The World’s Most Peculiar Company


#TIA – The world hasn’t gone completely nuts if Hammacher-Schlemmer is still around. And there’s somebody who can spell it.

“When I was growing up, my family, like many others, got the Hammacher Schlemmer catalog delivered to our apartment. We never actually ordered anything from it, but I liked to daydream about belonging to a family who did. Whereas my real parents’ mail-order shopping was limited to the occasional windbreaker from Lands’ End, my imaginary Hammacher mom and dad purchased hovercraft, personal submarines, and giant floating trampolines with abandon. They knew how to party.

Between 1983 and 2005, there was a Hammacher Schlemmer store at the foot of Tribune Tower on Michigan Avenue. I remember gawking outside, thinking that the stones and bricks embedded in the building’s façade—Colonel McCormick’s prized samples from the Great Pyramid, Notre Dame Cathedral, and beyond—were just part of the store’s inventory. After all, if anyone were going to sell a section of the Parthenon, it would be Hammacher Schlemmer.”

Read more at Chicago Magazine