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Old-School Hardware Stores and Industrial Suppliers

Barry Weeks

Titanium
Joined
Jan 8, 2001
Location
Minnesota

jerrdan john

Aluminum
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Location
North Carolina, USA
Edwards Hardware Vass North Carolina. You can still buy one and two tit plow bolts, square head bolts/nuts and wire ties for old stationary hay balers. Still available are real hickory handles for your axe, hammers, horse drawn plow and anything else and a new wash board for your wife to carry to the river on washing day. Would pay double the price not to have to go to Lowes and search for what they don't have, but don't have to, his prices are still cheap. I dread the day that Mr. Edwards is no longer with us as I know the store won't live on. Fine people that know what you need and can give advice on what to do about your plumbing, electrical, how to kill weeds and bugs and how to make your plants grow. Still living in the mind set of repair, not replace! I bet he has more knowledge then 100 Lowes employees stacked together and the work ethic of many more.
 

evanjm

Plastic
Joined
May 7, 2011
Location
Purcellville, VA, USA
Nichols Hardware Inc
131 North 21st Street, Purcellville, VA 20132-3078

(540) 338-7131 ‎


Just as you described earlier, old store, family owned, wooded floors and drawers full of the things you need, and on the off chance that they are out of what you want, it will be there in a jiffy...

They still use one of those old receipt machines that you crank out, fill out in pen, and separate the carbons to give you your copy.

They even have ONE of the those new fangled credit card machines where you place the card on the machine and run a roller over a multi-carbon form... no online credit card service. they can actually ring you up on thier manual cash register even when the power is off!

The place took me back to memories of my youth... If you are in the neighborhood, drop by... you won't be disappointed.

I'm surprised someone else mentioned Nichols! That is an unbelievable store. They're 100 years old--I believe next year--still in the same family. They have an old open freight elevator that takes you up between the three stories. The next building to them is where you get raw materials like black pipe and feed--that building is still dirt floor, used to house the livery stables years ago.

Since our shop is in Purcellville, we use them almost daily. In fact, we had a leather belt made up for our old Porter McLeod lathe by them not too long ago. The saying around town is "if you can't find it at Nichols, you probably don't need it."

Definitely worth the trip there--you could spend hours and not see the whole place!

- Evan
 
Joined
Feb 4, 2004
Location
Metuchen, NJ, USA
Industrial Hardware Biddeford ME

Ladies & Gents,

Two months ago, I discovered and visited Industrial Hardware at 585 Elm St Biddeford ME 04005
(207) 284-1731
FAX (207) 283-8242
e-mail [email protected]

Proprietor: William L. DiNardo

What a place! He had:
Hand Tools
Cutting Tools
Fasteners
Hose & Fittings for Hydraulic, Air, Water & Suction
Electrical Supplies
Locks & Door Hardware
Chemicals
Abrasives

He had "closeout" stuff - like a wide variety of industrial-grade screwdrivers, milling machine cutters, all sorts of things.

Best assortment of replacement wooden tool handles that I've ever seen. (Better even than Madsen & Howell)

I bought some surplus gear tooth milling cutters. I was able to pick out a variety in the DP's I was interested in.

He had flexible wire "bottle brushes" to clean out the burner tubes in a gas BBQ grill. (Actually had many sizes including screw-on brushes that I think are for boiler flues.)

Also indulged in some NOS mill knife blades that fit an antique handle I own.

Wonderful store, wonderful knowledgeable old-time gentleman who patiently guided me through his stockroom.

Just an amazing place and it is STILL ALIVE !

John Ruth
 

kd1yt

Cast Iron
Joined
Dec 6, 2013
Location
Vermont, USA
Until a few years ago, Vermont's Capital Montpelier had an old time family owned independent hardware store called Somers- creaky oiled wood floors, tin ceiling, wood bins, and troves in the cellar and upper floors. They not only sold every hardware item you could need, they'd let locals drop off things for minor repairs and basically just charge for the parts. A flood hit them and other local businesses, and it became harder and harder for them to find wholesalers who would sell in modest quantities to someone not affiliated with one of the chains (Ace and True Value are the big franchise-like-semi-independent ones around here). Eventually they folded, and the regional chain Aubuchon is clearly being afflicted by the computerized bean counter phenomenon where the inventory is gradually narrowing to the items sure to "move" for the happy homeowner clientele.

Not hardware, but when I was a kid, near Fort Monmouth NJ (HQ to Army Signal Corps research) there was an electronic surplus store called Atkinson and Smith that had all sorts of weird surplus and vintage communications and industrial electronics at basement prices, all steeped in the grumpy but knowledgeable owner's cigar smoke...
 

