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Belknap Hardware & Mfg. Co. - Louisville, KY







William Burke Belknap founded this historic hardware company in 1840, along the banks of the Ohio River in Louisville, Kentucky.  It started humbly in a small shop that produced iron products, such as horse and mule shoes, nails, spikes and other forged items.

The first building was a three-story brick on the corner of Third and Main with three employees.  It developed into a mega store where you could order everything from building materials and hardware items to furniture and toys.  At one time it even carried jewelry and furs. 

When Belknap celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1940, it had grown to a complex of 37 buildings, covering 37 acres of floor space under one roof. It had underground passageways and covered bridges.  Belknap Hardware and Manufacturing was among the nation's largest wholesale enterprises with nationally recognized quality brands.

On the centenary of its funding, in 1940, the Belknap Hardware & Manufacturing Co. of Louisville, KY, commissioned an artist to render a sketch of the company's facilities along the Ohio River.  That sketch of "The World's Largest Hardware Plant" hardly does justice to the place.

Hardware Age, May 1886

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