The Hammacher Schlemmer History Timeline

A synopsis of our historical events and highlighted achievements
celebrated over 175 years

The Hammacher Schlemmer
History Timeline

A synopsis of our historical events and highlighted achievements celebrated over 175 years


Use arrows to navigate and select year for history details


  • 1839

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    Albert Hammacher

    Albert Hammacher, the man who would eventually provide half of our company's name, is born on February 16, 1839 in Leichlingen, a town in the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany. Hammacher would come to be viewed as one of the leading figures in the hardware industry in the U.S. and Germany during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

    US History George Armstrong Custer

    United States Army officer George Armstrong Custer is born in Ohio. Custer developed a strong reputation leading Union troops during the Civil War-despite graduating last in his class at West Point-and attained the rank of brigadier general at age 23. After the Civil War, he was dispatched to the west to fight in the Indian Wars. Custer and all the men with him (two of his brothers among them) were killed at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876, in a battle that has come to be known as "Custer's Last Stand."

  • 1841

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    William Schlemmer

    William Schlemmer, whose name will come to be associated with a landmark New York City store and America's longest-running catalog, is born on April 20, 1841 in the Westphalia region of Germany.

    US History William Henry Harrison

    William Henry Harrison served the shortest tenure of any U.S. president, just 32 days, and became the first to die in office. Vice President John Tyler is sworn in as the nation's 10th president on April 4, 1841.

  • 1848

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    New York Store

    The store that would eventually become known as Hammacher Schlemmer-one of the first national hardware stores-begins at 221 Bowery in New York City. Mr. Charles Tollner was the sole proprietor and creator of this bustling establishment that specializes in hard-to-find tools. Tollner is among the many immigrants arriving from Germany and Scandinavia as the industrial revolution in Europe displaces workers from jobs. By specializing in high-quality tools and equipment, Tollner's store quickly gains a reputation as the place to go when an item simply could not be found anywhere else.

    US History California Gold Rush

    On January 24, 1848, gold is discovered in California, eventually sparking a huge influx of prospectors from across the country and around the world to the area. During the resulting "Gold Rush", miners extract more than 750,000 pounds of the precious metal worth a total of $2 billion, and San Francisco grows from a settlement of about 200 to a boomtown of 36,000 by 1852.

  • 1853

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    William Schlemmer

    Twelve-year-old William Schlemmer, born in Westphalia, Germany, comes to America where he finds sanctuary and employment at the store that will later carry his name. Making a handsome wage of $2 a week, and sending a dollar of that home to his family, Schlemmer learned considerably more than the nuts and bolts of the hardware business. Under Tollner's tutelage, Schlemmer learned what it took to run a store successfully: carry the best quality available, offer only hard-to-find or one-of-a-kind merchandise, embrace innovation and always give customers exceptional service.

    US History Franklin Pierce

    The same year that Franklin Pierce becomes the 14th President of the United States, and the only President from New Hampshire, Commodore Matthew Perry arrives in Edo Bay, Tokyo with a request for a trade treaty with Japan.

  • 1857

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    Albert Hammacher & William Schlemmer

    By 1857, construction is booming and the hardware business increasingly found itself in demand. As a result Tollner needs to expand to larger quarters in order to house the increase in inventory and stock. With the help of Albert Hammacher who invests $5,000 in a business in which he sees potential, the newly renamed Hammacher & Tollner moves to a larger space at 209 the Bowery in New York City.

    US History Hollywood

    On March 23, 1857, Elisha Otis' first elevator is installed at 488 Broadway in New York City. That same year, Hollywood, the famed center of movie production, is founded outside of Los Angeles, California.

  • 1862

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    Rebellion Tokens and Copperheads

    As the Civil War began, demand increased for Hammacher & Tollner's specialty hardware, with the company supplying Northern manufacturers with hard-to-get tools and hardware for the war effort.

    As the War continued, New York City faced a severe coin shortage resulting from the hoarding of both gold and silver. In response, the U.S. Government allowed merchants to mint their own coins to exchange during the war - much like in-store coupons are used today. Called "rebellion tokens" or "copperheads," these coins were made out of copper, brass, copper nickel or lead. Hammacher's tokens, of course, were the best quality available - copper. As the war drew to a close, the Government put a stop to the practice, yet few of the tokens ever found their way back to the place of issue to be redeemed for merchandise.

    US History The American Civil War

    The American Civil War, or the War Between the States, begins in April of 1861, when forces of the newly formed Confederate States attack the U.S. military base at Fort Sumter, South Carolina. The war, the deadliest and also one of the most influential in American history - it ended slavery, restored the Union and strengthened the role of the Federal government - lasted until April of 1865.

  • 1867

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    Hammacher & Co.

    Throughout the 1860s, William Schlemmer began to gradually buy out Charles Tollner's stake in the company. When Tollner passes away in 1867, 26 year-old Schlemmer enters into a partnership with Hammacher and Peter F. Taaks. As a result, the company changes its name to Hammacher & Co.

    US History Little House on The Prairie

    On February 7, 1867, Laura Ingalls Wilder was born near Pepin, a small town in the "Big Woods" of Wisconsin. Her childhood and experiences here formed the basis for her famed "Little House on the Prairie" book series.

  • 1876

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    First Telephone Directory

    Following Bell's success with the telephone, which led to a widespread use and a new market full of telephones as well as the typewriter, Hammacher begins buying and stocking parts and accessories for both devices. Continuing to ride the wave of innovation brought by the telephone, Hammacher & Co. is among the first 271 subscribers to Bell Telephone in New York City, appearing in the first telephone directory-although its name was misspelled.

    US History Alexander Graham Bell

    On March 10, 1876, Alexander Graham Bell makes the first successful telephone call to his assistant Thomas A. Watson, saying "Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you."

  • 1881

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    Hammacher Schlemmer First Catalog

    Six years before Sears and Roebuck, A. Hammacher & Co. published its first catalog of hardware and tools. The hardcover book was used by the company's salesman as they crisscrossed the country taking orders from customers. The first printing was less than 500 copies, a far cry from the vast amount of catalogs now sent all over the globe.

    US History President James Garfield

    On the morning of July 2, 1881, President James Garfield is shot twice by an assassin, Charles J. Guiteau, a disgruntled federal office-seeker. Though Garfield survives the initial attack, he gradually weakens over the next several weeks and dies on September 19, 1881. Vice President Chester A. Arthur is sworn in as the nation's 21st President.

    Catalogs Hammacher Schlemmer Illustrated Catalogue and Price List

    Our first Illustrated Catalogue and Price List showcased products with the same care as they received in the mahogany cases of our store. This page of wood planes is a fine example of the intricate pen and ink drawings that would become the hallmark of our hardware catalogs.

  • 1883

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    Hammacher Schlemmer Store Early Years

    As ornate furniture designs and tufted luxury in sofas, chairs and footstools becomes more popular, Hammacher Schlemmer introduces a new Upholstery Goods department, stocking special tools and materials allowing upholsterers to answer fashion's demands. With its new expanded focus, the company also introduced a new name, Hammacher Schlemmer & Co. William Schlemmer is now a full partner in the company and his son, William F. Schlemmer, is active in the business.

    US History Brooklyn Bridge

    The same year that the 1st Vaudeville Theater opens in Boston, Massachusetts, the Brooklyn Bridge, connecting the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn, is opened in New York, following 13 years of construction. With a span of over 1,500 feet, it is the longest suspension bridge in the world and is the first steel-wire suspension bridge ever built.

    Extraordinary Items Hammacher Schlemmer Lougee Improved Hair Picker

    Hammacher Schlemmer introduces the Lougee Improved Hair Picker, a labor-saving machine that removes impurities from filling used in upholstery and mattresses. Similar in function to a cotton gin, the device "supplies a want long felt in the furniture would pay for itself in one season in labor-saving."

  • 1892

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    Hammacher Schlemmer Store Interior

    Albert Hammacher resigns, leaving the entire business in the control of William Schlemmer who forms a new corporation, but retains the company's old name. Schlemmer serves as the company's president and treasurer. Several years later his son, William F. Schlemmer is named vice president.

    US History Ellis Island, New York City

    The first federal immigrant inspection station is opened on Ellis Island in New York City. The first immigrant to pass through Ellis Island is Annie Moore, a 15-year-old girl from Cork, Ireland, who received a greeting from officials and a $10 gold piece-the largest sum of money she had ever owned. By the time Ellis Island closes in 1954, twelve million immigrants have passed through its gates. In 1960, it is designated a national landmark and today, as part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument, Ellis Island houses the Immigration Museum.

  • 1896

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    Hammacher Schlemmer Store

    Taking advantage of the new technology developed during the Industrial Revolution, Hammacher Schlemmer's store in New York City becomes one of the first in the country to have electric lights installed in its showroom.

    US History F. Scott Fitzgerald

    American author F. Scott Fitzgerald, whose literary masterpiece "The Great Gatsby" was hailed as one of the most important books of the century, was born on September 26, 1996 in St. Paul Minnesota.

    Extraordinary Items Francis Glue Spreading Machine

    Hammacher Schlemmer offered a Francis Glue Spreading machine, an iron and steel contraption for furniture makers that automatically applied glue to wood up to 30" wide and 4" high. It sold for the princely sum of $170.

