Long before Jeff Bezos imagined drones delivering packages to your door, G. Fox & Co. built their business on world-class service and home delivery—and even air delivery. So many Hartford residents have warm memories of visits to the iconic downtown department store, but the truth was that you didn’t have to set foot in G. Fox & Co. to shop there. Almost immediately after they opened in 1847, G. Fox was already delivering to its customers—via wheelbarrow. Technology evolved rather slowly, and the wheelbarrows were finally replaced by one-horse wagons in 1907. By 1964, a fleet of 165 boxy blue G. Fox trucks reminded everyone around Hartford and Connecticut that G. Fox delivered. And deliver they did—the official policy was that they would any purchase of any size to your door, and even pick up merchandise for returns.
G. Fox & Co. hit the pinnacle of delivery technology in 1947, when the store began delivering packages throughout Connecticut via helicopter to celebrate its centennial year. Three helicopters crossed the state bringing purchases free of charge to their customers—who needed drones?
Friendlier and more personal that delivery robots, G. Fox & Co.’s delivery fleet on the roads and in the air was especially attentive during the holiday season. They would have special personnel assigned to work deliveries on Christmas Eve to make sure that last minute gifts made it under the tree.
We’ll be sharing lots more memories of Holidays at G. Fox & Co. at our special Behind-the-Scenes Tours on Saturday, December 14 at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm. Come and get a special sneak peek at our G. Fox treasures—we even have the reindeer from the holiday display! Tickets are available online at store.chs.org, and are $5 for CHS members and $15 for non-members. Space is limited, so don’t miss out! For more information, please call (860) 236-5621 x289 or email [email protected].
Jennifer Steadman is the Adult Programs Manager at the Connecticut Historical Society