Category Archives: Unique Gifts

Distinguished Award Salutes Aviation’s Heroes

What better time than the week of Independence Day to think about some of our greatest national heroes, our military veterans.

On this day in 1926, the Distinguished Flying Cross was authorized by Congress as a military decoration awarded to any officer or enlisted member of the U.S. Armed Forces who distinguished himself or herself in support of operations by heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight. Thus, it is America’s oldest military aviation award and as a unique gift of recognition, it is the only medal conferred by all five military services, in all wars and campaigns from World War I to the present.

Among those who have received the honor are Charles Lindbergh, Commander Richard Byrd, John Glenn, Chuck Yeager, Jimmy Stewart, Clark Gable, George H.W. Bush, Amelia Earhart. and Orville and Wilbur Wright. Earhart and the Wright Brothers are among the few non-military persons to ever receive the medal, as an executive order in 1927 decreed the Cross should not be conferred on civilians.

The Distinguished Flying Cross Society was founded in 1994 to bring together those who have received this honor. Currently, there are about 6,000 members, with 23 chapters nationwide.

42914_300x300As you plan your July 4th festivities, please take a few moments to reflect on those who have served our country. May we suggest The Army Air Corps Leather Flight Jacket as an ideal and unique gift to honor a special veteran in your life? First issued to the U.S. Army aviators in 1931 and worn by flight crews throughout World War II, the A-2 flight jacket was reissued by the U.S. Air Force in 1987. It is presented in our signature gift box, making it a perfect way to say “thank you”.

12628_300x300Aviation buffs would love to receive The New York Times History of Aviation. Procured from the archives of The Times, the book presents highlights that span from the momentous first flight of the Wright Brothers to Charles Lindbergh, the first man to make a transatlantic flight and land safely. The book also chronicles Amelia Earhart, the first woman to cross the Atlantic, and her subsequent disappearance in the Pacific, a mystery to this day, but one that continues to unveil new clues even today.

11803E_300x300And finally, for those who are not pilots but have an urge to experience the unique gift of flight nonetheless, we present this genuine Cockpit Flight Simulator. It equips players with the same flight controls found in actual aircraft. Movement of the yoke controls pitch and roll just like real airplanes. Thrust levers and dual rudder pedals control realistic throttle and yaw.

Shake Summer Thirst and Beat the Heat

The peak of summer has arrived. Though many parts of the country have been logging below-normal temperatures this season, hot times and summer in the city are sure to hit us all soon. Here are some unique gifts that will help you keep your cool and stay hydrated with icy beverages.

84432_300x300On the warmest days, you’ll delight kids and adults alike with this machine that makes carnival-worthy snow cones. Its stainless steel blades automatically shave ice cubes into thin, fluffy slivers that, topped with your favorite flavored syrup or beverage, make for a refreshing treat.

76682_300x300Sweet tea is favored for its ice-cold sweetness on sweltering summer days. Our iced tea brewing machine makes up to two quarts of this iconic Dixieland refreshment that originated in the late 19th century. The brewer automatically steeps tea at the proper temperature for optimal flavor extraction and adds your preferred amount of sugar.

11255_300x300Somehow, soft drinks always seem colder out of an old-fashioned soda chest. This authentically detailed replica of the Westinghouse Junior Coca-Cola cooler combines all the hallmarks of the original with modern refrigeration technology. The side-mounted bottle opener and cap catcher, swiveling wheels, and lid chain recall the ubiquitous self-serve chests favored by mom-and-pop stores in the 1930s. The interior holds up to 80 12-oz. cans or 60 8-oz. bottles of your preferred beverage.

Once you have that Coke in hand, you’ll want it to stay cold. We offer several styles of chill-maintaining glassware. The double-walled glasses have a viscous cooling liquid between both layers that freezes in one hour, enabling the glasses to keep a beverage chilled between 32° F and 36° F for 30 minutes or chill a room-temperature libation to 36° F in just 2.5 minutes. These hand-blown glasses would make an ideal and unique gift for a housewarming or as a hostess gift for any summer party.

So enjoy these hot days while we have them. Keeping a cold drink close at hand will help you feel more comfortable all summer long.

Banish Bugs with the Three “B”s

The summer’s storm season has renewed its annual deluge of rainfall nationwide—a unique gift of nature for most, but sometimes a harbinger of pesky mosquitoes for others.

