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E M Kahn and Co.

E M Kahn and Co.
July 08, 2015 04:43PM
Most of the older folks on here probably remember the E.M. Kahn and Co. clothiers in Dallas. Only recently did I learn that the Kahn family and the Sanger family of Sanger Bros. were connected by marriage, Eugene Sanger marrying one of the Kahn daughers, and later becoming president of E.M. Kahn and Co.

But that is not my point. I know that E.M. Kahn had stores downtown, in Wynnewood, and in Highland Park Village. Were there others? Also, the stores closed in the 1960s. Was the company bought out by one of the other Dallas merchants, by a national chain, or did it just close with no descendent operation?

Thanks

Dave McNeely
Re: E M Kahn and Co.
July 08, 2015 08:25PM
I recall there was one at Prestonwood Mall at the N.D. Tollway and Beltline. Very fine clothes they vended. They just pooped-out probably because of competition. For the time, they were somewhat pricey. I think I still have one of their sport coats though it won't fit me now. Jim
Re: E M Kahn and Co.
July 09, 2015 07:11AM
jgoodman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I recall there was one at Prestonwood Mall at the
> N.D. Tollway and Beltline. Very fine clothes
> they vended. They just pooped-out probably because
> of competition. For the time, they were somewhat
> pricey. I think I still have one of their sport
> coats though it won't fit me now. Jim

For a time when I was in college, and for a year or so afterward when I was teaching HS (South Oak Cliff), I worked at the Highland Park Village Sanger-Harris store. E.M. Kahn was next door. Their merchandise was high priced, but high quality. When I started to have a bit more money (mostly because I worked two jobs), I began buying some of my clothes from E.M. Kahn. I am a frugal person. At the time, mid-sixties, Kahns sold long-sleeved oxford cloth dress shirts for $5.00, short-sleeved ones for $4.50. Dallas has a warm climate, and I never wore dress shirts without a jacket anyway. So, I just bought short-sleeved ones. When I mentioned to a clerk at Kahns my reason for using the short-sleeved shirts, he just about had a fit about my "strange sense of economy." A few days later I saw him at lunch at Fred's Barbecue, and he told me that he had decided that my wearing short-sleeved shirts to save money made sense, and he'd decided to do so himself.

Dave McNeely
Re: E M Kahn and Co.
July 10, 2015 12:04PM
Other than E.M.Kahn, there was another hoyte-toyte men's store in the 60s-70s,and I can't remember the name. It's gone now. It wasn't Brooke's Bros. and it wasn't the one on Hillcrest across from SMU. Hmmm? Jim
Re: E M Kahn and Co.
July 10, 2015 12:21PM
jgoodman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Other than E.M.Kahn, there was another hoyte-toyte
> men's store in the 60s-70s,and I can't remember
> the name. It's gone now. It wasn't Brooke's Bros.
> and it wasn't the one on Hillcrest across from
> SMU. Hmmm? Jim

James K. Wilson's? [tshaonline.org]

Handled Hart Schafner and Marx products (as did other better quality ready to wear purveyers in Dallas) and eventually merged with HSM. I do not remember where any of the JKW stores were located now, though it seems that there was one downtown, and one in North Park. There may have been one in the center at Preston at NW Highway, but there was not one in Highland Park Village.

Dave McNeely
Re: E M Kahn and Co.
July 10, 2015 03:11PM
That's the store! There was one, I think, at Wynnewood. Jim
Re: E M Kahn and Co.
July 10, 2015 08:07PM
Dad's and Lad's was a popular store in Lakewood.
Re: E M Kahn and Co.
July 11, 2015 03:55PM
I think I remember a Jas. K. Wilson in Wynnewood...I definitely remember E.M. Kahn because as a kid, a trip there often meant a pair of (usually uncomfortable) new shoes.

[www.flickr.com]
Re: E M Kahn and Co.
July 11, 2015 09:29PM
Hey Dave,
do remember a Ramon Ford from you teaching days at SOC? Nickname Corky?

Paul
Re: E M Kahn and Co.
July 12, 2015 08:06AM
WStewart Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I think I remember a Jas. K. Wilson in
> Wynnewood...I definitely remember E.M. Kahn
> because as a kid, a trip there often meant a pair
> of (usually uncomfortable) new shoes.

Did Kahn's have that fluoroscope you stepped on and it showed the bones in your feet?
Re: E M Kahn and Co.
July 12, 2015 09:38AM
paul brancato Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Hey Dave,
> do remember a Ramon Ford from you teaching days at
> SOC? Nickname Corky?
>
> Paul

The name sounds like one I should know. Help me out a bit. First, I was there in the late sixties, teaching biology and one year I taught chemistry. Was Corky a faculty member, student, coach, administrator? Can you describe him at all? That was a long time ago, and some folks are now just faces, not names.

Dave McNeely
Re: E M Kahn and Co.
July 12, 2015 11:08AM
Lochwood Mall had one. They had something similar to the tube that we use at drive through banks now at the cashiers register. If I remember right, you would pay and then the cashier would send the money through tube to the office (for lack of a better word) and then they would send your change back.
Re: E M Kahn and Co.
July 12, 2015 12:43PM
Susan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Lochwood Mall had one. They had something similar
> to the tube that we use at drive through banks now
> at the cashiers register. If I remember right,
> you would pay and then the cashier would send the
> money through tube to the office (for lack of a
> better word) and then they would send your change
> back.

Pneumatic tubes. Lots of department stores and offices used them. Post offices used them to send mail from one to another across cities. Department stores also used cable mounted, spring loaded devices for the same purpose. The carrier cylinder was attached to a cable that ran in a loop. A clerk would hang the cylinder on the cable, tug on a line that cocked a spring driven trigger, and the cable would be driven by spring action to the cashier. Credit cards and electronics made these systems obsolete, and for across town transfer, bicycles and trucks replaced the tubes.

