Archival Collection #008 - May's of Michigan contains 39 historic photos and photocopied advertisements documenting the May's of Michigan menswear store that was based in Grand Rapids from 1883-1986. The collection spans the period the store was in business.
A full listing of the contents of this collection can be found in the Finding Aid that is attached to the media section of this catalog entry.
A. May and Sons A. May & Son’s, also known as May’s of Michigan, was a men’s wear store based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The store was founded as the Giant Clothing Store by German merchant Abraham May in 1883 at Monroe and Lyon Streets, Grand Rapids and was nicknamed “the Giant”. After two years at the University of Michigan, Abraham's son Meyer May and other children in the family joined their father's business and the name of the store was changed to A. May & Son’s. It was the first store in the nation to display clothing on Batts hangers, an important first in the merchandizing of clothing. Meyer May became president of the company after his father's death in 1906. Meyer May and his wife Sophie Amberg were also known for their private residence designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Today the house is operating as a museum by Steelcase Inc. A. May & Son’s remained in the family until 1967, when it was purchased by Botany Industries. Norman Talmo, a former Botany executive purchased the store in 1972. The downtown store closed in 1986 and the building was demolished for parking in 1988.
Source: Michael Hauser and Marianne Weldon. Images of America, 20th Century Retailing in Downtown Grand Rapids. Arcadia Publishing: Charleston, 2014.