Just three years after our ClockTower was built in 1886, University of Minnesota student Halsey William Wilson invested $400 to start a bookselling business.
That $400 investment in 1889 would require just under $10,000, today.
It was a success, and he purchased a 5 story Bronx building along the Harlem River for his headquarters.
As the company grew he added a new 8 story building next door. And then in 1929 he installed a 30 foot copper lighthouse replica on the roof.
Why a lighthouse?
Because the company mission was (and remains) “To give guidance to those seeking their way through the maze of books and periodicals, without which they would be lost.”
Halsey William Wilson died in 1954 at 85, but his lighthouse, his company and his mission are very much alive.
from the south
This, by the way, is a real lighthouse.