially the quotes from people who worked there that I knew from my childhood. I remember the record department, too, because that was where we bought all our 45's and 78's. My high school friends and I would spend time listening to the records before we purchased them, and we never felt hurried by the record department sales clerks!
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By marlay barbee on October 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved that store, what wonderful memories it brought back. The wonderful photo's of the Store and Hotel across the street . I could vision the photographer standing in the street at the beginning of the Big bridge to Michigan to capture both magnificent buildings welcoming them to Marinette. It was a privilege and honor have lived in Marinette from 1932 to 1942 and only 4 blocks from that wonderful store. Many Many thanks Michael Leannah (I have purchased 7 copies as Xmas gifts for family members).Marlay Heath Barbee
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