    Catalogs Hammacher Schlemmer 400-page Tool Catalog

    Hammacher Schlemmer publishes a 400-page catalog featuring tools for all trades. In keeping with its reputation for high quality and wide selection, the opening page states, "Our tools are selected with great care and are of the best makes, and meritorious novelties will be, from time to time, added to our present line, our aim being to carry a complete stock of first-class tools."

  • 1902

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    HS Auto Parts Department

    Despite the fact that there are fewer than 600 automobiles in New York City and no gas stations, Hammacher Schlemmer introduces the first Auto Parts Department, selling parts and tools for the "horseless carriage" including a Motorist Touring Kit, which allows drivers to fix a flat or blown gasket. As the automobile gains in popularity and begins to come into more widespread use, Hammacher Schlemmer purchases their own automobile which they used to begin the first home-delivery parcel service for customers-a novel idea in its day.

    US History Theodore Roosevelt

    Theodore Roosevelt becomes the first American President to ride in an automobile when he rides in a Columbia Electric Victoria through Hartford, Connecticut.

    Extraordinary Items Star Screw-Cutting Engine Lathe

    Weighing up to 750 lbs., the "Star" Screw-cutting Engine Lathe was operated via foot pedals. Chief among its many virtues was its outstanding construction, described as "Heavy, rigid, accurate, correct in design and finish, combining throughout the best material, with the highest class of workmanship."

    Media The Tourist Autokit

    To help motorists reduce their repair bills, Hammacher Schlemmer offers the tourist autokit, "the highest type of repairing outfit procurable". The kit contains 38 tools for both permanent and emergency use, "conveniently packed in a strong, leather-edged canvas roll."

    Catalogs Catalog NO. 115

    Hammacher Schlemmer publishes catalog No. 115, a 300-page edition featuring tools for machinists and metal workers. The opening page serves notice of the company's tradition for quality and innovation: "Since 1848 we have been selling tools to the trade. We have always aimed to sell strictly high-grade goods, and to keep in advance of all improvements introduced which bore evidence of real practical value."

  • 1904

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    HS New York Store

    Hammacher Schlemmer moves uptown to more spacious quarters at 13th Street and Fourth Avenue, previously the site where New York's first reservoir once stood. The new location began stocking new and unique merchandise - piano parts. With pianos now the favored parlor instrument, Hammacher sold piano parts to piano makers throughout the country with nearly 20 boxcar loads a year going to one customer - Kimball Brothers.

    US History Pitcher Cy Young

    In the same year that Henry Ford sets a new automobile land speed record of 91.37 mph, and the ice cream cone is invented during the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, Pitcher Cy Young of the Boston Americans throws the first perfect game in the modern era of baseball against the Philadelphia Athletics.

    Media The American Carpet and Upholstery Journal

    An article in The American Upholstery and Carpet Journal describes Hammacher Schlemmer's new quarters in glowing terms. "Architecturally, the structure is imposing and thoroughly in keeping for the purposes intended. One of the most noticeable features is the really magnificent show windows on the Fourth Avenue side. These are furnished in the finest paneled mahogany, highly polished, and the display of tools in them does not fail to attract the attention of the veriest layman."

    Catalogs Catalog used in U.S. Navy

    The U.S. Navy begins using the company's catalog as an equipment manual - it was still used up until 1971.

  • 1912

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    Booming Business, unique display shelves

    Business at Hammacher Schlemmer is booming as the company stocks over 100,000 items, the largest inventory of hardware on the East Coast. Even more unusual than the diverse selection is the manner in which it is displayed - on velvet in mahogany cabinets. It is from these cabinets that Isaac Singer supposedly selected the parts to construct his first sewing machine and Alexander Calder bought wire to create his celebrated mobiles. On a more somber note, Albert Hammacher passes away at the age of 73.

    US History RMS Titanic

    At 2:20 a.m. on April 15, 1912, the British ocean liner RMS Titanic sinks in the Northern Atlantic Ocean, taking with it over 1,500 victims and making it one of the deadliest peacetime maritime disasters in history.

    Extraordinary Items Cabinet Makers Benches

    Hammacher Schlemmer's Cabinet Makers Benches were, appropriately, crafted almost entirely of wood and considered fine examples of furniture-making in their own right. "They are not the ordinary kind made to sell in competition with the cheapest, but are made of thoroughly seasoned, kiln-dried stock, carefully and scientifically put together", states the description in our catalog.

    Catalogs Largest HS Catalog

    Hammacher Schlemmer prints its largest catalog to-date. Spanning 1,112 pages and taking a total of four years to compile, the catalog confirmed Hammacher as the most complete hardware source on the East Coast. One hardbound edition remains housed in the Smithsonian's permanent collection.

  • 1918

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    William F. Schlemmer

    Two years after World War I broke out, William Schlemmer Sr. dies at the age of 75, leaving his son William F. Schlemmer complete control of the company. Schlemmer was remembered as "an indefatigable worker, and a man of the highest possible character, whose habits were exemplary in the extreme, and whose business principles were beyond reproach."In 1918, after the war had ended, Hammacher Schlemmer is commended for its service to munitions factories during the war. The firm receives a citation that read: "The War Department of the United States of America recognizes in this award for distinguished service the loyalty, energy and efficiency in the performance of the war work by which Hammacher Schlemmer Co. added materially in obtaining victory for the arms of the United States of America in the war with the Imperial German Government and the Imperial and Royal Austro-Hungarian Government."

    US History World War 1 Recruitment Poster

    The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, sparks World War I, or the Great War. In less than a month, much of Europe is engulfed in war with the Entente Powers-France, the United Kingdom, Russia, and later, Italy and the United States-on one side and the Central Powers-Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire-on the other. On November 11, 1918, the Entente Powers signed an armistice with the Central Powers, ending a war which killed over 8 million and signaled the end of four empires-the German, Austro-Hungarian, Ottoman, and Russian.

    Extraordinary Items Czar Nicholas II

    During the Russian revolution, the Czar sent an emissary to New York City to buy the world's greatest hardware and supplies. The representative from Russia reportedly asked for "A lot of everything."

    Media HS Magazine Ad

    According to a Hammacher Schlemmer magazine ad, "There is nothing more fascinating to the average man or boy than Tinkering With Tools". An oak cabinet that transformed into a tool bench with vise when opened could be purchased with as many as 95 tools "for the man who is really handy" or as few as 21 tools "for one less expert, or for the boy".

  • 1920

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    William F. Schlemmer

    As American prosperity flourishes in the years following WWI, Hammacher Schlemmer, under the leadership of William F. Schlemmer, begins to sell unusual luxury items, relegating building supplies to the basement floor.

    US History 1920's Flapper Girls

    In 1920, Americans usher in the "Jazz Age," a period of economic prosperity. Also, the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution is passed, guaranteeing women's right to vote.

    Catalogs Hammacher Gnome Campaign

    Hammacher begins its "gnome" campaign - an ad campaign that features diligent little cartoon characters in the pages of its catalogs.

  • 1923

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    Hammacher Schlemmer's 75th Anniversary Catalog

    Hammacher Schlemmer celebrates its 75th Anniversary and achieves the milestone of selling 100,000 different products. The company now operates out of four buildings and has almost three hundred employees.

    US History George Herman "Babe" Ruth

    The same year that the first issue of Time magazine is published, the first Yankee Stadium opens its doors to the public in the Bronx, New York City. The "Bronx Bombers" cap off their inaugural season in their new home by winning the World Series, the first of 26 they will win while playing here. New York Evening Telegram Sportswriter Fred Lieb nicknames the ballpark 'The House that Ruth Built' in honor of outfielder George Herman "Babe" Ruth whose prodigious home runs drew huge crowds.

    Catalogs Hammacher Gnome Campaign

    Hammacher Schlemmer publishes a 32-page brochure to commemorate its 75th anniversary. Documenting the company's growth, as well as the corresponding expansion of New York City and the United States, the text closes with this inspiring quote by American author (and son of patriot Nathan Hale) Edward Everett Hale:
    "Look up-not down,
    Look out-not in,
    And lend a hand."

  • 1926

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    147 East 57th Street in New York City

    Hammacher Schlemmer moves to its present location at 147 East 57th Street, a twelve-story building designed and built specifically for us. With a new clientele clamoring for luxury items, the store begins stocking esoteric gadgetry and gizmos and ushers in an era of Hammacher Schlemmer elegance.

    US History Harper Lee

    American novelist Harper Lee, whose sole novel, To Kill a Mockingbird earned her a Pulitzer Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, is born in Monroeville, Alabama.

    Extraordinary Items The House of Fine Housewares

    This ad for giant matches and a lighter imported from France is a fine example of our evolution from a hardware store to "The House of Fine Housewares". The 12-inch matches, mounted on a giant enameled tray and housed in a leather case, are intended for lighting a hearth. The lighter is adorned with gold-plated trimming and is available in two-tone mother of pearl, various shades of leather, or natural tanned lizard skin.

    Media Hammacher Schlemmer Landmark New York Store

    This advertisement in The New York Times invites the public to visit our landmark store "New in everything but the unfailing policy of generous dealing and strict standards or quality first." Located on 57th Street at Lexington Avenue near some of Manhattan's most elegant residential neighborhoods, the Schlemmer Building stocks over 100,000 items.

