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September 30, 2007

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1917: First Barnes & Noble
Bookstore Opens in Manhattan

In 1873, Charles M. Barnes founded a book-printing establishment in Wheaton, Illinois. In 1917, his son, William, traveled to New York City by train and, partnering with G. Clifford Noble, opened the first Barnes & Noble retail store at 31 West 15th Street in Manhattan. In 1932, Barnes & Noble opened what became the company’s flagship store at 105 Fifth Avenue, at the corner of 18th Street. In addition to general interest books, Barnes & Noble sold textbooks and scholarly books. In 1971, Leonard Riggio, who had worked at Barnes & Noble while attending New York University, bought the company. He discounted books, advertised on television, offered seating and public rest rooms, and in 1991 pioneered the "superstore concept." In 1997, the company launched an online bookstore. Today, Barnes & Noble is the world’s largest bookseller, operating 839 bookstores in 50 states. A Barnes & Noble on Sixth Avenue is shown here.

–Cynthia Blair

Copyright © 2007, Newsday Inc.


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