Jim Christie

Titanium
Joined
Mar 14, 2007
Location
L'Orignal, Ontario Canada
I noticed these articles about a couple of Hardware stores in Iron Age Magazine from 1908
Camp Cramer Hardware Store 1908 North Tonawanda NY.
https://archive.org/stream/ironage81philuoft#page/114/mode/1up
I found this link in a Google Search but it would seem the company is now closed.
North Tonawanda History Museum © Cramer Industrial Supplies
Here is the other one
J. Russell & Co. Holyoke Mass.
https://archive.org/stream/ironage81philuoft#page/252/mode/1up
Hotel Hamilton (1850) | Historic Buildings of Massachusetts
https://www.google.ca/?gws_rd=ssl#q=J.+Russell+&+Co.+Holyoke+Mass.&start=10
There may be other articles in this same volume of Iron Age
https://archive.org/details/ironage81philuoft
Other volumes here,
https://archive.org/search.php?query=The Iron Age

Regards,
Jim
 

K350024V

Plastic
Joined
Feb 13, 2015
Location
Southern Tier, NY
Wellsville Hardware in Wellsville,ny..awesome place the epitany of old school hardware store, any small engine part, spring, clevis, rigging, blacksmithing tool, bearings or anything else you could possibly want you will find there. I cant drive by without stopping in and buying stuff I dont need
 

jerrdan john

Aluminum
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Location
North Carolina, USA
Edwards Hardware Vass North Carolina. You can still buy one and two tit plow bolts, square head bolts/nuts and wire ties for old stationary hay balers. Still available are real hickory handles for your axe, hammers, horse drawn plow and anything else and a new wash board for your wife to carry to the river on washing day. Would pay double the price not to have to go to Lowes and search for what they don't have, but don't have to, his prices are still cheap. I dread the day that Mr. Edwards is no longer with us as I know the store won't live on. Fine people that know what you need and can give advice on what to do about your plumbing, electrical, how to kill weeds and bugs and how to make your plants grow. Still living in the mind set of repair, not replace! I bet he has more knowledge then 100 Lowes employees stacked together and the work ethic of many more.

Update, Mr. Edwards (Max Edwards) passed away. My fear that the old hardware would close when he passed is not going to happen. Mr. Edwards had no children and his wife passed about 4 years ago. He signed everything over to a long time employee knowing he would keep the business alive. Edwards Hardware remains open for business and has all intentions to remain that way. A happy ending!! If you are wondering what kind of man Mr. Edwards was, read this from his obituary.

Max was born in Vass, on July 19, 1928, to Allie Gibson and Ruby Bundy Edwards. He was a devoted business owner and spent his entire life dedicated to the betterment of the community of Vass. Max was a proud member of the Merchant Marines and proudly served with the U.S. Army. He had many accomplishments, which included forming the Vass Rescue Squad in 1963, where he served as captain for 15 years and led the squad to 15 first place trophies in state competitions. He also led a team to the World Heavy Rescue Competition in 1971, winning top prize. He would later be awarded North Carolina’s highest civilian award, “The Order of the Longleaf Pine” by former Gov. Mike Easley for his community work, Certificate of Appreciation from the State Fire Marshal and the Lifetime Officer Award for his excellence and dedication to the Vass Rescue Squad and to the community. Max was a loving husband, caring friend and wonderful mentor to all who knew him. He leaves a legacy of kindness, generosity of spirit and an insatiable love of life. He will be greatly missed by everyone who loved him.

Also found this about his wife and their businesses http://www.wral.com/news/local/video/2463974/
 

maynah

Stainless
Joined
Mar 24, 2005
Location
Maine
Longley & Son Closing

L.M Longley & Son in post #36 is closing 12/31/15.
I guess that's just the way things go.
 

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d mack

Plastic
Joined
Nov 24, 2015
M. Maselli & Sons Hardware in Petaluma, CA. Nice selection of items (fasteners & plumbing, especially) inside the store, and then a maze of all sorts of "you name it" out back in roofed areas (a nice, unused & complete diesel engine for a large generator for instance, mud bolts laying in a pile, for example. Well organized in its own way. And Large selection of metal stock, big old tools, giant old gears. 519 Lakeville St. Only open on week days 'til 5. Family owned & run a long time. Well worth a visit if you in the area, at least. Go out back!
 

jccaclimber

Stainless
Joined
Nov 22, 2015
Location
San Francisco
Turner Hardware, Farmers Branch Texas, basically Dallas. They had dozens of types of hammers and similar stocking in everything else new and old. They are missed. They sold out to Ace in the last year and now it's more like a mini Lowes or Home Depot. All the oddball stuff has been replace by faster turnover yard appliances.
 

