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  • #16
    Re: Old days

    In the old days, there was a lumber store in Alexandria that was a wonderland for me as a Kid. I used to love going there with Dad. They had rough lumber and 2xX's for wall building. You could order what you wanted if they didn't have it on hand, including trim. Not far from there was a plumber's supply that was very nifty, too. All kinds of valves, pipe in assorted sizes and lengths, and everything needed to weld it all together. Both places had very helpful people that would get you what you needed and help you figure out how to put things together. Then there was a place where all the heating supplies could be had. All these specialty places with the right people with the right knowledge and the willingness to help you out with the right pieces and products. I miss those places.

    These days, there are a couple mills nearby here (I'm out in the boonies) that will sell rough lumber and there are still the specialty plumbing supply houses, but mostly places only want to sell to the pro's and the homeowner/do-it-yourselfer can't purchase from them. I understand that in some ways (let the pro's do the plumbing the RIGHT way, etc), but sometimes a homeowner knows what they're doing! My Mom can even rewire a washing machine as well as figure the CFM requirement for a heating/cooling system. Sure is nice when you can do it yourself and do it right. Ah well...there's always the opportunity to buddy-up to one of the pro's in the area and get the supplies through them.
    I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

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    • #17
      Re: Old days

      Sandy you are probably thinking of Smoot Lumber Company and Harrison Brothers Plumbing supply.

      Smoot is still there but in a much bigger wharehouse. Come back. I'm sure they'd love to see you again. Harrison's Bros. been gone 20 years now.

      When I get wood I get it from Smoot. Best quality (but highest price) anywhere around here.

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      • #18
        Re: Old Days

        PC

        The oak flooring in many houses near me came from Smoot. That's one famous lumber yard for you. I remember Harrison Brothers too and it's sad they are history now. I'm sure it hurts you more than me, but they were a great plumbing supply house.
        Last edited by Woussko; 11-06-2007, 06:53 PM.

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        • #19
          Re: Old days

          Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
          Sandy you are probably thinking of Smoot Lumber Company and Harrison Brothers Plumbing supply.

          Smoot is still there but in a much bigger wharehouse. Come back. I'm sure they'd love to see you again. Harrison's Bros. been gone 20 years now.

          When I get wood I get it from Smoot. Best quality (but highest price) anywhere around here.

          That's great to hear about Smoot. I hope the people are still as helpful as they were. Sad about Harrison Brothers though. A good part of the plumbing in our homes (Alex., later Reston, and even some in Calvert County, MD) came from there. Thanks for putting the names in there, crack!
          I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

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          • #20
            Re: Old days

            Yep I remember Jenks. Back in the day they were the best hardware store in D.C....(omg I sound like my grandfather)

            I bought my very first power tool there in 1982

            of course it was a Milwaukee sawzall

            They are over "in the hood" tucked away in northeast D.C. now.

            I don't even go into that part of town anymore. The theives have mastered the art of breaking into workvans even with a master deadbolt lock

            Lisa were you a local girl at one time? How do you know about Jenks?

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            • #21
              Re: Old days

              Thompson & Cooke, Inc. --- Kenilworth Ave. Bladensburg, MD

              Do any of you remember that place? If yes, what did they sell? I sure remember them and a good many of the good staff that worked there. Now as best as I know (need to take a run over that way) it's either just an empty building or something else has come along. Down near The Peace Cross used to be the old Black & Decker Industrial power tool service center. I loved how they had the manuals and parts list from waaaaaaaay back. Woussko has a thing for antique-vintage hand and powe tools.
              Last edited by Woussko; 11-06-2007, 10:05 PM.

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              • #22
                Re: Old days

                I'm probably near the top of the age here, so my early experience was mostly at the locally owned lumber yard. In the Binghamton, NY area that meant Whipples, although I recall a couple of smaller lumber mills. It was probably in the mid to late 60's when Grosman's came it. It was the first "self-help" lumber/DIY store in the area. It wasn't particularly popular, as I recall, but did serve for those Saturday afternoons when the other places were closed. Nobody was open on Sunday!

                As was mentioned earlier, most places 'specialized' in the market they served. You went to a plumbing supply house, of which there were several in our area. For electrical, most people went to Wehle, I believe.

                Tools for the particular trades were usually sold at the supply houses, but you could always bet on Sears for a wealth of things. Other than that, there were quite a few "Mom and Pop" stores of every kind (from groceries to nuts and bolts). Paint specialty stores were plentiful, as were rugs companies, tile and flooring centers, etc. Back then, you received knowledgeable service, but there really wasn't much in the way of "return policies". You pretty much settled on a decision, even it took the help of a knowledgeable sale person (they were either knowledgeable or they didn't work there); because, once you went out the door with your purchase, that was usually the end of the transaction.

                One should also know that there simply wasn't the variety of power tools that are available today. Hand tools were still the mainstay of many trades people and although power tools were certainly plentiful, there was a greater variety of hand tools.

                For plumbing, we still threaded pipe with a manual die and a 3-legged pipe vise, had a lead pot, calking rope and irons, and a large variety of other plumbing tools. For carpentry he must have had a dozen different hand saws and hammers, chisels, planes, rasps, etc. I think my Dad went through most of his work life with a single circular saw, a couple of power drills, and a sabre saw. He had several tool boxes though, crammed full of hand tools.

                CWS

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                • #23
                  Re: Old days

                  We had lumber yards for lumber and harware stores for everything from ammo to hinges. To this day I find myself heading over to Newhall Hardware when none of the new places has anything worth buying. As a matter of fact they still thread up to 4" pipe for anyone who does not own their own equipment.

                  Mark
                  "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                  I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

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                  • #24
                    Re: Old days

                    Most of the hardware stores around here had lumber, so thats where we wend. If we needed something special we went to Grossman's lumber yard, they were the Home Depot of the 80's. Sadly they are gone, except for a few outlet (junk) stores.

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                    • #25
                      Re: Old days

                      Originally posted by Lisa_PA
                      Does anyone know of good history books about the last 50 years of living in the USA and all the changes? I'm just not old enough for most of this.
                      History books, some of us still see the last 50-years as current-events.

                      Mark
                      "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                      I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Re: Old days

                        Here is an EVEREADY size D cell that's almost 65 years old. Most of the time it's been sitting on a shelf. Does anyone remember seeing one like it? I have a few from the 1950s as collector items but they have a newer label design on them.

                        Here is some history about Eveready and Energizer. This tells about the beginning days.
                        http://www.energizer.com/company/companyhistory.asp
                        Attached Files
                        Last edited by Woussko; 11-17-2007, 11:30 PM.

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