Marshall Field’s announced it would become the first department store in the country to sell airplanes starting in the fall of 1946. In a deal with Park Aircraft Sales and Service, Oliver L. Parks operated a flight facility at Pal-Waukee selling and servicing Ercoupe airplanes. Parks and Field’s offered Ercoupe for sale in Field’s State St. store in the sporting goods department on the first floor.

The Ercoupe was designed to be the vanguard of a post-war surge in the popularity of flying. Priced under $3,000, the Ercoupe had interconnected ailerons and rudder, which eliminated the need for rudder pedals and was claimed to make the plane spinproof. A yoke replaced the stick making it more familiar for automobile drivers. The announcement claimed that “many persons have learned to fly the plane in five hours.” [1]

[1] Chicago Tribune; "Field's to Sell Light Planes, It's Announced"; Chicago: Tribune Publishing Co. June 18, 1945, p. 15.