Humble Beginnings

Lehman's store in 1955

Lehman’s store in 1955

Jay Lehman founded our company in 1955 to serve the local Amish and others without electricity. His vision was to preserve the past for future generations. “I was concerned that some day the Amish would not be able to maintain their simple ways of life because these products would no longer be available,” he said. His goal was, and still is, to provide authentic, historical products to those seeking a simpler life.

Because Jay had the foresight to look to the past for his business, he turned a one-room country hardware store into a low tech superstore. Think about it: in 1955 Disneyland opened its doors. Baseboard heat and huge automobiles were all the rage. Rebel Without a Cause was the top film; Elvis Presley was introduced to screaming fans; and the television replaced the radio as the entertainment medium of choice (Leave It to Beaver, by the way, was the top show).

It was in this climate that Jay decided to carry products that his Amish customers needed to preserve their way of life. He thought, rightly so, that one day no one would be making butter churns, apple peelers and drying racks. So, he was going to craft, stock and sell these generation-spanning products.

Current store in Kidron.

Current store in Kidron.

55 Years Later. . .

What started as a tiny hardware store employing Jay’s father, brother and sister today has become the world’s largest purveyor of historical technology.

Lehman’s ships old-fashioned, non-electric merchandise all over the world through our catalogs and website. Our diverse customer base includes missionaries and doctors working in developing countries; homesteaders and environmentalists living in remote areas; people with unreliable electricity living on islands and mountains; second home owners, hunters, fishers and cabin dwellers; the ‘chronically nostalgic,’ and even Hollywood set designers looking for historically accurate period pieces.

Our Goals for Employees

Our goal is to develop loyal and productive workers who are eager to help Lehman’s generate sufficient profits to permit continued growth for Lehman’s which will, in turn, create opportunities for employment and advancement for employees.

To build an environment of trust, it is essential that all employees openly communicates their desires and expectations, and work together in a courteous manner to resolve differences.