Danny VanVoorn

Titanium
Joined
Nov 3, 2002
Location
St.Louis, Missouri, USA
Morrel tool and machinery and McDonald machinery was the last places for me in St. Louis. One sold new and used shop supplies and had tools for sale on consignment, the other had 2 big warehouses with nothing but used machines for sale. Sadly all used machine tool dealers are gone here, some new dealers that occasionally take a trade in but not the same as those old places. Dad had a gas station with full service that I worked at about 45 years ago. I would ride my bike up the street 2 blocks or so and pick up small parts sometimes from the local parts house. That store had 3 walls with the orange and black Dorman fasteners cases with drawers from the floor all the way to the ceiling, they always had what I needed. There were others but those were the ones I remember fondly and really miss.
I find that for things that used to be simple to get are non existent in any of the stores here, I'm talking about an 8MM TP threaded 45 degree Zerk fitting or some 2" long 1/4-24 set screws or a 24" 3L V belt. Calling on Grainger or McMaster sucks when I only want a few, a lot of times I just go to ebay and actually save because I get a smaller quantity even after shipping. The experience is nothing like it was either no matter if it's ebay or Grainger, not a very personal touch at all. Things have changed for the worse I'm afraid and not going to get better.
Dan
 

Larry Fahnoe

Hot Rolled
Joined
Feb 3, 2005
Location
Minneapolis, MN, USA
Ambles Machinery and Hardware in Minneapolis. Incredible collection of surplus material, stock, motors, and hardware. Check out the back lot for large cast iron specimens. Place is heated by a wood-fired furnace. This place is worth a visit.

AMBLES MACHINERY AND HARDWARE

Ambles is a favorite place for the scrounger of metal, hardware & some machines for either use, repair, or perhaps another creative application. The place is sprawling and great to wander through, browsing amongst the isles & piles. Prices are seldom marked and seem to be based upon market and might be influenced by a perception of what the customer is capable of paying. I get a kick out of attempting to dicker with Ambles, he always seems to have a cigar stub stuck in the corner of his mouth and often a wry smile when I make him an offer that he'll disagree with.

--Larry
 

jlrii

Hot Rolled
Joined
Dec 17, 2007
Location
Massachusetts, USA
Ambles is a favorite place for the scrounger of metal, hardware & some machines for either use, repair, or perhaps another creative application. The place is sprawling and great to wander through, browsing amongst the isles & piles. Prices are seldom marked and seem to be based upon market and might be influenced by a perception of what the customer is capable of paying. I get a kick out of attempting to dicker with Ambles, he always seems to have a cigar stub stuck in the corner of his mouth and often a wry smile when I make him an offer that he'll disagree with.

--Larry

Unfortunatly they just packed it in too, just week or two ago.

Complete Going Out of Business Retirement Auction! Amble's Machinery and Industrial Supplies. Large Two Day Online Auction - Fahey Sales Auctioneers and Appraisers

AMBLES MACHINERY AND HARDWARE

JR
 

jlrii

Hot Rolled
Joined
Dec 17, 2007
Location
Massachusetts, USA
My place was called "Young Engineering" in Salem, Ma. Not actually a hardware store although you could find all kinds of fasteners, piping etc there. It was more of a surplus warehouse with any type of gadget or machinery available. I used to get to go there on my birthday for a number of years from '75 to '79 or so. I downloaded the Boston Globe article that clued my parents in to this place but unfortunatly I don't think I can post it due to copyright. Does anyoune know if I can post an article (PDF) from a newspaper circa '74 that I paid to download?

JR
 

[486]

Hot Rolled
Joined
Feb 16, 2014
Location
Minneapolis, MN
Unfortunatly they just packed it in too, just week or two ago.

Yup. Was there on the last day they were open, and on the first day of the auction.

Blew $800 on the auction, should have gotten more, but transport was already a concern. Would spend $100 or more every time I was in there, and in this one load I got more than all the many other times combined.

Whole isles of hardware for well under $100 each. Pallets of hydraulic motors and gearboxes, same. Truck they were loading it on? Guy with solid stake sides on his flat bed. Dumping the pallets over the side with a bobcat. Scrappers. :\
 








 
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