    Catalogs Hammacher Schlemmer 1920s Ad

    This catalog shows Hammacher Schlemmer at the crossroads of its hardware store roots and its new direction as a purveyor of unique gifts. Illustrations of both old and new locations flank our promise that "You will find that nearly everything illustrated and described is unusual and individual-a factor which makes gifts doubly appreciated. You will find things selected purely for their usefulness, for their decorative value-and others for sheer fun. The interior of the catalog reflects our evolving product mix, with a crystal caviar bowl followed several pages later by a combination cabinet bench.

  • 1929

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    The Little Show on Broadway

    By 1929, Hammacher Schlemmer was becoming known as an entertaining place to shop as well as browse for the serendipitous. Thanks to this reputation, we became the inspiration for a Broadway show tune composed by Howard Dietz for his play The Little Show, entitled, "Hammacher Schlemmer, I Love You." The song included such stanzas as:
    "Hammacher Schlemmer, I Love You -
    You're Like a Sweetheart to Me -
    Hammacher Schlemmer, Above You
    No Other Firm E'er Could Be.
    Your Business Deserved Devotion
    That Is Loyal -
    I Love You Just Like a Fellow
    Loves His Goil -
    So Always Remember -
    Hammacher Schlemmer - I Love You."

    US History The Great Depression - Long Line for Food

    On October 29, 1929, the Wall Street Crash marks the beginning of the Great Depression. Lasting until 1933, the financial crisis brings about high unemployment, poverty, low profits, deflation, plunging farm incomes, and lost opportunities for economic growth and personal advancement.

    Media Hammacher Schlemmer Sewette Ad

    One way Hammacher Schlemmer seeks to appeal to the fastidious taste of its upscale clientele is by putting an unusual twist on otherwise mundane household items. This ad features the "Sewette", a small decorative screen that unfolds to reveal sewing supplies, and a waste basket made from recycled book bindings "reputed to be over a century old". Notice the gnomes at the bottom of the ad, particularly the one on the right with a small dog...perhaps a tribute to Mr. and Mrs. Schlemmer, who owned a pair of Yorkshire terriers.

  • 1931

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    The First Pop-Up Toaster

    In the same year that Hammacher Schlemmer introduces the first Portable Radio-weighing 30 pounds-the first Pop-Up Toaster appears on the shelves of our New York store. The device is ideally suited for use with the culinary innovation of the day: pre-sliced bread.

    US History The Empire State Building

    In 1931, construction of the Empire State Building is completed, and its doors are opened to the public on May 1. The 102-story building soars 1,250 feet over Manhattan's skyline, making it the world's tallest building for the next 40 years, until it is surpassed by the World Trade Center.

    Extraordinary Items The Kangru Springshu

    Among the many sporting goods now available at Hammacher Schlemmer, is The Kangru Springshu, "An invigorating sport for small boys and girls!" Like wearable pogo sticks, the shoes are strapped on over a child's shoe, literally putting a spring in their step. A pair sells for $3.00.

    Media Hammacher Schlemmer Houseware Ad

    An example of Hammacher Schlemmer's transition from hardware to housewares, this 5-piece set for carving roast and game features stainless steel German blades and genuine stag handles.

    Catalogs Hammacher Schlemmer Gift Supplement Ad

    In the same year Hammacher Schlemmer debuts its housewares supplement, the first catalog of its kind in the country, this brightly colored yet simply titled "Gifts" supplement (in which our name appears on neither cover) is published. These catalogs signal a new era in our history as the old image of hardware and tools begins to fade.

  • 1934

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    Lord Rothschild

    Miss Palmer is hired as Hammacher's first female salesperson, a bold and considered by some almost scandalous employment practice for the time. Among the first customers she waited upon happened to be Lord Rothschild, who dropped in to buy an outdoor thermometer for one dollar and ended up purchasing over $500 worth of merchandise, including a white goatskin blanket-and-pillow set.

    US History Biograph Theater 1930s

    The same year the Apollo Theater opens its doors in Harlem, New York City, Public Enemy Number One, John Dillinger, is gunned down in a shootout with the FBI outside of Chicago's famed Biograph Theatre.

    Extraordinary Items The Kitchen Closidor

    In the same year Hammacher Schlemmer introduces the first Electric Dry Shaver and the first Electric Food Processor-the Waring Blender, created by musician Fred Waring-the Kitchen Closidor, a sturdy, compact cabinet that attaches to any door also makes its debut. "Cleverly fitted with well-planned shelves, clips, hooks and racks" it "makes a wonderfully convenient and orderly home for brooms, brushes, mops, etc." The all-steel kitchen model shown sells for $9.95.

    Media Hammacher Schlemmer Unique Wares Ad

    This ad to support our "Unique Wares" catalog features our new Indirect Lamp, a wall bracket lamp that "can be hung up or taken down with as much ease as a small picture." Made of all aluminum with a 250-watt bulb, it sells for $6.95.

    Catalogs Hammacher Schlemmer Unique Wares Ad 1934

    "As usual, Spring finds 'The House of Fine Housewares' blossoming with the unusual", boasts our "Unique Wares" catalog. Our store has added a new glassware department that offers "Sparkling crystal, dainty shapes, lovely and distinctive patterns effectively displayed to make choosing easy."

  • 1939

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    Dominic Tampone

    Dominic Tampone, later a president of Hammacher Schlemmer, was recognized as Hammacher Schlemmer's top salesman. In protest of the Nazi Regime sweeping across Germany and the surrounding countries, Hammacher stops buying German products until the end of World War II in 1945.

    US History Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh in Gone With the Wind

    On December 15, the film Gone with the Wind, starring Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable, Olivia de Havilland, and Leslie Howard, premieres at Loew's Grand Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia. Based on Margaret Mitchell's best-selling novel, it is the longest American film made up to that time, lasting nearly four hours.

    Extraordinary Items The Tip Over Tea Pot

    "Most ingenious!", the Tip Over Tea Pot has a separate chamber for tea leaves in its top. When the pot is set on its side, the tea begins to steep. When again set upright, the tea can be poured without a strainer. Made from vitrified china, the two-pint capacity pot sells for $4.50.

    Media The New York Cover 1937

    The New Yorker profiles Hammacher Schlemmer, describing our company's metamorphosis from a hardware dealer to a store "which now deals in the most bizarre and glamorous kinds of luxury goods...with its gleaming crystal and chromium whatnots and Junior League salesgirls."

    Catalogs Hammacher Schlemmer Food Department

    One way Hammacher Schlemmer sought to serve the needs of its refined clientele was to create a "Connoisseurs' Food Department" that gathered delicacies from all corners of the globe. From green turtle soup in sherry and fresh romanoff private stock caviar, to royal wafers romary for champagne, we offered a smorgasbord of fine foods to sate even the most fastidious diner's appetite.

  • 1945

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    William F. Schlemmer

    In 1945, William F. Schlemmer passes away at the age of 67, leaving his wife, Else, in charge of the company. Schlemmer began working at the hardware store at age 15 "with no more consideration than for any other beginner", cleaning out shelves and serving as a general stock clerk for a salary of $5 per week. Gradually he worked his way up the ranks, being named president of the company in 1914. Known as a tireless, dedicated worker, "he is always to be found genial and approachable, and his sole interest lies in the success and welfare of the Company".

    US History 1945 World Series Detroit Tigers vs. Chicago Cubs

    The same year that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt is elected to an unprecedented 4th term and World War II officially ends with the surrender of both Germany and Japan, the Detroit Tigers win the World Series against the Chicago Cubs, who haven't appeared in a World Series since.

    Extraordinary Items The Ink Maker Pen

    The Ink Maker Pen uses a dehydrated ink "battery" that produces a fresh supply of ink when the pen is placed in a cup of water. Made of durable plastic-"streamlined for feather-lightness and beauty", and with a 14K gold point, the pen sells for $8.75.

    Media Outdoor Furniture Newspaper Ad

    This newspaper ad for outdoor furniture shows a couple shopping in our New York store, presumably visiting to "Learn the priceless art of relaxation this year via our inspired outdoor lounging ideas."

    Catalogs Hammacher Schlemmer Gift Catalog

    The cover of our gift catalog features an illustration of a fine Victorian lady accompanied by her son (in matching garb) window shopping outside what appears to be a toy store. The little lad holds a wrapped gift in his outstretched hands, though it is not clear whether he is the giver or the recipient. The catalog promises "...the newest in gift surprises-lovely things that bespeak the graciousness of giving-and, too, gifts of genuine utility.

  • 1948

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    Else Schlemmer Celebrates 100 Year Anniversary of Hammacher Schlemmer

    Hammacher Schlemmer celebrates the 100th Anniversary of offering the "Best," the "Only" and the "Unexpected." Our next century begins with a focus on the domestic needs of the post WWII consumer. "Hammacher Schlemmer has stood as a symbol for fine quality in Gifts and Housewares for 100 years. Our main purpose in life has been to assemble those things that help to establish an attractive and smooth running household-to set the scene for happier living!" This picture shows Else Schlemmer, President, cutting the first slice of our 100th birthday cake.

    US History Albert 1 First Monkey Astronaut

    The same year the Berlin Blockade begins, prompting the U.S. to launch the Berlin Airlift, Albert I becomes the first monkey astronaut, traveling 39 miles aboard a V2 rocket launched from White Sands, New Mexico.

