Posted on November 13, 2019January 23, 2020 by Dale Phillips H.L. Wild H.L. Wild by Paul Wyszkowski Originally published in American Lutherie #7, 1986 and The Big Red Book of American Lutherie, Volume 1, 2000 See also, “Out of the Basement” by Richard Bingham “A Scene from Dickens” by Steve Curtin H.L. Wild: A curiosity shop, a preserved bit of the past still alive in Manhattan. Not a museum display, not a movie set, but a place where the antiques on the shelves are for sale not as such, but as current merchandise. A real time trip. See it while it is still here. Buy some hundred-year-old veneer. Or pull together a guitar or a mandolin set from the stock of vintage woods and parts. Or you may find that this is the only place in the whole world which still has a supply of a particular fret-saw blade. Who knows what you may find here? Come on down! Betty Wild, who has recently celebrated her sixty-second birthday, is the third generation of the Wild dynasty. Her grandfather, William Wild, founded H.L. Wild (just “H.L. Wild,” no “Company”) at its present address in Manhattan in 1876. (Where the initials “H.L.” came from is not clear, but apparently at least part of the reason for choosing them was aesthetic: “H.L. Wild” fits the mouth nicely.) The original business manufactured and sold intricate wooden fretwork construction sets for models of buildings, churches, towers, and various decorative objects. Jigsaw puzzles were another major product. A copy of the 1876 catalog depicting the many different designs then available leans against the glass of a display case behind the counter. Betty shows it with obvious pride. Become A Member to Continue Reading This Article This article is part of our premium web content offered to Guild members. To view this and other web articles, join the Guild of American Luthiers. Members also receive 4 annual issues of American Lutherie and get discounts on products. For details, visit the membership page. If you are already a member, login for access or contact us to setup your account.