The flagship store of the largest department store company in the country is at the top of most New York tourists’ lists. Around it, Herald Square attracts a crowd second only to Times Square less than ten blocks north. Macy’s Inc., now a nationwide conglomerate of over 700 stores, began over 100 years ago as the R.H. Macy and Company Store. It has occupied its Herald Square location since 1902, a building that was named a National Historic Landmark back in 1978 and carries with a storied past. Here’s what we dug up about the largest store in America.
R.H. Macy and Co. was founded in 1843 by its namesake, 21 year old Roland Hussey Macy. At 15, Macy worked on a whaling ship called the Emily Morgan near Nantucket Island where he was born, and had a red star tattooed on his hand. The original Macy and Co. logo included this red star, appropriated by Macy as a symbol for success. It has remained a part of the company’s many iterations and redesigns of its logo ever since.