If sharing your space or your life-giving bodily fluids with biting insects is a turn-off, there are three ways to combat these flying pests: block them, bait them, or blast them!

87255_300x300Blocking these determined blood suckers offers the most gentle approach, so we offer these unique gifts for those who feel that insects need to eat, too. One can seek refuge within The Mosquito Thwarting Hammock, an enclosure that fits over an integrated hammock and allows cross breezes to keep you cool while mosquitoes are losing theirs, unable to access your person. For the active gardener or mosquito-season outdoors adventurer, we offer mosquito thwarting apparel made from 1.2-mm netting that blocks pests without the need for harmful chemicals.

81846_300x300Those who prefer a more passive-aggressive approach may consider The One Acre Natural Attractant Mosquito Trap, which lures mosquitoes within one-acre by emitting heat, odorless carbon dioxide (the same gas people expel during respiration) and light. When mosquitoes are drawn inside, they die of dehydration.

87134_300x300When one will not countenance the wearing of nets nor suffer the fixture of a trap in the yard, we offer perhaps the most unique gift for the would-be mosquito slayer: The Bug Blasting Blunderbuss. It requires a steady aim (as well as the unshakable trust of one onto whom an insect has alighted), but if delivered within two feet, the salty discharge from this skeeter scattergun will obliterate even those species rumored to stand flat-footed at 3′-tall.

Blocking, bait, or blasting — these three methods and the products that provide them will at least create the perception that you have taken the annual mosquito abatement chore seriously.

Let’s Go Al Fresco

This Thursday, June 18, the world celebrates International Picnic Day.

In Medieval times, outdoor feasts were held to celebrate a successful hunt, but the picnic as we know it is believed to have begun in France in 1789 after the French Revolution opened the royal gardens to the public for the first time. The pastime grew in popularity during the Victorian Era in England.

What better way to celebrate this centuries-old tradition than by planning some summer picnics of your own? We have suggestions for accessories that would make great additions to your own picnic or as unique gifts for friends and family for al fresco dining.

84580_300x300This is the picnic caddy so thorough in its devotion to an elegant picnic that even the Royal family owns a pair. Whether preparing an outdoor feast during one’s annual foray to Balmoral Castle, or simply planning a gourmet meal to enjoy the unique gifts of a concert in the park, this caddy’s three cylindrical modules provide easy transport and secure housing for four included place settings, and the food for a perfect repast.

11679_300x300Don’t let too much sun spoil the day. This portable canopy clamps to any rectangular wooden table and provides up to 75′ sq. of shade. Made from a durable polyester fabric, the canopy filters the sun’s UV rays and provides reliable shelter from rain. The entire unit folds to fit into the included duffel bag.

12617_300x300Imagine what your friends will say when you pull up to the picnic on this rideable, three-wheeled cooler! A 1,000-watt electric motor propels the cooler up to 12 mph, allowing you to transport chilled food or beverages up to 10 miles. The handlebars have a throttle and a brake lever for confident stops, starts, and acceleration, while the pneumatic tires provide traction on gravel or pavement.

The summer season will be over before you know it, so start planning a unique gift for your family, a day of picnic-style dining in the great outdoors.

Dad’s Day Gift Ideas for the Frugal Offspring

Father’s Day is almost here…we honor the old man on June 21. If you find yourself short on money this year, we are here to help with ideas for unique gifts for him, all priced at $100 or less.

At only about $100, we guarantee there’s not another gift out there exactly like this one: this is the personalized reproduction of 12324_300x300The New York Times issue from the day dad was born. The newspaper is reprinted, complete with that day’s headlines, stories, photos and ads, in a traditionally bound book that displays the recipient’s name, “The New York Times”, and the date stamped in gold on the burgundy leatherette cover.

12597A_300x300Both the NBA and the NHL are wrapping up their seasons with exciting final championship series. Any sports fanatic father would love a personalized locker room print that shows his own stall, complete with a name plate, jersey and equipment bearing his name and favorite number. His jersey will hang forever next to the uniforms of two players from the current roster, providing visual evidence of his working relationship with Lebron James or Patrick Kane. Whether dad prefers hockey, basketball, baseball, or football, this unique gift is available for only about $90.

84767_300x300This year, Father’s Day coincides with the first day of summer…the season for both golf and BBQs. If you know a dad who loves both, The Golfer’s Grill Clubs feature grilling utensils with authentic golf club grips that ensure a confident hold while flipping lamb chops or turning a swordfish steak. The tools store in a woven nylon 14″-high golf bag, allowing his caddy to carry the clubs with ease.