Dave McNeely
Re: E M Kahn and Co.
July 12, 2015 01:29PM
Dave,
Ya'll might not have crossed paths then. I don't have the exact dates but he had probably left teaching by the mid '60s.
About 5'7 to 5'9. Thin, for his height, wore glasses and was probably already bald by then. Not much to go on, I know.

English teacher.

One of my mothers brothers.

Paul
Re: E M Kahn and Co.
July 12, 2015 01:54PM
Paul, sounds like your uncle had moved on by the time I was at SOC. I graduated UT Arlington in '67, did a short stint at Duncanville Jr. High, then moved over to SOC. SOC was probably 95% African American when I was teaching there. One interesting aspect of it was that the head football coach was Raymond Mattingly, who had been head football coach at J L Long Jr. High when I was a student there 1958-1960. Raymond was also my algebra teacher at Long. Dallas still operated its athletic departments with teacher/coaches, something that I later learned was unusual for the time for Texas's larger schools. Head coaches and some assistant coaches don't teach. Mattingly was an excellent teacher, and I felt fortunate to have him when I was a student, and fortunate to work with him as a colleague.

Dave McNeely
Re: E M Kahn and Co.
July 12, 2015 05:01PM
Quote

Did Kahn's have that fluoroscope you stepped on and it showed the bones in your feet?

@BillB,
It seems like they did still have the foot fluoroscope, but I can't remember for sure...if they did, it was no doubt the highlight of my visit (no pun intended, of course).
Re: E M Kahn and Co.
July 13, 2015 12:24AM
To return to topic:

E.M. Kahn sold in 1969 to Eagle Clothes of New York, a menswear manufacturer. E.M. Kahn's president, Eugene Kahn Sanger (who was grandson of the founder), described the chain as the longest family-operated department store in Dallas. At the time, Kahn's had one store in downtown Dallas, four in suburban Dallas (Preston Royal, Inwood, Lochwood, Wynnewood), one in Irving, and one in Promenade Center in Richardson. Kahn's reason for the sale was to gain access to capital in order to open more stores.

In 1972 the department store celebrated its 100th anniversary by opening a new store in Town East Mall. This was their ninth store, following the opening of a store at Six Flags Mall in Arlington the year before. In 1973 they opened in Valley View Mall. The opening featured such "celebrities" as Bob Lilly, Bob Denver, Mayor Wise, and Charlie Waters.

In a cost-saving measure, Kahn's shut down its advertising department in 1976, contracting it out to a merchandising firm owned by Eagle Clothes. Almost immediately the store's ads were plagued with sale and discounted merchandise whose "comparable value" was far above what it was selling for anywhere else, bait-and-switch merchandise, and misleading manufacturer labels. Meanwhile, Eagle Clothes was having severe financial problems.

In November 1978, shortly before Christmas, the Better Business Bureau threatened lawsuit for fraud and forced E.M. Kahn to pull all of its ads.By mid-December, Kahn's was on the financial ropes.

"After 106 years E. M. Kahn must raise cash," their pre-Christmas ads read. "We may be in trouble, but we've got the solution to stay in business and pay our creditors." Their solution was a 20% off storewide sale. Kahn's went into bankruptcy that month, six months after their parent company.

"E. M. Kahn death signals end of era," said the headline in the DMN on June 30, 1979. Creditors had forced an auction of all assets, but there were no bidders. That afternoon all Kahn's stores locked their doors and never reopened. Eagle Clothing, which would close three months later, claimed all store fixtures and remaining merchandise, which they sold off to a liquidator.

Most of the disappointment and anger over the ignominious end of the dignified retailer was aimed at the New York sharpies who bought the company in 1969 and ran it into the ground. Stanley Marcus said he had "no sense of grief for the recent management, which abused a fine and wonderful name and milked it,"

Sad story of a Dallas retail tradition.
Re: E M Kahn and Co.
July 13, 2015 10:59AM
RWilliams, thank you very much. It seems I had the company shutting business a good while before it did, but then during that time frame I was not living in North Texas.

As the DMN stated, that was a sad tale.

Dave McNeely
Re: E M Kahn and Co.
July 13, 2015 08:03PM
old man from dallas Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Susan Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Lochwood Mall had one. They had something
> similar
> > to the tube that we use at drive through banks
> now
> > at the cashiers register. If I remember right,
> > you would pay and then the cashier would send
> the
> > money through tube to the office (for lack of a
> > better word) and then they would send your
> change
> > back.
>
> Pneumatic tubes. Lots of department stores and
> offices used them. Post offices used them to send
> mail from one to another across cities.
> Department stores also used cable mounted, spring
> loaded devices for the same purpose. The carrier
> cylinder was attached to a cable that ran in a
> loop. A clerk would hang the cylinder on the
> cable, tug on a line that cocked a spring driven
> trigger, and the cable would be driven by spring
> action to the cashier. Credit cards and
> electronics made these systems obsolete, and for
> across town transfer, bicycles and trucks replaced
> the tubes.

That's very interesting. I had no idea they had ever been that extensive. I only remember seeing the one at the Lochwood E M Kahn store and I thought it was so high tech.

I remember calling computers "the tube" back in the mid 80's and early 90's. Someone had told me they called computers the tube after the pneumatic tubes, but I don't know if that's correct.
Re: E M Kahn and Co.
July 13, 2015 08:31PM
Susan, could a computer have been referred to as "the tube" for the cathode ray tube that drove the monitors of computers in that era? I know that people spoke of television as "the tube" for that reason. I had not heard the usage of "the tube" for a computer before, but then I am only 70 years old.

Dave McNeely
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