    Extraordinary Items 1948 Ferris Wheel Set Ad

    The same year Hammacher Schlemmer introduces the first Automatic Steam Iron and the Amazing Electric Broom, this "Ferris Wheel Set" captures the atmosphere of the carnival in a "very handsome, combination Drink and Relish Server". The 20" diameter wheel holds a dozen highball glasses and four "good-size" relish trays that revolve on its chrome-plated frame. It sells for $95.

    Catalogs Hammacher Schlemmer Gift and Fine Housewares Catalog

    In a departure from our typical gnome-inspired covers, this Gift and Fine Housewares Catalog features a whimsical depiction of two dogs riding a gift-laden toboggan on the front and back cover. The illustration is by Henry Stahlhut, a well-known designer of the period who created cover art for numerous Hammacher Schlemmer catalogs as well as many other national publications.

  • 1955

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    The Coffee Cooler and Reclino Specs Ad

    By 1955, Hammacher Schlemmer completely discontinues the sale of hardware in favor of more upscale merchandise with the renewed emphasis on being the "first" to offer the "Unexpected." However, luxury was not the only criteria, rather, 98-percent of the items on Hammacher Schlemmer's shelves are functional, unusual and known for their novelty, such as The Coffee Cooler and Reclino Specs. Sadly, this same year, Else Schlemmer dies, bequeathing $473,000 to her employees.

    US History Rosa Parks

    On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks is arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white person, sparking the beginnings of the national civil rights movement. That same year, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower sends the first U.S. advisors to South Vietnam.

    Extraordinary Items Rhinestone Pet Collar

    In the same year that Hammacher Schelmmer introduces the public to the first Electric Toothbrush, we offered rhinestone pet collars for $1.10 per inch with matching clip-on earrings for $7.50 a pair.

    Media John Gerald Hammacher Schlemmer Magazine Ad

    In 1953 Else Schlemmer sold the business (marking the end of the Hammacher and Schlemmer families' involvement) to a group of investors who proved to be unsuccessful in comprehending the unique appeal of Hammacher Schlemmer. So, they in turn sold the company to John Gerald in 1955. Gerald vowed to restore customer care and return the company to its carriage trade roots. This magazine advertisement-an open letter to customers-pictures Gerald with our familiar mascots, the gnomes Hammacher and Schlemmer.

    Catalogs Hammacher Schlemmer Spring Supplement Cover

    Perhaps a sign of the times, the design of our Spring supplement is atypical with its simple cover illustration dominated by our name in large type. "Your House Deserves The Finest" declares the opening spread and Hammacher Schlemmer is stocked with six full floors of housewares to "fill the need of every homemaker, please the most discriminating guest. Imaginative...useful, they will open a new vista in living."

  • 1962

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge


    By 1962, Dominic Tampone was made president of Hammacher Schlemmer - bringing with him a focus on mixing the practical along with the whimsical. Tampone initiated a wholesale operation, Invento Products Corporation, as a subsidiary for inventing and product development. Invento quickly evolved into a clearinghouse for the new and unusual, sourcing items from around the world and selling them under its own namesake brand. It sold goods not only to Hammacher Schlemmer, but also to such major national retailers such as Sears and Neiman Marcus, generating annual sales of nearly $2.5 million.

    US History John F. Kennedy and Fidel Castro in the Cuban Missle Crisis

    On October 28, 1962, the Cuban Missile Crisis ends with Soviet Union leader Nikita Khrushchev announcing that he has ordered the removal of Soviet missile bases in Cuba. In a secret deal between Kennedy and Khrushchev, Kennedy agrees to the withdrawal of U.S. missiles from Turkey. That same month, Johnny Carson takes over as permanent host of NBC's Tonight Show, a post he will hold for 30 years.

    Extraordinary Items John Lennon holding The Something Box

    Hammacher Schlemmer and its New York Store begin selling the first Home Bowling Alley and the "Nothing Box" (subsequently rechristened "The Something Box" to avoid confusion with a similarly-named product)-a box that did nothing but flash lights in a random sequence. The novelty captures the fancy of The Beatles, who purchase hundreds of them as gifts.

    Catalogs Hammacher Schlemmer Fall Catalog Cover

    The cover of our Fall catalog pictures a variety of convenient beverage-making small appliances. With the exception of the front cover, this issue is notable for its use of ink drawings to depict products rather than photos.

  • 1964

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    Claudia Johnson

    New First Lady Claudia "Ladybird" Johnson calls in Hammacher Schlemmer to redecorate the White House closets, following a precedent of Presidential customers.

    US History Meet the Beatles Album Cover

    On January 20, 1964, Meet the Beatles!, the first Beatles album in the United States, is released. Within weeks, The "Fab Four" vault to the #1 spot on the U.S. singles charts with "I Want to Hold Your Hand," forever changing the face of popular music and paving the way for the British Invasion in America.

    Extraordinary Items London Taxi Cab

    In keeping with our reputation for offering "...interesting, exciting, or glamorous things", Hammacher Schlemmer imports and refurbishes London Taxi Cabs "Complete with sparking plugs, tyres, windscreens in front and behind the driver and a taximeter."
    "This, like most of our imaginative merchandise, is as much fun as it is practical-typically Hammacher Schlemmer; so much so that we use one, ourselves." Designed and built "to conform to Scotland Yard specifications", 24 London Taxi Cabs are sold for $1,895 each.

    Catalogs Hammacher Schlemmer Summer Catalog Cover

    The cover of our Summer catalog pictures what can only be described as an eclectic mix of products. Among the unusual items are a table lighter made from a ram's horn, a tape recorder shaped like a parrot, and a spill-proof tray for serving drinks.

  • 1968

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    Radarange Microwave Oven

    In 1968, Hammacher Schlemmer introduces America to the first "Telephone Valet" - now commonly known as an answering machine - and the Radarange Microwave Oven for home use.

    US History Martin Luther King, Jr.

    On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated while standing on his hotel balcony at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, inciting riots in major American cities for several days following the tragic event. In a prophetic speech the day before, King said, "...Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. So I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man."

    Extraordinary Items Gwaltney Easter Ham

    A hostess could not only purchase fine cookware, dinnerware, and silver serving platters from Hammacher Schlemmer, but also a gourmet meal itself. Among our culinary offerings is a fully-cooked Gwaltney Easter ham from Virginia "baked, glazed, and decorated with fruit", and our "Deluxe White Hamper" packed with delicacies such as whole grain caviar and Droste chocolate oysters.

    Media Dominic Tampone

    In a September 1968 profile in Merchandising Week, Dominic Tampone describes the typical Hammacher Schlemmer item, "it's brand new ... it could be too clever in concept for looks. It could be like a Rube Goldberg contraption. But the idea is good and it serves the purpose for which it is intended."

    Catalogs Hammacher Schlemmer Spring Catalog Cover

    The front cover of our Spring catalog features our Irish stickproof cookware. Specially made with a "uniquely formulated cast iron core with a bonded-white porcelain enamel exterior and black Teflon lining", the non-stick finish is cast in the iron rather than coated on as in usual non-stick pans. The cookware is propped with a selection of our life-size antique frogs. "They're Austrian. They're cast in bronze an painted in natural colors," states the catalog copy, but, apparently, they are not for sale-at least, not in this catalog.

  • 1973

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    First Cordless Telephone

    Hammacher Schlemmer marks 125 years of innovation by introducing a wave of product offerings that had never been available for home purchase: the Rovaphone-the first cordless telephone, the first coffee machine - Mr. Coffee, and the portable computer.

    US History Sears Tower in 1973

    On May 3, 1973, the Sears Tower in Chicago is completed, becoming the world's tallest building - a distinction it will hold until 1998. In 2009, London-based insurance broker Willis Group Holdings obtains the building's naming rights, rechristening it Willis Towers. In 2013, the 108-story, 1,451-foot skyscraper is surpassed as the tallest building in the United States by New York's One World Trade Center, which rises 1776 feet.

    Extraordinary Items The Electric Closet

    The Electric Closet organizes clothing and accessories on a revolving lazy susan type mechanism. The device operates via hand switch or foot pedal so "you never need to move from the doors to reach a particular garment." The eight-foot wide closet sells for $2,500 without installation.

    Catalogs Hammacher Schlemmer 125th Anniversary Catalog Cover

    Our 125th anniversary edition features an assortment of unique kitchen and entertaining products from a "provision cabinet" with clear plastic containers to a gourmet serving cart with an integrated wine rack. Curiously, our gnomes are replaced with tin man figurines, available for $135 each. In a full-page letter on the opening spread, we reaffirm our commitment to customer service, pledging to continue "loyal, dedicated, trained: bent upon serving you. Now as in 1848, things are on the move. We are in busy-ness now as we were 125 years ago, under our policy: COMPLETE SATISTACTION GUARANTEED."

  • 1977

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    The Cuisinart food processor

    Another one of Hammacher Schlemmer's "firsts," the Cuisinart food processor makes its way into our catalog and onto the shelves of our New York store. This push-button operated kitchen device reduces meal preparation time from hours to minutes, giving the home chef more free time for other pursuits.

    US History The Atari 2600 video game console

    Atari, Inc. introduces the Atari 2600 video game console to the public, popularizing home video game play through the use of interchangeable cartridge titles, with Pac-Man quickly emerging as an overwhelming favorite. 250,000 of the game systems are sold at a cost of $199 each.

