We Auto Go Car-Free Today

Just for today, leave the car keys behind. Resolve to get around by foot, bicycle or public transportation: it’s World Car Free Day.

Initiated in 1994, this event is intended to promote the improvement of mass transit, cycling and walking. By making biking, walking, and transit easier and safer options for getting around, we’ll be less sedentary and enjoy the unique gifts of better health, and our environment will benefit as well.

For Car Free Day and all year ‘round, we have some items that will make getting around without a car easier, safer, and more fun. 84344_1000x1000

If aching knees prevent you walking as much as you would like, The Knee Pain Relieving Walking Shoes have a patented sole that helps relieve the discomfort. Developed with rheumatology experts, the shoes employ flexure zones built into the outsoles, proven in a study at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago to reduce knee load by 20%, essential for slowing the progression of osteoarthritis. EVA insoles provide added comfort with every step. 83485_1000x1000

Many of us are hesitant to cycle after sunset or on busier roads. The Cyclist’s Virtual Safety Lane mounts to a bicycle’s seat post and projects two 5-milliwatt red lasers onto the ground, generating a virtual bicycle lane. Providing motorists with a visual indicator of a cyclist’s riding width, it is ideal for increasing the safety margin around a cyclist during pre-dawn or dusk rides.12685_1000x1000

Here’s a mode of transportation that is fun, completely different, and a great workout, too. This “bicycle” is propelled by elliptical exercise movements, providing a full-body, low-impact workout outside, while transporting you from place to place. The bicycle’s upright handlebars and foot platforms move back-and-forth, propelling the three-wheeled bike forward. It would make a unique gift for anyone who is bored by their regular exercise routine, too.

You may find organized World Car Free Day events in your community. Regardless, plan just one trip today getting around without your automobile. You—and the Earth—will benefit. You may even be tempted to make it a daily habit.

If It Works, Thank a Tradesman

In 1848, Hammacher Schlemmer opened for business in New York City, offering mechanic’s tools and builder’s hardware. We built a reputation among tradesmen in the growing city as a resource for high-quality items not easily found elsewhere.

Fitting, then, that today, National Tradesmen Day, we salute the men and women who work hard to build and repair our homes and schools, keep our cars running, fix our appliances, fill our potholes and in short, keep the entire infrastructure around us in working condition. 11349_1000x1000

Today, Hammacher Schlemmer is better known for hard-to-find unique gifts, specializing in The Best, The Only and The Unexpected. Nonetheless, we hearken back to our roots with a few items that don’t stray far from our original offering. 86468_1000x1000

Any craftsman will appreciate The Genuine Gerstner Oak Tool Chest, handmade by H. Gerstner & Sons. Using methods developed in 1906, the chest is made of solid quartersawn American white oak and constructed using tongue and groove joinery and lock joint corners. This is a tool chest that becomes an heirloom.

The Eight in One Portable Workshop includes a cordless table saw, circular saw, and six other tools for completing projects away from the shop. All are powered by an 18-volt battery that plugs into any of the tools. It’s all housed in a toolbox that holds the items in dedicated compartments and can serve as a working platform in the field. 86458_1000x1000

Many a tradesman began a love for the vocation as a child, taking things apart and putting them back together. Feed the talents of an aspiring mechanic with The Car Lover’s Engine Repair Set. The littlest grease monkey can pop the hood, change the oil, and tinker with the engine. The holidays are coming soon—this would be an ideal unique gift for any little one who shows a curiosity about how things work.

On National Tradesmen Day, Hammacher Schlemmer would like to say thanks to all the tradesmen and tradeswomen who keep the lights on and who put it all back together when it falls apart.

Easy Hacks for Tailgating Fun

Football season is in full swing! Try these hacks for easy fun at your next tailgate party and more enjoyment while watching the game.

Here’s a simple way to show team spirit and keep drinks cold. The night before, fill water balloons in your team’s colors and freeze them. Add them to the cooler or bucket of drink
s on game day to keep cans and bottles cold and make it known which team you support.

For holding cutlery or condiments, an empty cardboard 6-pack holder painted with team colors and logos is a simple DIY project. You can hand even hand this one off to the kids. 12452_1000x1000

Create the most relaxing tailgate spot in the lot. The Tailgaters’ Hammock sets up on any 2″ trailer hitch in just 10 minutes. Two hammock chairs have hanging footrests, allowing tailgaters to relax in a reclined position while keeping feet and legs elevated. This is an ideal unique gift for any frequent tailgater. 73077_1000x1000

Glue magnets onto foam can coolers. They’ll stick to the side of the car and your guests will have two hands free for digging into the food.

