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BLONDER CO.

BLONDER CO., one of the largest dealers in wallpapers and paints, was established in 1918 as the Milner-Blonder Co. by Nathan Milner and Harry Blonder. Milner had been a cigarmaker and Blonder a paperhanger; both lived on E. 37th St. near Woodland.

The original store, at 2695 E. 55th St., sold paint, varnish, and paperhanging supplies--wholesale and retail. The company was incorporated in 1922, and its name changed to the Blonder Co. about 1929. Its new headquarters, with what was considered Ohio's largest and finest wallpaper showrooms, opened at 3950 Prospect Ave. in 1940 and the E. 55th store was converted into the company's warehouse. By the 1950s the Blonder Co. was the nation's 6th largest wholesaler of wallpapers. Founder Harry Blonder headed the company until his death in 1964. Afterward, Harry's sons, Erwin, Bernard, and Jerome took turns serving as president. In the mid-1960s, in addition to the E. 55th and Prospect locations, the company had 3 other stores in Cleveland and 1 in Columbus; Blonder's dealt in the largest wallpaper volume between New York and Chicago. The company's trademark brand was "Gold Seal." In the 1970s its operations--the retail stores, wallcovering distribution company, and a private label paint manufacturing center--were split among family members. By 1995 all operations had been sold.