    Extraordinary Items Natures Environment Spa

    We introduce Natures Environment, a personal haven that "reproduces Mother Nature's elements to induce complete relaxation and rejuvenation." The spa mimics conditions of heat, sun, rain, steam, and wind to simulate the soothing pleasures of an ocean beach, an ancient desert, or a tropical rain forest. With a handcrafted solid teak interior, a cypress deck, and a 20" diameter porthole, it sells for $12,000.

    Media Wall Street Journal

    In a May profile by The Wall Street Journal, Hammacher Schlemmer is lauded as a visionary retail store for "its ability to spot new gadgets before progress turns them from luxuries into necessities."

    Catalogs Hammacher Schlemmer First Full-Color Catalog

    In 1977, Hammacher Schlemmer prints its first full-color product catalog. The cover depicts The Tahiti Bar (flanked by our ever-present mischievous gnomes) "a new old-world adaptation for the conventional home bar." Crafted in Italy by Florentine designers, the bar's genuine bamboo is combined with a rust velvet fabric "which will not fade and is stain, water, and alcohol resistant." It sells for $2,595.

  • 1983

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    Chicago's famed North Michigan Drive

    In 1983, J. Roderick MacArthur, CEO of Hammacher Schlemmer, establishes the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute - an independent, but affiliated, branch of the Hammacher Schlemmer Company whose sole purpose is to comparative test top-of-the-line products. Through the Institute, products are tested under laboratory conditions, home- and field-tested in order to rate them based on superior function, ease of use and quality. Also, Hammacher Schlemmer opens its first store outside of New York, on Chicago's famed North Michigan Drive.

    US History Sally Ride

    The same year that Sally Ride becomes the first American woman in space, on board the Space Shuttle Challenger, Michael Jackson performs the dance move that will forever be known as the "moonwalk" at Motown 25.

    Extraordinary Items World's Smallest, Lightest Pocket Television

    Hammacher Schlemmer unveils the World's Smallest, Lightest Pocket Television. The television displays images on a 23/4-inch diagonal LCD screen instead of a conventional cathode ray picture tube, making it lighter and more compact than any other pocket model available. Powered by three AA batteries, the television sells for $299.50.

    Media New York Times article, A Renewal of Hammacher

    A New York Times article describes how we overhauled our New York store to refocus our efforts on "The Best, The Only, and The Unexpected". We closed six of the seven selling floors in the building and installed new lighting, cleaner displays and refitted moldings to create "an environment of almost a living museum, a very interesting atmosphere where people would not only come to shop but to see what's new and different".

    Catalogs Hammacher Schlemmer Fall Catalog

    Our Fall Catalog is the first to include ratings from the newly established Hammacher Schlemmer Institute. Using an "enstar" rating system (a blue seven-point star) products are awarded one, two, or three enstars depending on The Institute's evaluation. One Enstar designates a "Unique" product which not only effectively performs the tasks for which it was designed but does so in a markedly unique manner; Two Enstars means "Best of Kind", a product identified as the best performing in some specialized class within its overall category; Three Enstars distinguishes a product as "Best Overall" without qualification.

  • 1986

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge


    Living up to its reputation as an innovator, Hammacher Schlemmer teams up with CompuServe to sell products online, becoming one of the first retailers to go on the Internet. That same year, our third store opens on North Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, California, and the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute introduces the Customer Testing Panel, utilizing actual customers to test their products.

    US History Space Shuttle Challenger

    On January 28, Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrates 73 seconds after launch, the entire crew of seven astronauts perishing, including schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe. That night, President Ronald Reagan gave a national address on the Challenger disaster from the Oval Office of the White House, quoting from the poem "High Flight" by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.: "We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and 'slipped the surly bonds of Earth' to 'touch the face of God.'"

    Extraordinary Items The Official New York Santa Claus Suit

    The Official New York Santa Claus Suit is identical in every detail to the one worn by Mr. Kringle in the New York City Thanksgiving Day Parade. Custom made by suppliers to the Broadway stage and opera companies, the beard and wig use nylon and yak hair for stage-quality realism. Suspenders and white gloves are included, but stuffing is not, allowing the wearer to adjust the girth for optimal holiday merriment. The suit sells for $1,995.

    Catalogs Hammacher Schlemmer 1986 Catalog Cover

    The helpful gnomes, Hammacher and Schlemmer, are back again on our catalog cover, in this case, serving as unpaid models. Rather than giving one product star treatment, an assortment of products are featured, including The Table Tennis Robot, The Only Face-Down Lounger, The Cordless Stereophonic Headphone, the Noordwijk-Binnen Construction Set, and The Ear-Relief Cushioned Telephone.

  • 1991

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    Skymall Catalog Cover

    Hammacher Schlemmer joins a select group of retailers when it becomes a charter member in SkyMall, a specialty catalog that is inserted into the seat back pocket of most airline seats. With an annual circulation of 20 million copies, SkyMall exposes a broad new audience of shoppers to Hammacher Schlemmer's unique products.

    US History Michael Jordan

    Led by regular season MVP and scoring leader Michael Jordan, the Chicago Bulls defeat the Los Angeles Lakers of Magic Johnson four games to one, winning their first NBA Championship. This begins a string of three consecutive NBA titles, or "Threepeat" for the team, who would go on to win six of the next eight championships during the decade.

    Extraordinary Items The Self-propelled Pool Cleaning Robot

    This self-propelled pool cleaning robot uses six microchips with a total of 128 preprogrammed movement patterns to autonomously scrub, vacuum, and filter an entire pool overnight. Though it must be plugged into an electrical outlet, its built-in transformer reduces household current to a safe 24-volt operating current. The robot sells for $1,299.00.

    Catalogs Hammacher Schlemmer Late Spring Catalog

    The cover of our Late Spring catalog featured a replica of a Cody box kite, a manned kite designed for military use during WWI by flamboyant aviation pioneer Samuel Franklin Cody. Though it is described as a "scaled-down version", the kite still has a wingspan of 70". It sells for $179.95.

  • 1994

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    Hammacher Schlemmer Epcot Theme Park Exhibit

    Hammacher Schlemmer opens an exhibit at Disney's Innoventions pavilion at Epcot Theme Park. The pavilion is focused on technological advancements and their practical applications in everyday life. That same year, Hammacher introduces an annual contest called the Search for Invention, designed to recognize struggling inventors in the United States. Providing inventors with an opportunity to present items that are the only one of their kind, items found nowhere else, and items that solve problems as no other can - the typical Hammacher Schlemmer staple - winners have included an Electric Powered Adjustable Wrench, a Solar Oven, and a Free-Standing Adjustable Ladder.

    US History The Lion King

    On June 15, the classic film, The Lion King, is released in theaters, becoming the highest-grossing film of 1994. The movie becomes the highest-grossing hand-drawn film in history, garnering two Academy Awards for its achievement in music and the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy.

    Extraordinary Items The Four-Person Hovercraft

    In the same year Hammacher Schlemmer introduces the first Integrated Caller ID And Answering Machine, The Four-Person Hovercraft makes its appearance in our catalog. Traveling over water and land at up to 40 mph on an eight-inch cushion of air, the 12-foot long craft holds two adults and two children. It sells for $14,995, or in a two-person model that sells for $9,995.

    Catalogs Hammacher Schlemmer Fall Catalog Cover

    The cover of our Fall catalog features The 3-D Stereoscopic Cypermaxx Home Virtual Reality, a video gaming accessory that "completely involves you in the game play...once monotonous games become astonishing as the 3-D, stereoscopic graphics jump out at you with dazzling, high-intensity color and realism." The lightweight headset sells for $799.00.

  • 1998

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    Hammacher Schlemmer Way Street Sign

    Hammacher Schlemmer celebrates its 150th Anniversary. In honor and recognition of the company's longevity and history, New York City Mayor Rudolf Giuliani renames the block on 57th Street between Lexington and 3rd Avenue "Hammacher Schlemmer Way."

    US History Titanic Motion Picture Movie Poster

    The film "Titanic", a fictionalized account of the 1912 sinking of the RMS Titanic, dominates the 70th Academy Awards. Nominated for 14 Academy Awards, it wins 11, including the awards for Best Picture and Best Director, tying Ben Hur (1959) for most Oscars won by a single film. It is also the highest grossing film ever, and the first film to surpass one billion dollars in sales.

    Extraordinary Items The Only Gravity Defying Rotating Globe

    Imported from Europe exclusively for Hammacher Schlemmer, The Only Gravity Defying Rotating Globe is not only suspended in mid-air, but it spins continuously. A magnet within the globe, in combination with a generator positioned above it, creates opposing forces that cause the globe to hover above its display stand. It sells for $2,499.95.

    Catalogs Hammacher Schlemmer 150th Anniversary Catalog Cover

    The cover of our 150th anniversary catalog is graced by The Bertazzon Venetian Carousel, a full-size fully-functional carousel that seats twenty. Evoking the charm of 18th century Venice, this carousel offers an Old World design complete with hand-rendered scenes of Venetian landmarks. Its six jumping horses, five rocking horses, and two chariots are all hand painted and the revolving platform is varnished, solid hardwood. Because each carousel is hand-built to order, it requires five months for construction. The carousel sells for $150,000.

