Posted: Jul 14, 2012 1:01 PM by Chet Layman - MTN News
BOZEMAN- Thomas Edison patented his movie camera, the first shipment of gold from the Yukon arrived in Seattle and Sherman Phillips opened a store to sell typewriters in downtown Bozeman.
Now, 115 years later, Phillips' bookstore is about to become a thing of the past.
When Phillips Books opened 115 years ago, it was just down the block and horses were parked outside, not cars. The office supply, art supply, stationary supply world changed and three years ago Phillips was downsized to its present location.
"Really over the last six months, just really feeling the need and desire to move on, do something a little different. The economy is part of it, part of it is just a desire to do something different," owner Rick Radovich said.
The business agreement that created Phillips Books to sell Blickensderfer typewriters was signed 10 days before Bram Stoker published his novel, "Dracula." William McKinley had been sworn in as our 25th president just two months prior. Now, this business is going the way of the Blickensderfer typewriter.
Radovich says leaving that might be the toughest part.
"A little disappointing, you know, a 115-year-old business. We're probably one of the four oldest that I'm aware of in town. So, you know you hate to see that go, but businesses come and go, times change, and we have to be willing to make the change. Before I wasn't ready to do it, I'm ready to do it now," he said.
Radovich says Phillips will stay open through the end of the month, then well that's still to be determined.
"We're going to sell off the inventory at the end of the month, hopefully we wont have anything left, that is my hope. I don't want to store it, I don't want to try to sell it on eBay, or try to find a liquidator to come in and just buy it for nothing. I'm not sure what will end up going in here at that point."
Phillips survived the highs and lows of the 20th century, every day of it, but in the end, the realities of 21st century business too much for this 19th century creation.
Phillips outlived its typewriter company origins almost five times over. Blickensderfer only lasted 25 years, 90 less than Phillips Books.