The Robert Larson Company was incorporated in 1981, but has a long history leading up to that occasion.
In the late 1800’s Herman Shwarz, a tinsmith by trade, opened H. Shwarz Co. in Napa, California. This hardware store served the entire community, including the fledgling wine industry located in the Napa Valley.
Workers at the H. Shwarz Co. included Herman’s three sons – Gilbert, David, and Max. The dapper fellow in the back with a vest and hat is Max. He is the grandfather of Robert Larson.
At the same time that H. Shwarz company was growing in Napa, the Larson Furniture and Hardware store was opening in Vallejo – a short distance away. The proprietor in the picture is Charles Larson, the other grandfather of Robert Larson.
Charles’ son Harry married Max’s daughter Minnie – and what else should the newly married couple do? Of course they bought and operated a hardware store in San Francisco. They purchased Seabright Hardware in 1949 and operated it successfully for many years.
Robert Larson purchased Seabright Hardware after the death of his father in 1975. Prior to becoming the new proprietor of Seabright Hardware he had been a teacher of industrial arts woodworking. Frustrated with the lack of quality tools available to the retailer, he searched the world for quality woodworking tools. Seabright Hardware closed it’s doors in 1981, the same year in which the Robert Larson Company was incorporated.
Another generation of this hardware family now works in the company, Robert’s daughter Mary Young