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DescriptionPostcard of the Salon Parisian, the famous millinery salon at Adler's, 1212 Main.
Historical ArticlePictured in black and white on this promotional postcard is Salon Parisian, the famous millinery salon of Bernhardt Adler at 1212 Main. Adler's 60-page spring and summer catalog of 1913 described it: The showcases, tables and furnishings are of finest unpolished mahogany. Oriental rugs...draperies of velour and Cluny lace, crystal light effects, and numerous mirrors form a picture of surpassing elegance and beauty.

The catalog pictured Adler's wholesale millinery stock, in the Floradora days, when the more elaborate creation a woman wore on her head the more fashionably she was dressed. More than 100 women with various picture hats were shown with the latest styles in head gear. Adler made an annual trip to Paris so women were kept up to date in Kansas City.

In addition to trimmed and untrimmed hats listed for his millinery customers here and elswhere, high grade millinery sundries were priced: buckram, crinoline, rice net, bonnet wire, shirring wire, elastic tape, bandeaux, Corticelli silk thread, needles, hat pins (nine-inch white, 60 cents a gross), hat stands, ostrich plumes, bird of paradise, ribbon, hat sacks (bundle of 100, 40 cents) and boxes of almost any kind of flower such as daisies, violets, pansies and poppies.

The wholesale milllinery house became retail when a Kansas City Star advertising solicitor, Charley Nutter, went into Adler's earlier office on Delaware Street. You could sell this stuff retail if you would put a five-inch ad in the paper Nutter said.

How much would it cost? Adler asked.

Eight dollars and twenty-five cents.

Too much, I wouldn't sink all that money into your paper.

But Nutter was persistent and a few days later Adler ran an ad for violets, 14 cents a bunch. (He had paid 9 cents.). That day he sold $200 worth of artificial flowers. (Later he was a full-page advertiser.)

Bernhardt Adler came from Heubach, Germany, when he was 14 to work as errand boy for an uncle in the millinery business. His pay was $5 a month, out of which he saved $1.50. He also sold newspapers and quickly learned English. One of his duties was carrying hats across the Hannibal bridge to people who had left their wagons on the Clay County side and walked across to save toll.

Adlers added ladies ready to wear in 1918. Old directories list the establishment's earliest address at 525 Delaware, in 1894; 12th & Main, 1903.

Today, One Kansas City Place is rising on the old Adler's site. It will be Missouri's tallest skyscraper.

Kansas City Times
January 16, 1987

AuthorRay, Mrs. Sam (Mildred)
Item TypePostcard
CollectionMrs. Sam Ray Postcard Collection (SC58)
See finding aid: http://localhistory.kclibrary.org/u?/Local,36981
Local SubjectBusinesses
Digital FormatJPEG
RepositoryMissouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri
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