Speaking of hands, make a hand-washing station. Use an empty laundry detergent dispenser (the kind with the built-in spigot) filled with water. Using elastic cords, strap a paper towel dispenser to the top. Keeping clean made easy!

Once inside the game, make stadium seating more comfortable and keep your backside warmer. This Portable Gel Seat is compact, weighs only 2.5 lbs., folds in half and is easily portable, thanks to its integrated handle.78069_1000x1000

Watch the game from a different angle. Instead of focusing on the ball as televised games have trained us to do, pay attention to individual players. Watch a player’s performance. See who steps it up to move from second string to starter. Observe who has the unique gifts of a natural-born player. See all the detail with The 144X Zoom Binoculars. They easily adjust from 20X magnification to their maximum with just the press of a lever. These binoculars use powerful, fully coated optics and lenses that offer superior light-gathering performance.

Finally, don’t forget to decorate the windows of your car with erasable chalk ink markers. The colors are vibrant and they’re easy to use and easy to wash off when the game is over.

Get a Little Help(er) in the Kitchen

Kids love to cook. And why shouldn’t they…concocting a recipe feeds both sides of the brain: the “left brain” scientific side, as well as the “right brain” creative side.

This Sunday is National Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day, a great time to get cooking with the children in your life. Established to help involve kids in meal preparation and start them learning about nutrition, Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day can be fun and fulfilling for all generations. You may even find you have a new helper when it comes to making daily dinners. We have suggestions for items that are fun for kids to use every day and make for great unique gifts for any budding culinarian.84781_1000x1000

The Shake, Rattle and Roll Ice Cream Maker can be shaken, tossed or rolled around to churn a delicious frozen confection. Only 20 minutes of kids’ play yields up to one pint of rich, creamy ice cream. About the size of a volley ball, it harnesses the limitless energy of youngsters and teaches them about the transformation of simple ingredients into a much-loved dessert. 84981A_1000x1000

Popcorn is a healthy snack for children, and little ones will delight at helping to make a bowlful when they see The Stanley Cup Popcorn Maker. Officially licensed by the NHL, the popper and bowl create a replica of the championship trophy commissioned by Lord Stanley of Preston in 1892. Not just for kids, it also makes a unique gift for any hockey fan.82312_1000x1000

Among the first recipes a child may experience is the one for s’mores, around a campfire. Bring the tradition into your kitchen with The Indoor Flameless Marshmallow Roaster. Using a stainless steel electric heater, this is the safe and easy way for kids to create delicious s’mores year ‘round.

So plan to get in the kitchen with a child you know this Sunday. The experience will provide the unique gift of healthy learning for the child and foster a day of tremendous family spirit for both of you!

Unique Gifts for Unique Grandparents

In 1978, Congress passed legislation declaring the first Sunday following Labor Day as National Grandparents Day. The proclamation was signed by then-President Jimmy Carter…fitting, as today he is considered by many to be our national grandfather.74348_1000x1000

Grandparents often have very special relationships with their grandchildren. A unique gift, unlike anything else they might receive, is a very appropriate way to honor this relationship on Grandparents Day. We have suggestions for personalized items to create a gift that is unlike all others.73425_1000x1000

Many a grandparent enjoys working a jigsaw puzzle. This custom jigsaw puzzle can be personalized with a reproduction of a color or black and white photograph. Once you send a photo or JPEG image to the manufacturer, a 408-piece puzzle kit is created from 80-point pasted chipboard that is twice the thickness of typical puzzles. 86162_1000x1000

This woven photographic throw transforms a favorite photograph into a personalized 50×60″ 100% cotton throw. The image you supply to the manufacturer is woven, not printed, on the throw so it’s machine washable and dryer-safe, and the image will not fade.

An ideal unique gift for the grandparent of a younger child would be this recordable storyteller. A grandparent can record themselves reading a picture book page by page, even inserting personal messages. The recorder recognizes each page visually, so if a child skips to the end or flips back to the beginning, the narration switches accordingly. The device stores up to 250 minutes of audio—about 50 books.

Because grandparents provide such a vital link to our history and heritage, this Sunday, be sure to reach out with a phone call or personal visit to let the grandparents in your life know they are honored, respected and loved.

Unique Gifts for Back to School

How packing for college has changed through the years!

Prior to the 1970s, a young person left for school with only the possessions that fit in a suitcase or two. But by the latter part of the 20th century, students were hauling a multitude of stereo components, huge speakers, TVs and big desktop computers back to their university.

