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Janney, Semple, Hill & Co Bicycle History (Minneapolis)

Janney Hardware was located on 1st Ave S at 2nd St in downtown Minneapolis just a block from the Mississippi during the 1950s. They were a purveyor of all kinds of sporting equipment.

Janney Hardware A photo from 1869 in the Hennepin County Library collection (www.hclib.org/pub/search/MplsPhotos/mphotosAction.cfm?subject=Signs) shows a view of Hennepin Ave with the Janney and Moles hardward Store.

According to Horace B. Hudson, Thomas B. Janney started Janney, Brooks & Eastman, a general hardware store, in 1875. In 1884 the business became Janney, Semple & Company. The name changing finally halted with Janney, Semple, Hill & Company in 1898. In the early 20th century, Janney was the largest wholesale hardware in the northwestern United States. (A Half Century of Minneapolis)

The building was torn down in the late 1950s and I believe the hardware store went out of business at the same time. The Semple family mansion is located on Franklin and LaSalle just south of downtown. The Hill library is located in St. Paul. Hill was a local railroad magnate.

Janney bicycles were likely made by Evans Colson and then labeled for sale at Janney.

A Half Century of Minneapolis, Edited by Horace B. Hudson, Minneapolis, The Hudson Publishing Company, 1908.


Janney Admiral Admiral
Janney unknown
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