What do the words Will Call, Charge-a-Plate, Teen Board, x-ray machine in the shoe department, or caramel corn bring to mind?
For people who grew up in the greater Sheboygan area, they all bring back memories of Prange’s.
From its start in 1887 to its demise in 1983, Prange’s developed a reputation for exceptional customer service and innovative marketing. It was THE place to shop.
In the summer of 1937 the first escalator in Wisconsin was installed at Prange’s. It was called a moving stairway at that time, and preceded those in Milwaukee by five years. It was the largest department store in Wisconsin, outside of Milwaukee, and among the first employers in the state to provide paid vacations and a five-day, 40 hour work week. Their pension and profit-sharing plans were cutting edge in their time.
The Sheboygan County Historical Research Center has compiled a new book, “It’s not yours ‘til you like it! H. C. Prange Co., A Sheboygan Institution,” to preserve a piece of that history. Full of previously unseen photos, stories and memories from former employees and customers, it is sure to stir personal memories of Prange’s.
The book is available for purchase at the Historical Research Center, 518 Water St., Sheboygan Falls, at a cost of $20. For more information call the Historical Research Center at 467-4667.