Disclaimer: This section was created to share a bit of family history. Although it does not include any postcards, there are some interesting pictures!
Fischer's Appliance evolved from a small wallpaper and paint store that was owned and operated by Michael C. Mohr, my mother's maternal grandfather. The store was in the basement of a building on Market Street, which is now torn down. On the ground floor of the building was a bar and on the second floor was an apartment where my mother lived with her parents, Henry and Martha Fischer. In the same building (and next to the bar) was a bowling alley and pool hall, which was also owned and operated by the Mohr family.
Martha inherited her father's store upon his death in March 1941. Martha and Henry continued to operate the store and slowly began offering appliances for sale. Business was slow during the World War II era due to war effort restrictions on the use of metal, which impacted the manufacture of appliances. Once the war ended, business expanded significantly.
Upon relocating to the Pittsburgh area from Kentucky, Henry Fischer originally worked for Schenley Distillery but then moved on to a job in the circulation department at the Pittsburgh Press. As Fischer's Appliance became more successful, Henry resigned from the Pittsburgh Press and worked full time at the store, which had moved to a new (and final) location at 205 Fifth Street in the late 1940's or early 1950's. Martha continued to work in the store for a while, but Henry eventually hired several employees including Joe Skyzinski, who purchased the business upon Henry's death in 1963. Also working at the store were Erwin Davis and Jim Finnan, who performed appliance repairs both at the store and on house calls. Erwin Davis was the son of Lil Davis (unrelated to Martha or Henry but affectionately referred to by the family as Aunt Lil).
As a community minded person, Henry frequently sold appliances on credit without charging any interest. He also helped people living near the river whose appliances were at risk of damage during times of flooding. In these instances, his staff would move the impacted appliances to garage space that he rented until the flooding subsided.
Fischer's Appliance storefront at 205 Fifth St., Freeport, PA
Henry Fischer (right) and Jim Finnan in the basement of Fischer's Appliance.
Martha Fischer (right) assisting a customer at Fischer's Appliance.