The origin of Barnes & Noble

In the late 1800s, Charles Barnes and G. Clifford Noble each led separate bookselling businesses. Charles Barns began selling used books out of his house in his hometown of Wheaton, Illinois. His business quickly grew.

Meanwhile, many miles away in New York City, G. Clifford Noble, who was usually called Clifford, began his carrier in a New York City bookstore (Arthur Hinds & Company, opened in 1886). Hard worker and very ambitious, Noble work his way up until the bookstore owner made him a partner in the business and later Noble bought the shop.

In 1917, Clifford Noble invited William Barnes (William Barnes, son of his old friend Charles) to New York City. They met to discuss their businesses and their plans for the future.

William Barnes returned to Chicago, tendered his resignation and sold his half stake of the C.M Barnes-Wilcox Company to his father in law. He would move to New York and place all of his resources into making Barnes & Noble a success.

Noble left the partnership in 1929 to start a publishing company with his sons. Under the tutelage of William Barnes and his son, John, who had purchased Noble’s interest in the company, Barnes & Noble continue to expand its operations throughout the 1930s.
The origin of Barnes & Noble
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