Finally, if you’re as short on time as you are on cash, a Hammacher Schlemmer gift certificate allows Dad to choose his own gift. Available in denominations from $25 to $200, a gift certificate is always the right size and can be redeemed online, through our catalog, or in our New York City store.

Gardening Improves Mind, Body, and Soul

Gardening is good for you, physically and mentally. It gives you the unique gifts of burning calories along with the therapeutic benefit that comes from raising your own flowers and vegetables. Tomorrow marks National Gardening Exercise Day, so it’s a great time to indulge in this popular pastime.

Whether you’re a long-time avid gardener or a novice hoping to develop a green thumb, we have some ideas that will enhance a day with your plants. These items make ideal unique gifts for your favorite gardener, too.

12583_300x300Worn by French winemakers and gardeners for hundreds of years, these handmade, natural rubber boots are supple yet sturdy, waterproof, and comfortable when worn whether harvesting from a backyard garden or tending to the vineyards in Bordeaux. The boots have deep rubber treads, a foam-lined insole, and an adjustable buckle at the ankle, ensuring ideal traction and comfort.

87330_300x300Aiming for exercise does not preclude the gardener from sitting while he or she works. This wheeled utility cart features a cushioned swiveling seat that provides 360° of movement. A feature exclusive to Hammacher Schlemmer, the seat is padded with 1/2″ of foam that conforms to its tractor-style shape. A basket in the rear and a tray underneath provide easy access to tools, gloves, and planting supplies.

87084_300x300If you lack space for a garden or have difficulty bending down to ground level, this vertical garden displays five planters that will let you enjoy gardening. The pots detach for easy planting and hook into place at staggered heights to maximize sun exposure. The garden can easily be rolled to chase the sun over the course of the day or moved indoors during cooler months for year-round enjoyment.

Even just walking around a garden can help you exercise and it will give you a feeling of well-being, too. So get outdoors, feel the breeze, hear the birds, and let gardening bring you the unique gifts of better health and peace of mind.

For Tots Who Dream of Astronauts

A is for Astronaut. And to children, the sense of wonder and awe regarding interplanetary adventures lives on, even as the golden age of space travel as we knew it in the 1960s and ‘70s has—at least for the time being—faded like a shooting star.

Certainly, rocket scientists continue to tap into the unique gifts of the universe. NASA’s high-profile space shuttle program may have ended, but the Orion Multipurpose Crew Vehicle had a successful unmanned test launch in December, and a crewed mission could happen as early as 2021. The private sector has stepped in to contract with NASA to provide orbital transportation to the International Space Station, as have space programs of other countries.

The next generation of astronauts, those who will likely be the travelers to Mars, are children today. They continue to nurture our dreams of celestial exploration. For them, we have some fun, unique gifts to help keep that dream alive.

86424_300x300This pop-up tent serves as the interplanetary command post for young space explorers. The tent’s four tunnels evoke the sprawling modules of a space station. Painted viewports and control interfaces, and screened tunnel ceilings and a screened section of the dome encourage imaginative play during celestial observations.

86802_300x300This remote-controlled astronaut is seemingly out for a spacewalk around the International Space Station, but instead is propelled by twin rotors for safe indoor flight. A pair of diode lights in the rocket backpack give the illusion this spaceman is controlling his weightless wandering himself, ideal for a moment of astral wanderlust.

75869_300x300At the end of a day of interplanetary play, create a tranquil sleeping environment for children with this plush turtle that projects eight constellations onto a ceiling. Its illuminated plastic shell has apertures which allow light to pass through when the blue, green, or amber backlight is turned on, creating a starry display that encourages sleep…and dreams of astronauts.

Father’s Day Gift Shopping Made Easy

Your father surely does not need another tie, more golf balls, or this year’s equivalent to the pet rock. We take the challenge out of finding unique gifts for him for Father’s Day with our exclusive online Gift Guide.

This fully customizable Gift Guide helps you find the perfect gift by filtering the selection to match his hobbies, his style, or even your budget.86468_300x300

Perhaps your dad likes to tinker in his workshop. Visit our Gift Guide and click Shop by Interest to find items for a hobby enthusiast. A tinkerer might enjoy receiving a unique gift like The Eight in One Portable Workshop that includes a cordless table saw, circular saw, jigsaw, scroll saw, power drill, hammer drill and an LED light, all powered by a rechargeable 18-volt battery.

