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Until we bought this hardware, it had been stored in a New York warehouse
where it had been shipped from Sweden just before the Second World War.
The Swedish manufacturers, August Stenman A.B., were concerned that
Sweden would be overrun by German troops and requested that their New
York distributor, a Swedish emigrant, store their finished product inventory
until Europe settled down. The New York distributor agreed, and the
Swedish warehouses were cleared of finished product inventory and it
was all shipped to New York.
When the air had cleared nearly a decade later, the American economy
had changed and hardware demand patterns had changed with it. As a result,
this hardware lay untouched in wooden crates in a New York warehouse
for 60 years.
This basic hardware is well made. Most of the hinges are unfinished
steel. Of particular note is the hardware that is hot-dipped galvanized
with bronze pins. Designed for marine use, it has the near-magical quality
of replating itself when damaged. As long as a few salt molecules and
moisture are present, it will repair scratches electrolytically until
it has been scratched to the point that no galvanized finish remains.
The bronze pins minimize the abrasion in the high-wear area between
the knuckles and pins.
A small quantity of the hardware came from Stenman's British factory
(Nettleford-Stenman, Cardiff Works) and a tiny amount of it is of later
Japanese manufacture, but the vast majority of it comes from the shiploads
that cleared those Swedish warehouses in the late 1930s. In general,
this hardware is of better quality and at substantially better prices
than similar hardware available today. Please note, there may be some
minor surface rust that can be removed.
There are several unusual items in the loose-pin styles. The hinges
with the cranked pins that were widely used on the stages of Europe
and North America, for scenery in particular, allowed scenery to be
quickly assembled and equally quickly disassembled. These hinges are
also useful for removable gates and doors as well as for knock-down
enclosures, as are all of the loose-pin styles.
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