Macy’s was founded before the fall of the Ottoman Empire.

  • Macy’s store sign
Macy's store sign
Airam Dato-on/ Pexels

The Ottoman Empire, which ruled over Anatolia (largely comprised of the Asian portion of modern-day Turkey) for six centuries, conjures up images of an ancient kingdom. Yet the Ottomans’ existence is far from age-old history, and there are even people alive today who were born before the empire’s dissolution. There are also many modern companies — including Macy’s, which was established in 1858 — that were founded well before the Ottoman Empire fell in 1922, shortly after World War I.

The Ottoman Empire was founded by Osman I in 1299, and reached its peak during the mid-16th century. The empire began to decline shortly thereafter, as the rest of Europe expanded its power and influence during the Renaissance era and throughout the Industrial Revolution. What remained of the once-vast Ottoman Empire fought and lost alongside the Central Powers in World War I, weakening its standing even further. Macy’s, meanwhile, began when businessman Rowland Hussey Macy opened four small stores between 1843 and 1855. Though those initial stores flopped, business boomed after Macy opened a dry goods store called R.H. Macy & Co. in 1858 at the corner of 14th Street and Sixth Avenue in New York City. The store was later renamed Macy’s and blossomed into a local sensation, upgrading to a Herald Square location in 1902 that was the world’s largest department store at the time.

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