Hibbard, Spencer, Bartlett & Company

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Hibbard, Spencer, Bartlett & Company Soundex Code H163

Partners were: William Gold Hibbard, Franklin Fayette Spencer and Adolphus Clay Bartlett

On the 75th Anniversary of HSB, the book, Seventy - five Years of Hibbard Hardware, was privately printed covering the history of the company to that point. Here is a link to an archived book from 1930 that describes in detail the history of the company: https://archive.org/details/seventyfiveyears00kell

Author: Kelly, Fred C. (Fred Charters), 1882-1959

Subject: Hibbard, Spencer, Bartlett & Co., Inc., Chicago; Hardware

Publisher: [Chicago]

Possible copyright status: Public domain. Published 1923-1963 with notice but no evidence of copyright renewal found in Stanford Copyright Renewal Database. Contact digicc@library.illinois.edu for information.

Language: English

Call number: 1129419

Digitizing sponsor: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Book contributor: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Collection: university_of_illinois_urbana-champaign; americana

Time Line

Hibbard, Spencer, Bartlett & Company

1853-54 Brown, Tuttle Co. Hardware, Michigan Ave. * William Gold Hibbard, salesman

1855 Tuttle, Hibbard Co. Hardware, Michigan Ave.* William Gold Hibbard joined Tuttle

1857 First Fire destroyed hardware building

1860 Tuttle, Hibbard Co., 62 Lake Street

1864 Adolphus Clay Bartlett started employment as a janitor

1865 Hibbard, Spencer & Co., 92-94 Michigan Avenue

1871 Great Chicago Fire, second HSB building destroyed. William Gold Hibbard resumed temporary business at his home at 1701 Prairie Avenue. Hibbard’s home was open not only to his firm, but for all friends whose families needed shelter.

1872 Hibbard, Spencer Co. 16-32 Lake Street

1882 Hibbard, Spencer, Bartlett & Co. * A.C. Bartlett joined the firm William Hibbard-President; Franklin Spencer-Vice President; A.C. Bartlett-Secretary

1903, Franklin Fayette Spencer 1817-1890, and Adolphus Clay Bartlett 1845-1922·1902 Cruso Brand introduced by William Gold Hibbard * Revenoc & Hibbard Brands also introduced in the early 1900s

1903 Hibbard, Spencer, Bartlett & Co., State St. Bridge * Built a fire proof 10-story building, condemned in 1924

1925 Hibbard, Spencer Bartlett & Co, 211 East Water St

1930 Hibbard, Spencer, Bartlett & Co *Celebrated their 75th Anniversary.

1932 True Value Brand was introduced

1943 The US Army Air Force took over the building briefly

1948 Hibbard, Spencer,Bartlett & Co., Evanston Ill.* New Modern Building

1962 Hibbard, Spencer, Bartlett & Co. was sold to John Cotter & Co. for the True Value Brand Name

Hibbard, Spencer, Bartlett & Co. had a large selection of hardware, tools, cutlery, paints, sporting goods and many more items with different brand names to choose from. They also offered many advertised give-away items for their many merchants to distribute.

Some Hibbard, Spencer, Bartlett & Co. Trade Marks include: O.V.B. (Our Very Best), Hibbard, Cruso, Revonoc, U.S.A., (Universal Satisfaction Guaranteed), AJAX, IL-A-NOY, True Value, Stand-By, Lady Hibbard, and Chrysolite (enameled ware).

During the 1883-1920’s, Sandusky Plane Co. manufactured molding and plowplanes for H.S. B. & Co. The planes were marked A.C. Bartlett, Ohio. In the1920s, Stanley Tool manufactured the Gage Plane for H.S.B. & Co. and marked them with the OVB logo.

In the later years, HSB & Co. also sold Keen Kutter razor blades and pocket knives, Marbles hunting knives, and Winchester flashlights as found in their catalogs.

From the front page of the Hardware Merchandiser, Vol. 13, No. 12, December 1962, Cotter Buys Hibbard, Spencer, Bartlett's Hardware Business Chicago

Hibbard Spencer, Bartlett and Co. is leaving the hardware business

The rapidly growing Cotter & Co. organization is purchasing its wholesale hardware division. Cotter is acquiring the True Value trade-marks, all of the inventories, certain of the accounts receivable and other assets of Hibbard's hardware operations. According to a joint announcement issued by O.W. Ahl, president of Hibbard, Spencer, Bartlett and Co. and John M. Cotter, president of Cotter & Co., the purchase price is approximately $2 million. The sale is subject to the approval of the shareholders of Hibbard. A special meeting has been called for December 5, 1962 and the transaction is scheduled to be completed on January 2, 1963. Cotter & Co. has formed a wholly-owned subsidiary, Cotter T-V Hardware Co. to serve a selected group of Hibbard's retail hardware dealers after the sale. As part of the agreement, Cotter will lease approximately 280,000 sq. feet of space in Hibbard's warehouse in Evanston, ILL, and will acquire a leasehold interest in Hibbard's present St. Louis warehouse.

Commenting on Hibbard, Spencer, Bartlett and Co.'s future plans, Mr. Ahlsaid, "We will be completely out of the hardware business. We will devote ourselves to real estate and other interests.


Daniel Depue Cougle, Salesman