Antique Hardware Store Screw and Bolt Cabinet c.1900
An antique octagonal hardware store screw and bolt rotating cabinet with porcelain handles and original stenciled details and product size. 96 triangular pull out drawers. These cabinets could be found in any hardware store across America at the turn of the 20th century.
CREATOR American Bolt & Screw Case Company.
DATE OF MANUFACTURE c.1903.
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES Oak, Porcelain.
CONDITION Good. Wear consistent with age and use. Wear throughout. Partial trim missing.
DIMENSIONS H 42 in. x W 27 in. x D 27in., Drawers: H 2.5 in. W 7.25 in. D 6.5 in.
By the 1900s, the American Bolt & Screw Case Company’s wooden organizational cabinets could be found in catalogs across the country. Available in a variety of sizes from small table top models to versions that were five feet tall, it wasn’t until 1902 that the 72 drawer model currently found at Past and Present Home Gallery was designed and patented in 1903 by George W. Chaffin of Dayton, Ohio.
His design was unique in that the eight-sided fixture rotated on an octagonal base around a vertical axis. In addition to this, it also featured the construction of triangular shaped drawers for extra compartments which accommodated the many different sizes of mass-produced bolts and screws. Once built, each compartment was adorned with two carefully stenciled numbers that correlated with the measurements of whichever products lay inside. This layout proved to be incredibly successful as the rotating caddy allowed customers to easily search for their desired hardware; not to mention that its compact size was both convenient and took up little space in already crowded stores.