Nugget of Knowledge: Department store Santa

The department store Santa started in Massachusetts

Nugget of Knowledge

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – The first department store Santa was a man named James Edgar.

Born in Scotland, he set up a dry goods store in the 1890s in Brockton, Massachusetts called the Boston Store.

He was a lot like Santa himself: jolly, generous and kind.

He gave his employees plenty of time off to spend with their families, threw parties for their children and secretly paid their medical bills when they were ill.

He first dressed up as Santa during the Christmas season of 1890 and began wandering the aisles of his store, asking children what they wanted. He didn’t sit in one spot.

Children couldn’t believe their eyes, and word quickly spread.

Why did James Edgar dress up as Santa in the first place?

He said he couldn’t understand why Santa would live at the North Pole. He should be closer, to see children more often.

Edgar also did something else at his store: he invented the layaway plan.

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