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Scooters and Toy Car

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 around 1900. Baird's was particularly known for carrying everything under the sun, and this photograph seems to capture that. Toy cars, scooters of all sizes, and a child's wagon are seen displayed across the top of the display cabinets, electric fans are on the counter on the right, and a deer trophy is on the left (probably that wasn't for sale-but everything that the hunter might need was). The floors were wooden and squeaked as customers walked around. Baird's had a large step-on scale in the back of the store, and they welcomed folks to weigh themselves for free; at that time, Baird's was the only place in town to do this, and it was an excellent pull to bring people in and take them through the store-it was almost impossible to walk through without seeing something you needed. (click image to view larger size)