A family history of the famous San Francisco store offers an intimate picture, not only of the Gumps and the store, but also of the city and its inhabitants. The central character is the late A. L., whose defective vision in no way hindered him from building the reputation the store had first acquired with his father, Solomon. This shows the change from European objects d'art to fame as an Oriental center, from the ornate fussiness to the functional of modern times, from the days of panic and earthquake disaster to the rebuilding and expansion as new themes and ideas widened the projects undertaken. It also gives the passing show of the wealthy and famous who spread Gump's name throughout the country, and abroad, it underlines A.L.'s intense interest in making his store perfect in every way, in winning customers by his individual attentions, in becoming an expert himself in the foreign markets. Many anecdotes and stories, many family incidents and business dealings, much of the store's employees and officers -- this is commercial biography in a popular vein, and of certain local appeal.