Six years before Sears and Roebuck, A. Hammacher & Co. published its first catalog of hardware and tools. The hardcover book was used by the company's salesman as they crisscrossed the country taking orders from customers. The first printing was less than 500 copies, a far cry from the vast amount of catalogs now sent all over the globe.
On the morning of July 2, 1881, President James Garfield is shot twice by an assassin, Charles J. Guiteau, a disgruntled federal office-seeker. Though Garfield survives the initial attack, he gradually weakens over the next several weeks and dies on September 19, 1881. Vice President Chester A. Arthur is sworn in as the nation's 21st President.
Our first Illustrated Catalogue and Price List showcased products with the same care as they received in the mahogany cases of our store. This page of wood planes is a fine example of the intricate pen and ink drawings that would become the hallmark of our hardware catalogs.