  • 2003

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    The Folding Strolling Pet Carrier

    With electronics, memorabilia, apparel and toys gracing its catalog and the shelves of its New York Store, Hammacher Schlemmer once again expands its product category to include pet products with the introduction of the Folding Strolling Pet Carrier, the Three-Step Pet Staircase, and The Infrared Collar-Activated Cat Door.

    US History The Supersonic Jet Concorde

    In October, the supersonic jet Concorde completes its final North American flight before the fleet is permanently grounded. Flying at twice the speed of sound (1350 mph) at a cruising altitude of 56,000 feet, the Concorde's average flight time from New York City to London is around 3.5 hours-less than half the eight hours required on a standard commercial jet.

    Extraordinary Items The Oval Office Chair

    The Oval Office Chair was made by the furniture maker who custom crafted office seating for eight different presidents. (Franklin D. Roosevelt purportedly had two chairs: one for his office, another for his air raid shelter.) Constructed of a solid maple frame, this leather-upholstered swivel chair has a solid cherry brass-capped base with 2-inch rubber wheels. It sells for $3,000.

    Catalogs Hammacher Schlemmer Holiday Preview Catalog Cover

    In a departure from our traditional cover presentation, the 2003 Holiday Preview catalog features a cartoon that playfully acknowledges our well-deserved reputation for offering unusual, and-on occasion-outlandish items.

  • 2005

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    Hammacher Schlemmer New York Store

    With the web-based side of Hammacher becoming such a productive aspect of the company - with online sales increasing at a rate of 30% each year - both the Chicago and Beverly Hills stores close their doors, leaving only the landmark store in New York City. It is out of this store that Hammacher offers two floors of household furnishings, personal items, electrical appliances, and the "first" of many products available to consumers.

    US History YouTube

    On February 15, 2005, the Internet site, YouTube, goes online. The video-sharing website, created by three former PayPal employees, allows users to upload, view and share videos. Within a year, YouTube's popularity skyrockets, with over 65,000 new videos being uploaded every day from nearly 100 million viewers.

    Extraordinary Items Robby, the robot

    Available only from Hammacher Schlemmer, this fully animatronic remote-controlled version of Robby, the robot from the classic 1956 film Forbidden Planet stands seven feet tall. Robby is created from the same blueprints, molds, and templates used to create the original costume and made by renowned artist Fred Barton, the man commissioned to restore the original robot after its sale to a Southern California prop museum in 1970.

    Catalogs Hammacher Schlemmer Holiday Catalog Cover, The Voice Activated R2-D2

    The cover of our holiday catalog featured The Voice Activated R2-D2, a motorized replica of the headstrong little "droid" from the iconic Star Wars films. This R2 unit recognizes more than 40 verbal commands and has a motion sensor that sounds an alarm when a secured area is invaded. R2's lights, swiveling dome top, and distinctive happy and sad sounds faithfully mimic the real thing.

  • 2008

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    Hammacher Schlemmer Celebrating 160 Years

    In 2008, Hammacher Schlemmer celebrates 160 years of Innovation and providing customers with "the Best, the Only and the Unexpected." Throughout its history, Hammacher Schlemmer has focused on offering items which are the "only one that do what they do." It is this merchandising concept that gives the store its reputation as "purveyor of the unusual, provider of the unique," "a paradise for gadget hunters," and "a store as unique as its name."

    US History Barack Obama Oath of Office

    On June 3rd, Barack Obama secures the 2008 U.S. Democratic Party presidential nomination becoming the first African-American presumptive presidential candidate for a major political party. Later that year, Obama is elected as the 44th President of the United States, becoming the first African-American President.

    Extraordinary Items The Personalized Whack-A-Mole Game

    Hammacher Schlemmer introduces The Personalized Whac-A-Mole Game, the familiar arcade game that replaces the standard mole heads with molded caricatures of family members, past managers, boyfriends/girlfriends, or any desired combination of personalities. The game operates exactly like the ones found in amusement parks and carnivals--but this one comes in a walnut veneer cabinet (with hardwood inlays) that automatically opens and closes at the touch of a button. When closed, the game appears like an unassuming bookshelf. It sells for $35,000.

    Media Newspaper ad for The Only Stainless Steel Wallet

    This is a newspaper ad for The Only Stainless Steel Wallet that we introduced in 2008. The only billfold available woven from flexible stainless steel fabric, its unique material gives it a hand as smooth as silk and a strength that surpasses leather.

    Catalogs Hammacher Schlemmer Holiday Preview Catalog Cover, featuring The Classic Storefront Rocket Ride

    Our Holiday Preview Catalog pictured The Classic Storefront Rocket Ride on its front cover. An authentic unit refurbished to its original state, this classic rocket ride was usually encountered in front of supermarkets during the 1960s. Made of sturdy fiberglass, the rocket ride uses an electric motor to provide the same one-minute "traveling" motion that it provided nearly half a century ago, including gentle rising, diving, and banking left and right; the speed of motion is controlled by turning the handle bars. It sells for $10,000.

  • 2011

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    United Kingdom's first Hammacher Schlemmer Catalog

    Hammacher Schlemmer publishes its first catalog specifically for the United Kingdom. The 56-page catalog introduces Britons to our selection of the Best, the Only, and the Unexpected, such as The Best Commuter Cup, The Only Complete Swiss Army Knife, and The Magic Wand Remote Control.

    US History Steve Jobs

    On October 5, Steve Jobs, co-founder, Chairman, and CEO of Apple, Inc., lost his battle with pancreatic cancer. Jobs' introduction of the Macintosh personal computer, the iPod, and the iPhone not only spawned new industries, but changed the way people interacted with their world. According to reports, his last words, spoken hours before his death, were: "Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow."

    Extraordinary Items The Light Cycle

    In February, we introduced The Light Cycle, an illuminated, street-legal motorcycle inspired by the computer-animated cycle from the 2010 film Tron: Legacy. Electroluminescent strips built into the tire cowlings, wheel rims, and body illuminate the cycle. Powered by a fuel injected Suzuki 996cc, 4-stroke engine, each motorcycle is built to order and sells for $55,000.

    Media Family Guy spoof of Star Wars Return of the Jedi

    In a spoof of the movie Return of The Jedi by the animated television series Family Guy, Luke (Chris Griffin) steals Yoda's credit card and immediately calls Hammacher Schlemmer to place an order.

    Catalogs The 20 Foot Animatronic Triceratops

    Our Mid-Summer Supplement features The 20 Foot Animatronic Triceratops, a motion-sensing replica of the 67-million-year-old Cretaceous creature. Motion-activated cameras in its eyes recognize onlooker's facial features, triggering head bobbing, stomping and scuffing of its feet, and realistic vocalizations from its hidden 1,000-watt speaker. Crafted by professional sculptors for museum display, the massive creature can be added to a personal menagerie for $350,000.

  • 2012

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    Hammacher Schlemmer Redesigned Website

    In the same year that Hammacher Schlemmer unveils a redesigned web site featuring dramatic home page images, we introduce The Classic Manual Typewriter, reminiscent of those used to create some of the 20th century's classic literary works, and The Hand Reflexology Massager, a device that applies gentle, soothing massage to soothe sore hands.

    US History Queen Elizabeth II

    Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her Diamond Jubilee, marking 60 years since her ascension to the throne of England. She has the distinction of being the longest-lived and second-longest-reigning monarch of the United Kingdom. Her mother, Queen Elizabeth (The Queen Mother) was a regular visitor to our landmark New York store.

    Extraordinary Items The WWII era PT Boat

    Hammacher Schlemmer offers a genuine WWII era PT Boat. One of only 12 remaining in the world, the 66 year-old Patrol Torpedo Boat has been updated with modern electronics, radar, and two turbo-charged diesel engines providing 1,100 total horsepower. She is the only PT boat in existence licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard for carrying passengers. The PT boat sells for $1,000,000.

    Media Mad Men TV Reference

    On the television series Mad Men, a hotshot prospective copywriter displays a Hammacher Schlemmer ad in his portfolio to demonstrate his creativity.

    Catalogs Hammacher Schlemmer Catalog Cover, The Killer Whale Submarine

    In March, the Hammacher Schlemmer catalog cover features The Killer Whale Submarine, a watercraft that looks and behaves like a real orca, even making acrobatic leaps out of the water. The submarine can hydroplane up to 50 mph over the water's surface and it can cruise up to 25 mph while submerged. It sells for $100,000.

  • 2013

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    Hammacher Schlemmer Celebrates 165 Years at the New York Store

    In November, Hammacher Schlemmer celebrates its 165th anniversary by unveiling a completely new interior at its landmark Manhattan store. Built for us in 1926, this reimagined space now displays our signature collection of the Best, the Only and the Unexpected in open, brightly-lit showcases. A selection of extraordinary exhibits - including a killer whale submarine and a hovercraft - are suspended from the ceiling.

    US History One World Trade Center

    On May 10, the final piece of the spire is placed atop One World Trade Center (formerly know as the Freedom Tower) making it the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and the fourth-tallest skyscraper in the world. The 104-story structure rises to a symbolic height of 1,776 feet, a salute to the year the United States declared its independence from England.

