Holiday window displays light up New York, Philadelphia and London

Here’s a shopping spree at some of the world’s finest retailers that won’t cost you a dime: viewing holiday displays in store windows. The only thing you’ll spend is time. Think of fancy store windows as a sort of early television, although they were really a way of selling, according to the 1924 book “Window Dressing: The Principles of Display”  by G.L. Timmins. That tome seems quaint at times (“lady window trimmers” probably aren’t going to be successful) and an eerily prescient peek at modern merchandising at others. “About 1835, London had a number of show windows of small glass panes, but very little thought was then...