We’ve been making and selling hardware for roughly 78 years now. Our product line and the way we do things has changed with the times. In the beginning we primarily sold hardware out of the basement in Berlin, CT, to antique dealers from the northeast who knew my great grandparents. By the late 1940’s we had expanded a fair bit and produced our first printed catalogs. I still have some of these books, and the earliest ones were mimeographed. Unfortunately, the smell is long gone!
Time passed and moved to our current Cromwell location in 1964. The catalog at the time was a bit different, but still pretty similar-no more mimeographed copies though.
Throughout the 1960’s, 70’s, and 80’s, mail order was our primary business-but we still did a lot of showroom business. Heck, at one point we were open Saturdays (oh, the humanity!). With this in mind, our catalog style tended towards very utilitarian. Plain simple photos designed to give the details you needed when working on antique piece of furniture, and by the late 80’s, increasingly, on new reproduction pieces made by companies like D.R. Dimes, J.L Treharn, and Eldred-Wheeler.
In 1996, we introduced our first color catalog (thanks Mom).
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a color picture might be worth 2,000. The color catalog was a huge leap, and brought us into the 20th century, right in the end. And this worked, our catalog showed you exactly what we had and how it worked. Still, very utilitarian. Incidentally, 1996 was a big year-it was the year we launched our very first website-which at the time was essentially a catalog online-no e-commerce functionality.
Throughout the rest of the 90’s and into the 2000’s, our style was essentially unchanged. Head on pictures of hardware mounted on wooden boards, as much as we could squeeze on a page. It was simple, attractive, and easy to use. But…sometimes things have to change. Our products are beautiful, functional, authentic, and made to last a lifetime. They have style, and increasingly, come from the design world. The style needs to change. We have been working at changing our presentation for a while now, but we never had the pictures we wanted. Enter Pablo. Pablo is our web guy/designer/photographer/art director. He figured it out. Below are several samples from our upcoming catalog, tentatively numbered 79-for our 79th year in business.