Attorney Louis Broido compiled this collection of material about Gimbels and Saks Fifth Avenue from 1939 to 1960, during the peak period of big city department stores. Of particular interest are the collective bargaining agreements between the stores and labor unions between 1939 and 1952.
These agreements contain information about the management and labor practices of department stores in which women were both a majority of the employees and a majority of the customers. They document a rise in retail workers' wages, a decrease in hours, and occasional labor unrest. Women labor union officials are signatories to several of the contracts, notably Anna Blank, who was Business Manager and later Vice President of Local No. 2, United Retail, Wholesale & Department Store Employees of America in the 1940s.