Thursday, August 31, 2017
Minot's First Escalator
FW Woolworth – Frank Winfield Woolworth opened his first store in1879 in Watertown, NY. He began with $410 worth of items and nothing sold for more than 5 cents. Woolworth’s opened in Minot in 1912 after buying out the New York Store. The Second floor was added in 1953. Included in the remodel was the motor stairs or escalator, the first in a retail store in North Dakota. Other improvements were fluorescent lighting on both floors, new dust proof candy counters, 40 stool lunch counter, pet department complete with goldfish, parakeets and canaries and air conditioning. The lunch counter was on the south side of the store next to the escalator. The escalator only went up – there was no down escalator Many young people were more interested in riding the escalator up and down than in shopping or anything else. The house wares department was at the top of the escalator and the clerks would discourage all the kids from riding up and running back down…. Woolworths closed in 1982.