Formed in March 1996, The Hardware Companies Kollectors Klub (THCKK) is celebrating its 13th anniversary. An active collectors club, THCKK was created specifically for collectors of items from the “Golden Age of Hardware,” circa 1900-1940. Originally, the three most significant hardware companies (and their store brands) of interest to the club were Simmons (Keen Kutter), Shapleigh (Diamond Edge) and Winchester. The use of K’s in lieu of C’s in the group’s name (“Kollectors Klub”) pays homage to one of the era’s most popular brands, Simmons Hardware’s Keen Kutter.
Dedicated to preserving the heritage of these great American merchants, THCKK members collect hardware items of every sort, including tools, advertising, sporting goods, hunting and fishing gear, guns, pocket knives, locks, catalogs, store displays, promotional items and ephemera, as well as other related wares and household items sold by these companies, both retail and wholesale.
THCKK is a not-for-profit organization whose primary functions are the creation of an interactive forum and the distribution of information on vintage hardware companies such as E. C. Simmons; A. F. Shapleigh; Norvell-Shapleigh; Winchester; Winchester-Simmons; Stanley; Sargent; Hibbard, Spencer, Bartlett and Co.; Belknap and others of historical interest and the popular collectibles bearing their logos, trade slogans and those of their house brands.
Among the most highly sought after brands collectors seek out are Keen Kutter (“The Recollection of Quality Remains Long After the Price is Forgotten”), Diamond Edge (“Diamond Edge is the Quality Pledge”), and The Winchester Store (“As Good As the Gun”). Others brands that are popular with collectors include, but are certainly not limited to, Blue Grass, Oak Leaf, Van Camp, Polly Prim, Crusader and OVB, just to name a few.
Having started with 111 charter members, THCKK currently has more than 500 members representing 38 states, of which 250 members are active in the organization. Annual dues are a value at only $20, which includes three issues of the official club newsletter, “The Winchester-Keen Kutter-Diamond Edge Chronicles,” as well as access to the club’s Web site, www.thckk.org. The newsletter and the Web site feature informational articles, showcase historical items, provide updates on fakes and fantasy items, and field questions on various topics related to the collecting of hardware and the related wares of any number of hardware companies, both past and present.
For more information on THCKK, contact Barb Huhn, P.O. Box 285, Pacific, MO 63069-0285 or call 636-257-2926.