84483D_300x300Is your dad more of a party guy? Choose Party Host in our gift guide to find several unique gifts for the man with entertaining in his soul. Because Father’s Day is also the first day of summer and he’s liable to entertain guests outdoors, we suggest The Rechargeable Indoor/Outdoor Wireless Speakers. A Hammacher Schlemmer exclusive, these cordless speakers provide robust sound and are compatible with virtually any audio source from smartphones and tablets to stereos and TVs.

84233_300x300Some of the dads we know have put in a lifetime of hard work on the job and raising families. They’re ready for some soothing comfort to ease the aches that come with life and aging. Use our Gift Guide to find a selection for the pampered pop. For example, The Authentic Barbershop Vibration Massager generates vibrating and kneading action to penetrate deep into muscles, soothing soreness, stiffness and tension.

Whether Dad’s a traveler, a dapper dresser, a gamer, or a fitness geek, we are ready to help you find the perfect unique gift for him today.

Enjoy the Unique Gifts of Fitness at Any Age

Tomorrow is National Senior Health & Fitness Day. Each year, the last Wednesday in May marks this event to promote the importance of regular physical activity for everyone, and especially for older adults.

Exercise is an important life-long activity, even more so as we age. It’s about more than just keeping the spare tires of our later years in check…strong muscles can help prevent falls, while flexibility helps your body stay limber, heading off some of the aches and pains that come with aging. Daily physical activity can help give you the unique gifts of fitness and good health at virtually any age.

84418_300x300Even those with limited mobility can enjoy an aerobic workout. The Seated Whole Body Pedaler, a Hammacher Schlemmer exclusive, is a low-impact exercise machines that provides a complete workout from the comfort of a chair. Or you may prefer The Only Seated Strider, a compact, mini-strider that gives you a low-impact cardiovascular workout.

87158_300x300Losing grip strength starts to eat away at one’s independence. Without a sufficiently strong grip, it becomes difficult to open jars, door knobs, and even the refrigerator. The Superior Hand Strengthener consists of a set of three rubber rings that strengthen and build endurance in the fingers, hands and forearms. They make a thoughtful and unique gift for a parent, grandparent, or even yourself.

86928_300x300It’s been said you only feel as good as your feet feel. With seven built-in treatments, The Foot Pain Relieving Exerciser stretches, strengthens and massages the entire foot to help improve balance and alleviate pain. This device works the calf, heel, sole, and toes and has a massaging ball that can be warmed for frozen for hot or cold therapy.

Finally, you can measure and track your fitness at any age with The Wellness Monitor Wristband. The Fitbit automatically tracks your daily movements and sleep to help determine if you are getting enough exercise and sleep. After all, if 70 is the new 50, being fit will help you go like 60 till you’re 80!

Essentials of a Great Cook

Cooking as a hobby is more popular than ever. There are entire TV networks devoted to the avocation, not to mention a plethora of cooking competition shows, professional and amateur alike.

But what makes a great cook? We interviewed a corporate chef for some essential points. Based on his tips, we also have a few recommendations for unique gifts that will help you wow the crowd at your next dinner party.

  1. Be hungry. Have the desire to please your own palate.
  2. Have a good sense of taste. If your friends come back for more, you’re on your way. If your friends would be willing to pay for your cooking, you may have a career.
  3. Practice, practice, practice your knife handling skills. And remember that a dull knife is more dangerous to use than a sharp one. Keep all your smooth and serrated knives in top condition.86822_300x300
  4. Cook by technique, not by recipes. Recipes teach the mistakes of others, technique teaches you to make your own recipes. Respect the experience of those who teach you.
  5. 84850_300x300Be organized and clean. As much as 60% of cooking is prepping, chopping, and cleaning. Many professionals use a prep station to be efficient and organized.
  6. Have a good sense of timing. Try to guess time without looking at the clock or timer. An innate sense of timing is a unique gift, but with practice you can develop the skill. Know the proper time and temperature for the safe cooking of different foods.
  7. 12527_300x300Be bold and creative. Go to school and take a variety of classes and instruction. Don’t be afraid to try something different that will really get friends and family talking, even something like traditional Cuban Lechon Asado.
  8. Above all, have joy and fun! If you enjoy what you’re doing, it will show in the results. And make sure to relax and enjoy your guests with a tasty beverage served in a fun atmosphere.