San Diego Hardware searches for details on mystery woman in 1892 photo

Owners of San Diego Hardware search information about the model in historic “Hardware Lady” photograph.

SAN DIEGO – As San Diego Hardware Company prepares for their 125th anniversary, the owners are on a mission to identify a woman shown in one of the company’s first advertisements.

The owners are searching for details on the model shown in a historical photograph.  The mystery woman has been an icon for the store for 125 years, but no one knows who she is.

The model’s dress is styled with keys, locks and chains, and a small wood burning stove hangs from her waist. Her crown is also made of spoons, clothespins and other hardware items.

They are asking San Diegans for feedback on this woman’s history and details such as her name, any living relatives, etc. If you know anything about her, send an email to

A veritable fixture in San Diego since its founding in 1892, the store is the oldest business in the city still owned by its founding family, one of the founding members of the Chamber of Commerce.