One of the oldest images of New York City is a photograph of the Upper West Side of Manhattan taken in 1848. The photo depicts a house in the middle of a hill surrounded by a picket fence — a far-cry from the towering skyscrapers and bright lights of today. This was the New York City of a young German immigrant named Charles Tollner. In the same year the photo was taken, Tollner opened a small hardware store in the nearby Bowery district, laying the foundation of what would eventually become Hammacher Schlemmer — the nation’s oldest catalog and an American historical treasure.

A Brief History of Online Shopping

In the days before online shopping, people looked through Hammacher’s catalog for nifty and innovative items unavailable anywhere else. From the electric razor to the steam iron, Hammacher Schlemmer introduced generations of Americans to inventions that soon became common household appliances.

These days, the company is most known for its unique items for gadget lovers and novelty seekers. Flipping through a Hammacher Schlemmer catalog or visiting their website will yield such gems as The Human Bowling Ball and The Only Seven Person Tricycle.

Hammacher Schlemmer: The Human Bowling Ball   Hammacher Schlemmer: The Only Seven Person Tricycle

Photo Credits: Hammacher Schlemmer

The Shift to Online Database App

Hammacher Schlemmer built its legacy by offering one-of-a-kind products. However, Hammacher’s Vice President of Marketing, Henry Coleman, knew that the company shouldn’t rest on its laurels. As an experienced business leader, Coleman constantly searches for new ways to connect and engage with customers. Coleman started looking for a database platform that could effectively bring the company’s 169-year legacy into today’s ultra-digital era by connecting data silos across the organization. After trying several platforms, Coleman discovered Caspio and immediately started building vital applications to track and analyze sales performance and inventory data.

With no coding experience, Coleman built powerful database applications using Caspio’s visual point-and-click application builder. The all-in-one platform provides Coleman with everything he needs to capture data, share information and automate business processes.

“We’ve been a client for 10 years,” says Coleman. “The platform is straightforward, cost-effective and you can do some really impressive things.”

Looking for ways to transform your business operations so you can leave a lasting legacy? Sign up for a free Caspio trial today.

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