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Historic Ad - Vonnegut's Hardware
posted: Feb. 08, 2024

This historic ad for Vonnegut's Hardware store appeared in 1952. With Vonnegut's mentioned in this issue's Things I Remember - by Edna Hague Roberts, this seemed like the perfect historic ad for this issue.
Mother's Day. Hardware store. Hmmm. I guess nothing says I Love You Mom like a 6 quart covered sauce pan from the local hardware store!
Vonnegut's Hardware was located at 803 Broad Ripple Avenue, where MyEyeDr. (and Ossip Optometry for decades) is today. Kurt's great-grandfather Clemens Vonnegut founded the hardware store in downtown Indianapolis back in 1851. In 1952 there were ten stores in the chain.
My great grandfather John E. Hague (Edna's father) worked at the downtown store for 24 years. My grandfather Girstle Hague also worked at the downtown store briefly. Both lived in Broad Ripple.
My father (John D.) recalls, "My Grandfather, John E. Hague, worked at the downtown Vonneguts warehouse for many years. He operated which was then a very "high tech" machine called a TeleAutograph Machine. With this machine, he wrote orders on a steel tablet with a stylus connected to a pantograph-like contraption and his handwriting was sent by phone wires to the warehouse to fill the orders. He could not see what he was writing and had to imagine the format he was using. I remember visiting him down there and he would allow me to use the TeleAutograph and I had great difficulty in writing anything that was well placed, well spaced, and legible on the output page."

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