A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“I’ve had so much coffee today I can see noises” (3/23)
“The most dangerous drinking game is seeing how long I can go without coffee” (3/23)
“My birthstone is a coffee bean” (3/23)
“Coffee helps me maintain my ‘never killed anyone streak‘“ (3/23)
“If it weren’t for the coffee, I’d have no identifiable personality whatsoever” (3/23)
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Entry from February 27, 2005
“New York’s Most Famous Store Since Before the Civil War” (Hammacher Schlemmer)
Hammacher Schlemmer is today probably better known for its web site and its mail order business than for its store on 57th Street, between Lexington and Third Avenues. Its web site says: "Offering the Best, the Only and the Unexpected since 1848." It all began as a simple hardware store on the Bowery.

"New York's Most Famous Store, Since Before the Civil War" (does that rhyme or what?) was used in 1982.

tp://www.hammacher.com/about_us/history.asp
How It All Began
Hammacher Schlemmer opened for business in New York City, thirteen years before the Civil War began, by offering mechanic's tools and builder's hardware. In the early 19th century high-quality hardware was not easy to come by and Hammacher Schlemmer quickly gained a reputation for offering some of the best mortise gauges, saw bummers, plumb bobs and other tools sold anywhere in the city.

Soon after its founding in 1848, a 12-year-old William Schlemmer began selling tools in front of his uncle's hardware store, making $2.00 a week ($1.00 of which he mailed home to his family). As years passed, he rose through the company ranks and, with the help of Alfred Hammacher, bought out his uncle's interest in 1867. Meanwhile the store grew, moved to larger locations and gained a reputation for innovation by being one of the first stores in the United States to install electric lighting. In 1878, the store was listed among the initial 271 subscribers in the first New York City telephone directory. The store published its first catalog in 1881, and it was actually a bound, hardcover book. By 1912, the catalog contained a total of 1,112 pages and confirmed Hammacher Schlemmer as the most complete hardware source on the East Coast.

When the first "horseless carriages" arrived, there were no service stations, but Hammacher Schlemmer began offering its Motorist Touring Kit to repair a flat tire or blown gasket. By the turn of the century, the store's stock included every replacement part for the most popular pianos of the day. In 1926, the company moved to its present location on East 57th Street. There it occupied all twelve floors and offered household essentials, personal necessities and the first electrical appliances.

During the 1930s and 40s, the name Hammacher Schlemmer would become synonymous with innovation. We introduced the first pop-up toaster (1930), the electric razor (1934) and the first steam iron (1948). Later, we would offer the first electric pencil sharpener, food processor, electric can opener and automatic coffee maker. Other notable introductions include the first microwave oven (1968), telephone answering machine (1968) and cordless telephone (1975). At their introduction, these products were viewed by many as intriguing gadgets, we saw them as functional problem solvers.

Hammacher Schlemmer continues to serve customers' needs in ways that no one else does or can. While some of the products may appear unusual, they all share the common goal of meeting the special needs of our many customers, just as a one-of-a-kind plumb bob did over a hundred years ago. From the beginning, our standard was quality-functional quality plus exemplary service. Some things should never change.

(Trademark)
Word Mark "NEW YORK'S MOST FAMOUS STORE SINCE BEFORE THE CIVIL WAR"
Goods and Services (CANCELLED) IC 042. US 101. G & S: DEPARTMENT STORE AND CATALOG MAIL ORDER SERVICES. FIRST USE: 19820801. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19820801
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 73541412
Filing Date June 5, 1985
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Published for Opposition July 22, 1986
Registration Number 1413742
Registration Date October 14, 1986
Owner (REGISTRANT) HAMMACHER, SCHLEMMER & CO., INC. CORPORATION NEW YORK 147 EAST 57TH STREET NEW YORK NEW YORK 10022
Attorney of Record BENJAMIN S. WARREN III
Disclaimer NO CLAIM IS MADE TO THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO USE "STORE" APART FROM THE MARK AS SHOWN
Type of Mark SERVICE MARK
Register PRINCIPAL-2(F)
Live/Dead Indicator DEAD
Cancellation Date April 19, 1993

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • (0) Comments • Sunday, February 27, 2005 • Permalink