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J.C. Penney had its origins in the store opened in 1902 by James Cash Penney (1876-1971) and William Henry McManus, who opened the Golden Rule dry goods store in the small mining town of Kemmerer, Wyoming. This store was so successful that the partners opened more stores. The headquarters was moved to Salt Lake City in 1909 and in 1913 the name was changed to J. C. Penney Company when Mr. Penney acquired majority holdings in the company.

As the company grew, more and more stores opened and the company acquired other companies. The first of these was Crescent Corset Company, which J.C. Penney bought in 1920. They also began developing their own store brands, starting with Big Mac work clothes for men in 1922. By 1930 there were over 1000 J.C. Penney stores.

In 1963 Penney’s distributed a catalogue for the first time. Also in the 1960s they started offering more than just dry goods, adding appliances and other durable goods. Today J.C. Penney still relies heavily on house brands, such as Arizona Jeans Company and a.n.a.

Label Notes: At some point in time, the company changed from “J.C. Penney Co.” to just “Penney’s”. In 1971 the company adopted a new logo: “JCPenney,” to honor the founder who died that year.

Written by fuzzylizzie

See vintage JC Penney from VFG members on Etsy (paid link)