Then & Now: Thomas Hardware Store, Gaithersburg

Looking at old photographs is like peering through an open window back into history. Not only do they give you a sense of wonder from traveling back in time, but also a staggering feeling of awe from seeing just how much things have changed. For this post, I have used one of Lewis Reed’s original photographs for “then” and a Google Maps street view image from today for “now”.

Thomas Hardware Store (THEN): This photo was taken by Lewis Reed when the first system of water mains and sewers were installed by the WSSC in Gaithersburg, circa 1926-1928. The store in the background is the Thomas Hardware Store, originally built and operated by Thomas Iraneous Fulks. The water pipes to be laid are resting by the side of the road. The child on the right in the photograph is Lewis Reed’s daughter, Mary Jane (Reed) Gartner.

T. I. Fulks was a businessman and farmer. He worked as a bookkeeper for the Gaithersburg Milling and Manufacturing Company and then opened a hardware store at 219 East Diamond Avenue.

Thomas Hardware Store Gaithersburg

Thomas Hardware Store, originally built and operated by Thomas I. Fulks. Photo by Lewis Reed, ca. 1928

Thomas Hardware Store Location (NOW): The same view 90 years later.  The old hardware store is enclosed in the present brick building (Gaithersburg Rental Center) at 219 East Diamond Avenue.

Thomas Hardware Store

219 East Diamond Avenue today

Source: Gaithersburg: History of a City

 

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About Reed Brothers

I am a co-owner of the former Reed Brothers Dodge in Rockville, Maryland. Lewis Reed, the founder of Reed Brothers Dodge was my grandfather. We were a family-owned and operated car dealership in Rockville for almost a century. I served in the United States Air Force for 30 years before retiring in the top enlisted grade of Chief Master Sergeant in July 2006. In 2016, I received the Arthur M. Wagman Award for Historic Preservation Communication from Peerless Rockville for documenting the history of Reed Brothers Dodge in both blog and book format. This distinguished honor recognizes outstanding achievement by writers, educators, and historians whose work has heightened public awareness of Rockville’s architectural and cultural heritage, growth and development.

One response to “Then & Now: Thomas Hardware Store, Gaithersburg”

  1. Patrick Kernan says :

    Bringing water inside via pipes! Radical idea…but a fabulous one.

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