|Selfridges department store|
|> Selfridges is the largest department
store on Oxford Street. It was one of the first buildings in the country to use
the steel frame construction which is standard today. The steel frame is
disguised behind the huge masonry columns (1) Selfridges was built in stages.
The main entrance (3) and all of the building to the left were added some 18
years after the store first opened.
> Some of London's most imaginative displays can be seen in Selfridges windows (2), especially at Christmas. Once, one million pounds worth of diamonds were put on show.
> Above the Art-Deco main entrance (3) there is a statue to the Queen of Time riding in her Ship of Commerce (4) Harry Selfridge, the American founder, wanted retailing to be seen as a more noble pursuit than simply buying and selling for profit, and even wrote a book called 'The Romance of Commerce'
|> Selfridges has a reputation for
crowd-pulling events. One of the first was in 1909, when after the first
cross-Channel flight, Louis Blériot's tiny damaged aeroplane was repaired
and exhibited at Selfridges bringing thousands of people through the doors.
> The first public demonstration of television was made on the first floor at Selfridges (5) in 1925 by the Scottish inventor John Logie Baird.
> While restoration work was carried out on the building in 2002, the scaffolding around the building was used to carry the largest photographic artwork ever produced, 60ft tall by 900ft long and weighing 2 tons. It showed a gathering of well-known pop and cultural figures of the time.
> Selfridges website can be found here
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