Ernst Hardware is established in Seattle in 1889.

  • By Staff
  • Posted 5/17/2001
  • Essay 3288
In 1889, Chas. T. Ernst establishes Ernst Hardware. Chas. Ernst engaged in plumbing and tinning. In 1907, the firm was incorporated as Ernst Hardware and Plumbing Co. and moved into 512 Pike Street in downtown Seattle.

A December 1909 issue of a Pacific Northwest magazine called The Coast described Ernst's as follows:

"This is the largest exclusive retail hardware establishment in Seattle and carries an exhaustive stock embracing all kinds of shelf and heavy hardware, plumbing supplies, hot-air, steam and hot-water heating plants, complete lines of paints, oils and builders' hardware. They are manufacturers of all kinds of sheet metal work and conduct an up-to-date plumbing department. The officers of the company are builders and prominent among those public spirited men who are interested in the growth and development of Greater Seattle.(The Coast)
The officers of the company were F. A. Ernst, president and manager; Chas. C. Ernst, vice-president; W. O. Opdycke, treasurer.

Ernst Hardware thrived for more than a century before finally going bankrupt in 1997.

Sources: The Coast Vol. 18, No. 6 (December 1909), 319; Leyla Kokmen and Lee Moriwaki, "Hard-luck Stories, Knotty Problems -- Even in Good Times," The Seattle Times, January 5, 1997, (

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