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Schneiders Hardware Celebrates its 100th Year Downtown

WEST ORANGE, NJ — Schneider’s Hardware celebrates its 100th Anniversary as a West Orange business this year. It is currently operated by third generation owners Roger and Gerald Schneider. The business was started by their grandfather Isadore in 1923 and was passed on to his son Lee, the brothers’ father.


They were recognized for their service with proclamations presented by Mayor Susan McCartney and Shana Melius of Congressmen Donald Payne’s office.


McCartney read from the proclamation:


Whereas, Schneider’s hardware opened their doors on Main Street in West Orange in 1923, and have been serving this community ever since. Roger and Gerald Schneider are being recognized today for the 100 years of service.


Their grandfather, Isadore Schneider, worked at a knife sharpening business in Newark. He had a third grade education and only one eye as a result of an injury. He spoke only Yiddish, and according to Roger, there were five other hardware stores in the area that we’re doing good business.


Lee Schneider, Roger and Gerald’s father, started working at his father’s store as a teenager in 1930s when he returned from serving in the United States Navy during World War II. He didn’t take very many vacations either. Roger and Gerald said Lee Schneider never pressured his sons to take over the store. Both began their own careers. Gerald as a banker in Connecticut, and Roger working for Magnatech industrial services, selling electrical supplies.


Gerald shared “I’m glad I came back to West Orange in 1983.” Roger returned to the store seven years later in 1990, and they worked with their father until he retired in 1997. Lee Schneider died in 2002.


According to Roger, “The main reason Schneider Hardware has managed to stay open and active for 100 continuous years is the number of unique items they carried, including plumbing and lock ware for older homes, of which there are many in our area.”


“They’ve been so active in our community. It sets an example,” Mayor McCartney said in an interview. She continued, “They’ve established themselves as a reliable place to go. There’s always a steady stream of traffic there. That’s what we strive for on our Main Street corridor, and they’ve built that up their base.”


Roger and Gerald have been both active volunteers with West Orange Chamber of Commerce, the Lions Club, the Rotary Club and other organizations in town, which have been important to both of them personally into the business.


McCartney concluded, “West Orange is as important to them as they are to West Orange.”


By Joseph Fagan & Elise Phillips Margulis

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