The Hardware Stores Of Yesteryear


I love old photographs. They illustrate a time and place now extinct, that often exist only in the memories of those who were there. I also love tools, so when Garage Gazette member Penncraft shared some photos of some hardware stores in the 1950’s, I was pretty intrigued.

In this day and time big boxes like Lowe’s and Home Depot have left much of America devoid of the independent hardware stores we grew up with. While it’s nice to have everything in the world under one roof, the level of service and personal relationships upon which the independent stores thrived is sorely missed.

Below are some photographs from the 1950’s. Check out the links for some additional bits of hardware nostalgia.

Old Hardware 2

Old Hardware 1


Old Hardware 4

Old Hardware 3


Edward Andrus: 1950’s Hardware Stores

If you have any links to photos like this, feel free to share them in the comments section!


  1. The last local hardware store around here closed a few months ago. Now they are called Great Lakes Ace Hardware. I hate to see them go but they started to carry really junky tools now that its Ace the quality of stuff carried seems to be higher. When the first Home Depot opened that’s when the independent stores closed. It took Lowes a little big longer to open a store in Michigan. We are also getting a Menards in our city now. I kind of like the old hardware store look.

  2. I am from a very small town in Indiana. We still have a small town grocery/hardware store called Negangards Corner. The building is very small, but the owner is a master at storage. It is a true one-stop shop. You can get diapers, lunchmeat and cheese, pop, lotto tickets, #15 lb roofing felt, nails, canning supplies, carb for an old tractor, and you used to be able to cash a paycheck there. Amazing!

  3. Heck my local ACE store which dates back 40 years still looks like those pics. Packed to the brim, I can find things there that I can’t find at my Lowe’s or Home Depot


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