With the rise of smartphones and the iPad, today’s students can fit all the technolo86444_1000x1000gy they need into a modest backpack. With that in mind, we have some suggestions for unique gifts for back-to-school that won’t take up precious suitcase space, but are sure to please any student.81186_1000x1000

Here’s the ideal unique gift for any student who carries an iPad…this case charges an iPad solely through the power of the sun. A thin-film solar panel embedded in the case’s cover converts sunlight into electricity that delivers an additional two hours of power to the tablet. A secondary USB port can charge a smartphone, too. This solar case is ideal for business travelers, hikers and vacationers, too.86073_1000x1000

One thing unchanged over the decades is that after late nights burning the midnight oil (studying, of course), a college student can be awfully hard to rouse from bed in the morning. The Thunderclap Alarm Clock wakes even the soundest sleepers with a 113-decibel ringer that’s as loud as thunder. We recommend advising any roommates prior to using this alarm.

Finally, here’s a desk lamp that was recognized by TIME Magazine as one of the best inventions of the year. It has a space-saving minimalist design and bright LED bulbs that will power study hours from freshman year through grad school. This ultra-flexible lamp offers an extended reach for precise task lighting and turns off or dims at the touch of a finger.

Summer, We’re Not Done with You Yet!

Did you feel that? There’s something in the breeze signaling a coming change in the weather. To some, this is the most pleasant time of the year. They appreciate nature’s unique gifts of warm days, cooler nights, and the weeks of mild weather yet to come. 81846_1000x1000

It’s time to think about how to get the most enjoyment from your outdoor space as we welcome fall. We have some ideas for transitioning your patio or deck to the new season, items you can use as a unique gift for yourself when you’re not quite ready to give up on summer. 78167_1000x1000

Yes, many of us love this time of the year, but so do mosquitoes. This natural mosquito trap attracts and kills mosquitoes in yards up to one acre, without using harmful chemicals. The trap mimics the natural conditions of human habitation by emitting heat, odorless carbon dioxide (the same gas we expel during respiration) and light to lure pesky skeeters into the trap and away from you.84483_1000x1000

The sun is setting earlier and earlier every night. Shed some light on the subject when twilight falls with this cordless, weatherproof outdoor lamp that telescopes from 24″ to 60″. The battery-powered lamp’s LEDs cast a bright 25′ circle of light onto a patio or deck. It uses eight D batteries to provide up to 200 hours of light.79766_1000x1000

These rechargeable, wireless speakers do double duty. Outdoors, they pack enough audio muscle to fuel up your pool party or BBQ. When weather drives you indoors, their room-filling sound is crisp and clear without distortion, even at full volume. The transmitter plugs easily into any audio source from smartphones and tablets to stereos and TVs. The batteries fully recharge in just three hours.87312_1000x1000

Stowing patio furniture for the winter is a lot easier when you have our exclusive Gateleg Table and Stowable Chairs. The tabletop leaves fold down and the folding chairs stack neatly between the table legs, allowing the entire set to be stored in about 7 square feet of patio space. Made from beautiful Brazilian eucalyptus, the oval tabletop provides ample room for six adults and the chairs’ backrests and seats provide comfort and stability. We have a long-lasting cover for this set, too, should you choose to leave it outdoors year ‘round.

So, although Labor Day signals the official end of summer, there’s still plenty of time to get outside and enjoy the unique gifts of this beautiful season.

Visit the Spa without Leaving Home

It happens to us all: the stresses of everyday life eat away at your sense of well-being. Too much stress can leave you feeling exhausted and wear away your good health.

One path toward beating those stressors is the unique gift of a little self-pampering. Unfortunately, the very circumstances causing your stress may also prevent you from taking a day off to visit the spa to soak in a bubbling hot tub or enjoy a therapeutic massage. But every day can be a spa day when you set up your own in-home spa. It’s easier than you think!87675_300x300

Let’s start with a warm, relaxing soak. This device converts any bathtub into a soothing spa tub in seconds. A Hammacher Schlemmer exclusive, the device simply attaches to the side of your tub using suction cups. The unit has two speeds and swiveling nozzles that let you direct streams of water to where you need them most. 86577_300x300

When you arise from the tub, don The Superior Softness Spa Wear. Available only from Hammacher Schlemmer, this apparel is exceptionally comfortable due to its softness, yet renowned for its durability. A micro-chenille fiber weave of rayon and nylon creates a touch that rivals cashmere, without the stiffness and wear of cotton or synthetics. These garments make perfect and unique gifts for anyone who needs a little extra comfort in their lives. 86728_300x300

