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    Baird Hardware- Outboard Motors Baird Hardware - Outboard Motors
Baird Hardware, founded by Eberle Baird, was one of the most important businesses in Gainesville for more than 90 years. Formed in 1890 and liquidated in 1981, it was the largest hardware house in Florida in 1900. Baird's started in one building on the east side of the Courthouse Square but eventually occupied most of the block. Note the Johnson outboard motors, called “kickers,” displayed on the right. According to Melanie Barr, in "History of Baird Hardware Company Gainesville Florida," Baird's was the sole distributor for the Johnson Outboard Motor Company for the State of Florida from the mid-1920s to 1936 when Johnson began selling directly to retailers. (click image to view larger size)