As 2014 comes to a close, we’d like to thank you for making Hammacher Schlemmer the premier source for The Best, The Only and The Unexpected. Since our beginnings in 1848 as a hardware store providing hard-to-find and high-quality tools, we’ve built our reputation as the best place for unique gifts. Here are a few examples of our historic novelties for your reading pleasure.
By 1926, our evolution from a hardware store to “The House of Fine Housewares” was well under way. Fine examples of unique gifts from that era included giant, 12-inch matches and a lighter imported from France. These extra-long matches, designed for lighting a hearth, came mounted on an enameled tray and housed in a leather case, while the lighter was adorned with gold-plated trim.
Even during the heart of the Great Depression, we recognized children still needed to have fun. Among the sporting goods we offered in 1931 is The Kangru Springshu, “an invigorating sport for small boys and girls!” Like wearable pogo sticks, the shoes strapped on a child’s shoe, literally putting a spring in their step.
In 1945, World War II came to an end, and we introduced the amazing Ink Maker Pen. This pen used a dehydrated ink “battery” that produced a fresh supply of ink when the pen was placed in water. This fine writing instrument was “streamlined for feather-lightness and beauty.”
By 1962, four young musicians were growing in popularity across the big pond and Beatlemania took hold. We began selling The Something Box, which did nothing but flash lights in a random sequence. The novelty captured the fancy of the Beatles, who purchased hundreds of them as unique gifts.
Fast-forward to the post-Y2K era, when electronics have become part of everyday life and we want our homes to be the center of our entertainment desires. In 2008, we introduced The Personalized Whac-A-Mole Game. Operating exactly like those found in amusement parks and carnivals, this one comes in a walnut veneer cabinet that opens and closes at the touch of a button, and holds other home entertainment must-haves such as glassware and bottles.
Today, we pride ourselves on continuing the tradition of offering hard-to-find goods and items that can’t be found anywhere else. It’s easy to find unique gifts for everyone with our customizable gift guide that lets you focus on the interests and needs of the intended recipient.