Some days, all you need to de-stress is a foot massage. The Hydrotherapy Roller Masseuse pampers sore feet and calves with relaxing reflexology. Two powerful warm water jets soothe each foot. Four textured rollers beneath the water apply gentle pressure to the soles and heels softening skin, loosening tight muscles and melting away stress. Treatment for the heel and sole that will heal the soul! 12674_300x300

The ultimate Personal Day Spa experience is available with soothing heat, massage and aromatherapy that relaxes the mind and body. This spa produces dry sauna-like heat that penetrates deep into tissue. The bed is made from soft memory foam that contours to you and delivers a full-body vibration massage to relax tense or overworked muscles from your shoulders to your ankles.

Complete your in-home treatments with the unique gifts that come from laughter, nature’s best medicine. Curl up one of the top 100 funniest movies of all time, and end the day with a smile on your face and laughter in your heart.

Unique Gifts Pawsitively for Dog Lovers

These may be the dog days of summer, but man’s best friend gets a special day, too. Tomorrow is National Dog Day and it gives us paws to think about this great time to pamper a pup.81923A_300x300

Your four-legged friend may be used to ruffing it, but we have some unique gifts that are pawsibilities to please any pooch—or their two-legged owner—fur real. 79686_300x300

You could take Bella to a doggy spa for some pawfume and pawlish, but we think she’d enjoy a dip in The Canine Splash Pool more. Made from heavy-gauge PVC that can withstand a dog’s rough paws and sharp claws, this pool sets up anywhere and has reinforced side panels that keep water in the pool while the dog splashes around. 87767_300x300

For older or arthritic pets, or those who are just dog-tired at the end of the day, The Pet Ramp and Staircase is designed to help your furry friend reach the sofa or bed without exerting undue stress on joints and muscles. The two non-slip steps fold down to form a ramp that allows pets to ascend and descend safely.

And if you pamper your pet with easy access to the furniture, consider these non-slip protective covers for sofas and chairs. The washable covers protect furniture from pet hair and damage without the slippage common to lesser models. Made from plush, deep-pile velvet, they protect upholstery and leather against fur, scratches, moisture, and other pet messes, so you need not shoo your pooch to the floor or constantly follow behind with a vacuum or washcloth.

We don’t intend to share any dogma, but one of the very best ways to celebrate National Dog Day is by adopting a shelter animal. Life is too doggone short to live without the unique gift of the wag of a tail and a friendly canine in the house.

Unwind with the Wind

Enjoy the warm, relaxing breezes of late summer this Sunday when it’s National Ride the Wind Day.

The day commemorates the first sustained human-powered flight. On Aug. 23, 1977, the Gossamer Condor 2 won the first Kremer Prize, an award for people who pioneer flight powered by human muscle. Piloted by hang gliding enthusiast Bryan Allen, the Gossamer Condor 2 flew 2,172 meters at a blazing 11 MPH.

To celebrate the spirit of riding the wind and feeling the breeze in your hair, we’re sharing some products that give you the exhilaration of flying with the wind, even when you don’t actually leave the ground.12187_300x300

The bicycle is a long-respected means of human-powered transportation, and with help from a two-stroke gasoline engine and a para-wing, this trike becomes a flying ultralight aircraft. Designed to fly at low altitudes at speeds up to 25 MPH, the para-trike can take you up to 75 miles on a single tank of gas. On the ground, it operates like any conventional bicycle and fits in the trunk of your car.12657_300x300

Combining the principles of a skateboard and a Segway, The Electric Gyroboard Transporter is controlled entirely by subtle movements in a rider’s feet. Gyro sensors and accelerometers in both wheels detect pressure for acceleration and direction. It can travel up to four miles on a charge, at speeds up to 6 MPH.11803_300x300

You may dream of the unique gift of flight, and yet prefer to keep your feet planted firmly on the ground. In that case, this Cockpit Flight Simulator features the same controls found in actual aircraft. The included computer and Lockheed Martin flight simulator software will have you piloting anything from a Mooney Acclaim to a Boeing 747. A built-in sound system surrounds you in realistic audio and the 32″ high-def, wide-screen monitor displays geographically and topographically correct graphics.

Cooler days are just around the corner, so no matter what type of transportation you choose, do something that will let you feel the wind in your hair and savor the unique gifts of this beautiful, but fading, time of year.