Here's an "amazin'" pic I saw in a post-Thanksgiving article on BBC.com about how Amazon UK had their busiest day on record:
|Workers pack orders on the warehouse floor at the Amazon UK Fulfilment Centre in Peterborough in November. Photograph: Chris Radburn/PA|
My second reaction: I've seen this before...somewhere...not exactly, but...
Then it hit me–I'd been on an architectural walking tour in Chicago a few years ago and they showed us the old Montgomery Ward building on Michigan avenue. They were the Amazon of their day, but using mail and train delivery instead of the Internet & Fedex. It was 1872, for pete's sake! (14 years before Sears started up to become their rival)
By 1883 their catalog was 240 pages and offered 10,000 items!
In 1889, the cover of the catalog showed a drawing of their building with the outer walls stripped off to show the "beehive" inside–all the workers packing up all the goods for the orders–bicycles, sewing machines, clothing, dishes, etc.–just like today. Here's the picture from a site called "Chicagology":
|See the resemblance?|
Montgomery Ward was founded by Aaron Montgomery Ward in 1872. Ward had conceived of the idea of a dry goods mail-order business in Chicago, Illinois, after several years of working as a traveling salesman among rural customers. He observed that rural customers often wanted "city" goods but their only access to them was through rural retailers who had little competition and offered no guarantee of quality. Ward also believed that by eliminating intermediaries, he could cut costs and make a wide variety of goods available to rural customers, who could purchase goods by mail and pick them up at the nearest train station.
|Yeah, it's shaped like a giant kidney bean!|