Hammacher and Schlemmer began their business 167 years ago, 13 years before the Civil War. Setting up shop in New York City's bowery district in Manhattan, this unique little hardware store changed the landscape of the city, offering fine quality hardware that was not easy to come by in those days. Initially, 12-year-old Michael Schlemmer sold his tools in front of a hardware store owned by his uncle. Learning the business from the bottom up, he then joined with Alfred Hammacher and together bought out the Schlemmer uncle's interest in the hardware store in 1867. Scores of salespeople were sent across the country to sell unique merchandise. The refrain became "if you can't find it, look at Hammacher and Schlemmer," a phrase that's a true today as ever.