The “Larkin” behind the Larkin District

By Steve Cichon
steve@buffalostories.com
@stevebuffalo

Thirty-five years ago this week, The News began celebrating the 100th anniversary of the paper’s starting a daily edition.

In the special section called One Hundred Years of Finance and Commerce, The News recounted the history of a handful of Buffalo’s financial and commercial industries and provided ad space for many companies involved in those industries to tout their own contributions.

Except for perhaps attending a concert or food truck Tuesday in the Larkin District, most Buffalonians aren’t aware of the impact that Buffalo’s Larkin Soap Co. had on the national and world economy and the way we all shop.

While many of us remember the Sears catalog, it was John D. Larkin’s company that created many of the processes that became standard in mail-order retail and remain the basis for the systems used by Internet age mail-order retailers to this day.

Buffalo in the 1910s: Not quite ‘Food Truck Tuesday,’ but visitors are welcome at Larkin Factory

By Steve Cichon
steve@buffalostories.com
@stevebuffalo

While today visits to Larkinville are made to enjoy food, music or culture, 110 years ago, visits to Larkin were all about taking in the majesty of one of the world’s largest manufacturers and retailers of personal items.

Just as Larkin Square represents what’s new and happening in Buffalo for many in 2015, in 1910, the Larkin Company revolutionized how products were bought and sold and was America’s leader in catalog and mail order retail.