Throwback Thursday: AHMA’s Monopoly

The May 5, 1997 issue of National Home Center News, the forerunner of HBSDealer, included a two-page spread promoting what was then known as International Hardware Week. To illustrate the new easy-to-navigate lakefront complex of McCormick Place in Chicago, the organizers of the International Hardware Week designed a Monopoly board with plenty of old hardware show references.

Squares were labeled: “Keynote Address,” “Opening Reception,” and “Retail Concepts Center,” among many others. Instead of the B&O Railroad, the board featured “The El,” referring (of course) to the famous elevated trains of the Chicago Loop.

The modified playing board was accompanied by the headline: “Just follow the simple directions.”

The American Hardware Manufacturers Association described the 1997 International Hardware Week in Chicago – combining the National Hardware Show and the National Building Product Exposition & Conference – as “the biggest in history.”

While the AHMA lost control of the National Hardware Show in 2005 (the AHMA dissolved  in early 2018) the National Hardware Show lives on under the management of Reed Exhibitions. This year’s show is set for May 7-9 in Las Vegas.

HBSDealer’s Throwback Thursday is sponsored by Schaffer Associates, a national management consulting firm specializing in executive search and organizational strategies for the hardware, home improvement, building materials, and consumer products industries. As the premier management consulting firm serving the industry, we help build organizations and leadership teams that foster corporate growth and success well into the future. Contact us at