Tag: Retail Pioneers

Nazzareno Meloccaro

Nazzareno Meloccaro, the son of Luigi and Giovannina Meloccaro, was born into humble beginnings in Pontecorvo, Italy on February 23, 1903. He came to Rhode Island in 1920 where he found employment as a carpenter. The young enterprising Meloccaro in his spare time soon began the study of blueprint reading and elementary architecture; within three

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Louis Yip

Louis Yip established authentic Chinese dining in Rhode Island before transitioning into real estate development. His proudest accomplishments are his marriage to his wife of 48 years, Florence, and this three sons, Herman, Damon, and Edmond, all successful in law and business. He was born outside Hong Kong in the fishing village of Tai-O, and

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Ambassador William P. Mccormick

William McCormick was born in Providence. He attended Roger Williams Jr. College and Boston University while serving honorably in the Army Reserve until 1963. Mr. McCormick moved to San Francisco and worked for Connecticut General Life Insurance Company until 1965. At this time, he became a partner in the Refectory Steak House Restaurant chain. By

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Martin Chase

Martin Chase organized the first discount merchandise store in the United States (Ann & Hope), which revolutionized American retail. The Mass Merchandising Foundation honored him for setting in motion the tide of low-margin retailing, which greatly extended the purchasing power of the American consumer. Mr. Chase was also active in community and philanthropic affairs.

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Joseph Samuels

To those who grew up in Rhode Island, the Outlet Department Store was as familiar and as dominant in the downtown area as were such familiar establishments as the Albee Theater, Gibson’s, the Boston Store, Gladdings, Shepard’s, and Tilden-Thurber. When Joseph and Leon Samuels opened a small store on Westminster Street in 1894, every possible

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William F. Sayles

William Francis Sayles, 1824-1894, was a prominent Pawtucket, Rhode Island industrialist who founded the W.F. & F.C. Sayles Company, reputedly the world’s largest bleachery for cotton textile cloth, located in Saylesville on the Moshassuck River. Sayles and his brother Frederick, the first mayor of Pawtucket, also owned the Lorraine Mill on Mineral Spring Avenue, a

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Samuel Slater

More than anyone, Samuel Slater pioneered the making of modern Rhode Island. This so-called Father of the Factory System was the catalyst for the economic transformation that gave Rhode Island its salient characteristic – an industrial order that dominated the state’s economy from the early nineteenth century until the dawn of the present postindustrial era.

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Nathanael G. “Nat” Herreshoff

Nathanael Greene Herreshoff, 1848-1938, was a world-renowned Bristol boatbuilder who teamed with his blind brother John Brown Herreshoff to build a series of world famous racing yachts that dominated the America’s Cup competition from 1893 through 1934. “Captain Nat” and his Herreshoff Manufacturing Company also built luxury yachts, cruising sailboats, and America’s first torpedo boat

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John Howland

Without hyperbole, John Howland can well be called “the father of free public education in Rhode Island.” He was born in Newport on October 31, 1757, the fourth of eight children in the family of Joseph and Sarah (Barber) Howland. He was the namesake and fifth-generation descendant of a Mayflower passenger who had come to

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George T. Downing

In Rhode Island, slavery was placed on the road to extinction on March 1, 1784, when the General Assembly passed a gradual manumission act making any Black born to a slave mother after that date free. Those who were slaves at that time had to be manumitted by their masters. Five such slaves were listed

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John Russell Bartlett

The Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame has developed a tradition of listing its inductees by the title of their highest public office or by the title “Dr.” if they have earned that distinction in their chosen field of endeavor. John Russell Bartlett’s title, though prestigious, only begins to embrace his many notable achievements. Clearly,

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Joseph Davol

Joseph Davol, descendant of the William Davol who settled in the Massachusetts Bay Colony around 1640, was the son of Joseph Davol and Mary (Sanders) Davol. He was born in Warren in 1837, but the exact date of his birth is unknown. After early schooling in Warren, Joseph moved with his parents to Brooklyn, New

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James C. Bucklin

Records say that Providence architect James C. Bucklin was a native of Pawtucket, but in view of his family’s Rehoboth origins, the place of his birth on July 26, 1801, was probably on the east side of the Blackstone, an area not acquired by Rhode Island until 1862. His parents were James and Lorania (Pearce)

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