    Extraordinary Items The Hot Tub Boat

    Hammacher Schlemmer offers a handcrafted boat with a hot tub for six built into its deck. An integrated diesel-powered boiler heats the tub's water while a 24-volt electric motor propels the boat up to 5 mph on calm water. The craft's hull is topped in African teaks and includes a concealed waterproof stereo system that pops up from the deck. The Hot Tub Boat sells for $42,000.

    Media November 20, 2013 Hammacher Schlemmer Day in New York City

    The unveiling of our New York store attracts a bevy of celebrities, media representatives, and dignitaries who join us for a gala celebration. The event receives extensive coverage in local, national, and social media outlets including New York Magazine, The Today Show, Fortune, and Bloomberg News. In honor of this momentous occasion, Mayor Michael Bloomberg proclaims November 20, 2013 "Hammacher Schlemmer Day."

    Catalogs Hammacher Schlemmer Catalog Cover, The Golf Cart Hovercraft

    In June, the Hammacher Schlemmer catalog cover features The Golf Cart Hovercraft, a vehicle that glides over sand traps and water hazards on a cushion of air as easily as it does over fairways and the rough. Powered by an axial-flow ducted fan that lifts the vehicle 9" off the ground without harming grass, it conveys a golf foursome and two sets of clubs at up to 45 mph. The Golf Cart Hovercraft sells for $58,000.

  • 2014

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    First Augmented Reality Catalog

    Hammacher Schlemmer introduces the first Augmented Reality Catalog, a revolutionary new way to experience our unique products. Users simply scan specially marked catalog pages with their iPad to overlay a three-dimensional image of a product, spin the item 360 degrees, play videos, and more with just a touch.

    US History U.S. and Cuba Restore Diplomatic Relations

    The United States and Cuba begin the process of restoring full diplomatic relations. Secretly negotiated with the assistance of Pope Francis, the "Cuban Thaw" eases restrictions on travel and banking, reopens embassies in Havana and Washington D.C., and permits Americans to bring back prized Cuban cigars legally for the first time in over 50 years.

    Extraordinary Items The Submarine Sports Car

    In October we introduced The Submarine Sports Car, the only car that navigates underwater realms as easily as it cruises across land. Inspired by the submarine Lotus driven by James Bond in The Spy Who Loved Me, the car floats when driven into water and submerges with the pull of a lever. The $2,000,000 battery-powered vehicle can drive for 80 miles on land and three hours underwater on a full charge.

    Media Hammacher Schlemmer's Robert Bohlin appearing on Fox News

    Hammacher Schlemmer's unique products appear in leading national publications such as Vanity Fair and Time magazine, and are featured on popular national television programs such as Fox News, Bloomberg Television, and NBC's Today Show.

    Catalogs Hammacher Schlemmer Spring Supplement Catalog Cover, The Fire Breathing Dragon

    The cover of our Spring Supplement features The Flying Fire Breathing Dragon, a remote controlled jet-powered aircraft that soars at up to 70 mph and belches flame when on the ground. The dragon's LED eyes glow red while it emits a fiery blast from a cleverly concealed (and flight-disabled) propane tank. It sells for $60,000.

  • 2015

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    The Cordless Heated Throw

    Hammacher Schlemmer continues its heritage of innovation by developing its own problem-solving products. The Cordless Heated Throw, The Hidden Storage Side Table, and The LED Foot And Hand Pain Relievers quickly become favorites among our customers.

    US History American Pharoah wins Triple Crown

    American Pharoah wins The Kentucky Derby, The Preakness, The Belmont Stakes, and the Breeders' Cup Classic. The bay colt is the first horse to capture the American Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978 and the first ever to win the "Grand Slam" of American horse racing.

    Extraordinary Items 8 Foot Tall Inflatable Rubber Duckie

    In May, we introduced an 8'-tall inflatable rubber duckie that floats in a pool or pond, or rests contentedly in a yard. Thirty times larger than the bathtub-sized species, the whopping waterfowl features the same bulbous shape and bright yellow "plumage" that has delighted children and adults alike for generations. It sells for $229.95.

    Media Impractical Jokers

    The cast of the reality series Impractical Jokers descends upon our Landmark New York store where they pose as salespeople. In a memorable scene, one of the Jokers is challenged to assist customers while continuously riding an electric scooter-which results, not surprisingly, in a comical collision.

    Catalogs The Amphibious Sub-Surface Watercraft

    The cover of our Spring Supplement features The Amphibious Sub-Surface Watercraft, a partially submersible vehicle that can be driven right off a trailer and into the water. The watercraft's two-person cockpit provides 180° surface views while an inverted acrylic hemisphere on its hull lets two additional passengers observe subaquatic environments. It sells for $350,000.

  • 2016

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    The Brightness Zooming Bed Reader's Lamp

    Hammacher Schlemmer develops two new innovative types of light: The Cordless Over the Shoulder Reading Light and The Brightness Zooming Bed Reader's Lamp, to reduce eye strain for customers no matter where they choose to read.

    US History Chicago Cubs Win the World Series

    After a 108 year drought, the Chicago Cubs came back from a 3-1 deficit to win the 2016 World Series against the Cleveland Indians. The team's victory parade is attended by over 5 million people, making it the 7th largest gathering in human history.

    Extraordinary Items The Exclusive Victorian Futurist's Electric Cycle

    In October Hammacher Schlemmer introduces the exclusive Victorian Futurist's Electric Cycle, an electric tricycle with a rocket-shaped passenger section. Evoking the spaceflight-inspired fantasy of H.G. Wells and Jules Verne, the tricycle's 500-watt electric motor provides an assisted pedaling range of up to 50 miles. It retails for $12,000.

    Media Hammacher Schlemmer's New York Store Hosts Charity Event with Daymonnd John

    In December we hosted a charity book signing with Daymond John of the hit TV show Shark Tank at our landmark Manhattan store. The proceeds benefit marginalized youth in New York City.

    Catalogs The Undersea Aquahoverer

    Our Spring catalog cover features The Undersea Aquahoverer, the easiest submersible craft to operate in the world. Requiring no more skill than driving a car, it can descend to 400' deep, with six ducted propellers that provide easy omnidirectional movement and stand-still hovering next to reefs, wrecks, and underwater species. It retails at $1,500,000.

  • 2017

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    FAO Schwarz Train Set

    Hammacher Schlemmer teams up with famed purveyor of toys FAO Schwarz to introduce the high-quality classic toys of yesteryear to a new generation. The toys include a classic ride on roadster, a 300-trick magic set, and a realistic steam locomotive train set.

    US History The Great American Eclipse

    On August 21, a total solar eclipse (nicknamed "The Great American Eclipse") is visible within a band across the entire contiguous United States of America. The first such solar eclipse in nearly a century, it is viewed by nearly 200 million Americans in some way.

    Extraordinary Items The Worlds Largest Pac-Man game

    In November, Hammacher Schlemmer introduces The Worlds Largest Pac-Man game that stands nearly 9'-tall. The enlarged console is built to enable simultaneous two-person play, recreating the glowing maze, pac dots, ghosts, and yellow chomping hero in exact detail on a 108" LED screen. It sells for $15,000.

    Media Hammacher Schlemmer on WGN TV

    In May, WGN TV gives its viewers a peek inside Hammacher Schlemmer's innovative world for a look at how our company has impacted consumers for generations. The segment highlights the many innovative products we've introduced that were originally seen as novelties but eventually became an essential part of everyday life.

    Catalogs The Flying All Terrain Vehicle

    Our Holiday Preview catalog cover features The Flying All Terrain Vehicle, a light-sport aircraft fused within a rugged military-grade all-terrain vehicle. Its 89-hp two-cylinder engine provides a top speed of 75 mph on land while its 115-hp four-cylinder flight engine and four-bladed propeller takes to the skies at an altitude up to 10,000'. It retails for $139,000.

  • 2018

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    The Two Way Live Conversation Speaking Translator

    In March, Hammacher Schlemmer unveils The Two Way Live Conversation Speaking Translator. Similar to a digital voice recorder, users simply speak into the device's microphone and their words are instantly translated to one of 12 pre-installed languages and played through the device's speaker, enabling verbal exchanges anywhere between two people who don't share a common language.

    US History Black Panther Movie

    The Marvel film Black Panther is released to wide critical acclaim and tremendous box office success. The movie garners seven nominations at the 91st Academy Awards including Best Picture-the first superhero film to receive this honor-and grosses over $1.3 billion worldwide.

    Extraordinary Items The World's Largest Illuminated Light Peg Mural

    In September, Hammacher Schlemmer offers The World's Largest Illuminated Light Peg Mural, an 8-foot mural that lets you create custom designs like the classic light box toy, but on a much grander scale. It comes with 1,418 translucent acrylic pegs in a variety of colors. The illuminated wall art sells for $15,500.

    Media The World?s Most Peculiar Company Magazine Article

    In August, Chicago Magazine profiles Hammacher Schlemmer's unique place in American history, and its status as America's longest running catalog. Titled "The World's Most Peculiar Company", the article is the magazine's most viewed of the year.

    Catalogs The Underwater Scooter

    The cover of our Summer Preview catalog cover features The Underwater Scooter, a winged vehicle that propels a swimmer on or below the water's surface up to 5 1/2 mph. With a sleek, hydrodynamic 3 1/2-foot wingspan and a powerful electric motor, swimmers glide through the water by simply tilting side-to-side or nosing down or up. It sells for $2,000.

