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Hess's was a department store chain based in Allentown, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania in the United States.


The department store known as Hess Brothers was founded on February 19, 1897, by Charles and Max Hess. Max Hess came to Allentown in 1896 on a business trip and envisioned a department store serving the area. He moved his family from Perth Amboy, New Jersey, in 1897 and opened Hess Brothers on Ninth and Hamilton streets.

Hess Brothers continued expanding its store by acquiring neighboring properties and filled almost a city block by 1915. While the exterior of the store still appeared as separate buildings, the inside was renovated to look as one large building. Magnificent crystal chandeliers graced the main hall of Hess Brothers, and many windows allowed natural light to fill the store. These and other displays enabled the Hess brothers to succeed at making their store look like a "big city department store."

Max Hess, Sr., died in 1922, and Charles continued to run the store from 1922 to 1932. Max Hess, Jr., continued the Hess’s legacy from 1932 through 1968. The younger Hess was seen as a leader in retailing. In the 1953 B.C. Forbes & Sons book, America’s Twelve Master Salesmen, Hess is listed as the second master...
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