Seasons Magazines

Seasons Magazines

The Story Behind Hartford’s Iconic G. Fox & Co.

Gerson Fox, born Gerson Fuchs in Germany, immigrated to the United States, moving from New York City to Hartford, Conn., in the 1840s. In 1847, he established Fox’s, a small dry goods business, with his brother Isaac. Gerson’s son Moses took over from his father in 1880. In January of 1917, Fox’s was destroyed by a fire. Moses vowed to rebuild within a year and kept all the employees on the payroll; the store did business out of several temporary locations until the new 11-story building opened in 1918 on Main Street in Hartford.

Moses’s daughter Beatrice came home from Utah, where she lived with her husband and two little girls, to help rebuild. Within a few years, she took over running the store. Beatrice Fox Auerbach is the pioneering businesswoman who led G. Fox & Co. through its golden age. The store ultimately developed into Hartford’s dominant retail establishment, and one of the largest retail operations in the region.

 

Fox & Co. used its window displays to draw customers in from the street. At Christmas time, the displays became a major draw themselves. The motorized Christmas display (pictured on the opposite page) was once part of the display at G. Fox & Co. on Main Street in Hartford. The motor caused the elf in the blue hat to pull back on the reins being held by another elf under the plaid blanket. The pink reindeer is ‘actually’ two elves on skates dressed up.

 

The images and information are courtesy of the Connecticut Historical Society. Their archives contain hundreds of goods sold over the years at G. Fox & Co., ranging from wedding gowns to toilet paper.