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This Month in Business History

February

The Pictorial News Company, NY. [View of Woolworth Building and surrounding buildings, New York City] c1913. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Woolworth's Five and Dime

It was 1878 and Frank Winfield Woolworth was working in a general store. The 5-cent merchandise table was set up and staffed by Frank. As he assisted the customers that crowded around the table, Frank resolved to start a store of his own stocked only with 5-cent merchandise.


The Flint, Michigan, Sit-Down Strike

Once called "the strike heard round the world," the first major labor dispute in the U.S. auto industry ended after General Motors signed a contract with the United Auto Workers Union on February 11, 1937.


First Bank of the United States Chartered

The first Bank of the United States was chartered for a term of twenty years, by the United States Congress on February 25, 1791.


Department of Commerce Founded

In 1902 Congress passed legislation to create the Department of Commerce and Labor which began operation in February 1903. The agency was renamed the Department of Commerce in 1913.


Patent for the Air Conditioner Issued to Willis H. Carrier

Patent 1,085,971 was issued for a “Method of humidifying air and controlling the humidity and temperature thereof” to inventor Willis H. Carrier on February 3, 1914.