Old-fashioned Hardware Stores: Descriptions, Stories and Advice

Front Cover
Soulo Communications, 2015 - History - 170 pages
A few notable old-fashioned hardware stores continue to thrive in America, despite the conventional wisdom that big box hardware stores are the end of the mom-and-pop shop. Most of the 75 stores chronicled here have changed little in more than 100 years. These family-owned stores in 28 different states have hard to find items, local traditions, and special services.This book brings to life the storefronts, expert employees, the merchandise and antique fixtures. These resilient stores have survived fires, floods, economic depressions, family deaths, and big-box competition. The owners and staff will listen to your request and lead you directly to what you need, explain choices, give free advice, provide encouragement and sometimes even a diagram. These people have nuts and bolts in their blood from decades of experience helping their customers. When asked, they have head-shaking stories that recall surprising incidents or customer questions.The best old stores typically have seasonal display windows, squeaky floors, rolling ladders, old wood and glass cases, safes, and National cash registers. Visit one of these stores to experience the mystique, get advice, and take home the materials to solve your problem without 3 trips to a store to complete your task. When you walk in, the aromas, sounds, and sights in these old-fashioned hardware stores will bring back your childhood memories of hardware store visits.

About the author (2015)

Walt Olson is a retired biomedical engineer and inventor who did research and design for cardiac pacemakers and implantable defibrillators at Medtronic, Inc. He was a professor at the University of Illinois and MIT/Harvard. He likes to build and fix things with materials from hardware stores. He is married to Carrie Olson and they have four children and 9 grandchildren.

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