AFRICANGLOBE – Frances Moore was hired to help out for the holidays at an Alabama jewelry store in 1939, and she’s still there.
The 93-year-old Birmingham woman is “celebrating” 75 years as an employee of the family-owned Bromberg & Co., which dates to 1836 and is one of the nation’s oldest family-owned retailers.
“Frances is a remarkable person,” said Bromberg’s President Rick Bromberg. “She is the longest-serving employee in the history of our company, including family.”
Moore was hired to polish silver at Bromberg’s on Nov. 21, 1939, when Franklin D. Roosevelt was president and before the United States entered World War II. She made $8 a week initially, but she was happy since the trolley ride to work only cost only 7 cents.
She soon transferred to gift wrap. By around 1970, Moore was managing the company’s multimillion-dollar jewelry inventory.
“I didn’t think I’d live 75 years let alone work for somebody 75 years,” Moore said in an interview Monday as she put tags on rings and bracelets for sale.
Moore said her parents taught her to work hard and Bromberg’s is a good employer, so she never left. She retired from full-time work a few years ago but still comes in to sort and tag jewelry.
She’s also done some other jobs for the company through the years, including refinishing silver and arranging flowers.
“Anything I wanted to do in the store I started doing it,” she said. “I’d go move from one department to the other because I just like going around in the store and looking at the pretty things.”
Bromberg said Moore is still a valued employee who contributes to the bottom line. The company honored her with a breakfast on Friday, the anniversary of her hiring.
Moore, who has outlived two husbands and has no children, still lives at home but says church friends help her clean and cook. Friends or relatives typically drive her to work at the Bromberg’s store in Mountain Brook.
Moore said she plans to keep working as long as the can.
“Last year I thought I was going to have to give up because of the fact I broke my hip several years ago, had knee surgery and all those things,” she said. “But I snapped back every time.”