How Hammacher Schlemmer Supported Those Who Served

Hammacher SchlemmerBy the time World War I, or the Great War as it was known before the second World War, began on this day in 1914, Hammacher Schlemmer had already been a supplier to the U.S. military for a decade.

In 1904, the U.S. Navy began using our catalog as an equipment manual – a relationship that endured for 67 years. It’s no surprise that we were able to supply the Navy with their needs…by 1912, we stocked over 100,000 items, the largest inventory of hardware on the East Coast. Our full catalog spanned 1,112 pages. To this day, one hardbound edition of that catalog remains housed in the Smithsonian Museum’s permanent collection.

In 1918, after the war had ended, Hammacher Schlemmer was commended for its service to munitions factories during the war. Our firm received a citation that read: “The War Department of the United States of America recognizes in this award for distinguished service the loyalty, energy and efficiency in the performance of the war work by which Hammacher Schlemmer Co. added materially in obtaining victory for the arms of the United States of America in the war with the Imperial German Government and the Imperial and Royal Austro-Hungarian Government.”

A handful of years after the Great War ended, we moved to a new location (where our store still is today) on 57th St. in New York. Our new home put us closer to some of the city’s most well-heeled residents. They had an appetite for more luxury items, so our offerings began to expand from hardware to include The Best as well as The Unexpected.

Even today, we carry items that are currently used by the U.S. military. For example, The Military Mosquito Countermeasure is used by military personnel abroad and has been proven to be up to 98% effective in repelling mosquitoes in field tests conducted by the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.

We’ve weathered a lot of changes in society and around the country since World War I, but as we mark our 165th year in business, Hammacher Schlemmer remains committed to bringing you quality and innovative products that solve problems and bring enjoyment to your life.

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