  • 2019

    US History

    Click images to enlarge

    The United States Space Force

    The United States Space Force is established as an independent branch of the U.S. military on December 20, 2019, the first branch created since the Air Force in 1947. Its stated mission is to "organize, train, and equip space forces in order to protect U.S. and allied interests in space". Four-star general John W. "Jay" Raymond is appointed as the USSF's first Chief of Space Operations.

    Extraordinary Items 1:48 scale
      desktop model of the Command Module and Lunar Module

    In September, Hammacher Schlemmer commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Lunar Mission with a 1:48 scale desktop model of the Command Module and Lunar Module that includes a genuine Kapton foil artifact and a commemorative silver coin. Only 75 of the extremely rare pieces are made and are quickly snapped up by collectors for $799.95 each.

    Media The 15 foot inflatable Rudolph and 18 foot Frosty the Snowman on Ellen Degeneres

    Ellen Degeneres surprises her studio lot neighbor Clint Eastwood by decorating the front of his bungalow with Hammacher Schlemmer's enormous 15 foot inflatable Rudolph and 18 foot Frosty the Snowman. "This is very nice", Eastwood said as he viewed the scene with amusement from the in-studio monitor. "It's a lot better than some of the other stuff you come up with."

    Catalogs Hammacher Schlemmer Express Gifts Catalog: The Atari Star Wars Home Arcade

    The cover of our Express Gifts catalog features The Atari Star Wars Home Arcade, a retro video game that evokes the excitement of a 1980's arcade parlor at home. Players use an X-wing fighter-shaped steering yoke to master the three installed Star Wars themed games from the original Trilogy while a dual speaker sound system plays accompanying retro sound effects. It sells for $499.95.

  • 2020

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    The Light Show Face Mask

    Deemed an essential business by the U.S. government for its numerous problem-solving items and efficient online ordering, Hammacher Schlemmer makes a wide selection of air purifiers, sanitizing products, and face masks available to its nationwide customer base-including a mask that displays a colorful light show.

    US History Covid-19

    In January, the U.S. confirms the first known case of a highly contagious and deadly pneumonia-like disease that is given the name Covid-19 by the World Health Organization. On February 29, the U.S. reports the first death caused by Covid-19; by the end of the year, the U.S. death toll from the pandemic exceeds 300,000.

    Extraordinary Items The Space Saving Over The Sill Air Conditioner

    In March, Hammacher Schlemmer introduces The Space Saving Over The Sill Air Conditioner. The first of its kind, this 8,000 btu air conditioner has a unique U-shaped cabinet that simply slips over a windowsill to provide cooling breezes without blocking your view outside. It sells for $499.95.

    Media The World?s Most Peculiar Company Magazine Article

    Dozens of Hammacher Schlemmer's 18-foot-tall inflatable Frosty the snowman mysteriously appear on lawns in a Pennsylvania neighborhood, set up by an unidentified crew of teenage "elves". Although the person behind the stunt has not been revealed, none of the neighbors are complaining. "It's been kind of magical," one said, adding, "Almost like something you'd see in a movie."

    Catalogs Early Spring Catalog: The Virus Mold and Germ Destroying Air Purifier

    Our Early Spring Catalog features the Virus Mold and Germ Destroying Air Purifier. The patented device uses natural convection to silently draw airborne particles into its patented ceramic heating chamber where they are destroyed using 400° F heat, The proven technology is confirmed by an independent laboratory to eliminate up to 99% of airborne viruses, mold, and germs without making a sound.

  • 2021

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    Connoisseur's Food Department

    Hammacher Schlemmer expands its Connoisseur's Food Department which was first opened in 1939 to add a variety of fine foods from around the world. New additions to our gourmet assortment include hot cocoa bombs made with Belgian chocolate, pasta, sauces, pesto, and extra virgin olive oil from Tuscany, French pralines made from a recipe created for the court of Louis XIII in 1636, and a selection of premium caviars.

    US History COVID-19 Vaccine

    All adults in the U.S. eventually became eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine and by the end of the year, 250 million, or roughly 62% of the population, are fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. Despite this progress against the pandemic, new, highly transmissible COVID variants named Delta and Omicron cause infection rates to soar again.

    Extraordinary Items The Authentic Hot Air Balloon

    Just in time for Summer, Hammacher Schlemmer unveils The Authentic Hot Air Balloon, an 85' tall dirigible that gently takes up to four persons aloft for open air sightseeing. Its 24-gore envelope expands to its full 90,000 cubic foot capacity with the included burner and two padded 15-gallon stainless steel fuel tanks. It requires an FAA pilot's license to fly and sells for $49,000.

    Media The Art Of Walking Manhattan Sideways

    Hammacher Schlemmer's Landmark New York store is proud to be among the businesses profiled in the new book The Art Of Walking Manhattan Sideways by Betsy Bober Polivy, creator of the award-winning website In the article, she credits our store's longevity to "an uncanny ability to stay ahead of the curve while still sticking to old-fashioned notions such as personalized customer service and a lifetime guarantee". To celebrate this honor, our store hosts a book signing and complimentary wine tasting.

    Catalogs Mid-Summer Supplement: The Two Person Transparent Canoe Kayak

    The cover of our Mid-Summer Supplement features the The Two Person Transparent Canoe Kayak, a watercraft that offers paddlers an underwater vista unavailable in conventional boats. It seats two people within a sturdy see-through hull made of 6mm Lexan, the same durable material found in the cockpit canopies of supersonic fighter jets.

  • 2022

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    CBD Products

    To help those seeking an effective natural pain relief alternative to prescription drugs, Hammacher Schlemmer introduces a line of products containing CBDa Chylobinoid, a hemp-derived compound that helps reduce pain and inflammation without the psychoactive effects of THC. The products come in creams, body balm sticks, tinctures, and even gummies.

    US History James Webb Space Telescope

    On July 11, NASA releases the first scientific images from the $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope, the largest telescope in outer space. Its primary mirror consists of 18 hexagonal segments made of gold-plated beryllium, which create a light-collecting area of about 25 square meters, about six times that of the Hubble telescope.

    Extraordinary Items The Live Class Foldaway Rower

    In May, Hammacher Schlemmer introduces The Live Class Foldaway Rower, a home exercise machine with a 22" HD touchscreen that streams live, trainer-led classes through the world's most scenic waterways. It also provides access to over 3,000 on-demand workouts. When not in use the rower folds to half its size for convenient storage. It sells for $2,200.

    Media Dr. Scott Palmer

    Hammacher Schlemmer presents its first in a series of podcasts featuring Dr. Scott Palmer, who provides expert answers to questions about cannabis, hemp, CBD, Chylobinoid, and other natural pain relievers. Dr. Palmer is a board-certified physician in Internal Medicine at Rush Medical Center Chicago and medical team physician to professional sports teams, as well as Chief Medical Advisor to Chylocure.

    Catalogs The Inflatable Floating Dock

    The cover of our Mid-Summer Supplement features The Inflatable Floating Dock, a buoyant platform that tethers to a boat or anchor for spreading out one's relaxation on calm water. With a weight-bearing capacity of 1,200 lbs., its broad 40 sq. ft. surface area supports lawn chairs for swimming, relaxing, or fishing, or tools for cleaning one's boat from all sides. It sells for $599.95.

  • 2023

    Hammacher History

    Click images to enlarge

    The World's Best Prelit Noble Fir

    Hammacher Schlemmer commemorates 175 years in business by publishing a special anniversary edition of its catalog featuring The World's Best Prelit Noble Fir. A letter to our customers reveals the "secret" to our longevity: seek out the innovative, rigorously search for and test our products, back them with a lifetime guarantee, and treat customers like we would like to be treated.

    US History Taylor Swift

    Taylor Swift's The Eras Tour creates unprecedented demand and excitement in every city where she performs. She also creates a surge of new viewers for the National Football League when she begins attending Kansas City Chiefs games to watch their star tight end Travis Kelce, to whom she is romantically linked. She caps off her historic year by being named Time Magazine's Person of the Year.

    Extraordinary Items The Queen's Diamond And Silver Kilo Crown Coin

    In February, Hammacher Schlemmer unveils The Queen's Diamond And Silver Kilo Crown Coin that honors the late Queen Elizabeth II. The coin contains over a kilo of 99.9% pure silver and is encrusted with 70 hand-set diamonds on its obverse, symbolizing each year of her reign. One of only two in existence, it is struck in the shape of The Imperial State Crown HRH wore during her coronation in 1953. It sells for $30,000.

    Media Today Show

    During the Today show segment "How to create a comfy, inviting outdoor living space this summer", Hoda and Jenna are "obsessed with" The Weatherproof Pop Up Table Cooler from Hammacher Schlemmer. The top of this all-weather wicker table pops up to reveal an integrated 8-gallon cooler that keeps up to 40 12 oz. cans chilled and easily accessible. It sells for $139.95.

    Catalogs The First Smoke Capturing Kitchen Hood

    The cover of our Summer Supplement features The First Smoke Capturing Kitchen "Hood", a portable exhaust fan that captures smoke without requiring a complicated duct system. When placed in a cooking area, an activated charcoal filter neutralizes odors and a stainless-steel oil filter extracts particles from steam and protects kitchen surfaces from grease. The hood sells for $159.95.