Ironmongery is a British term that refers to anything made of iron or metal. At one time it referred only to goods produced for domestic purposes, but has some to include all kinds of hardware made of metal. In the UK, such a store is called an ironmonger, while in the US and Canada it is called a hardware store.
Metal was fashioned into objects that man could use in prehistoric times. Goods were traded between peoples and countries Metalworkers in the Middle Ages were prized for the variety of materials they could make from various kinds of metals. They could make weapons, tools and implements used in homes. The blacksmith served a main role in all villages because this job did the necessary work of making and fitting horseshoes. In the Victorian catalogues of the late 19th century, one could purchase a wide range of elaborately sculpted objects for just about any use and occasion.
There was a steady decline in local hardware or ironmonger stores in the early part of the 20th century due to the materials being processed in large factories. Today, though, there has a been a revival in the demand for delicately crafted ironmongery items such as period crafted door knobs, hinges, door handles, hooks, cabinet fittings and hardware for windows. Technology has also helped the revival in the development of powder coating and galvanizing, which helps to reduce the instances of rusting on the items.