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Tupelo Hardware Company was established in 1926 and is best known for being the place where Gladys Presley purchased a guitar as a present for her son Elvis in 1946. According to a letter written by a longtime employee who was present that day, young Elvis Presley wanted a .22 rifle but was eventually persuaded by his mother that a guitar was a better gift. The hardware store is a family run business that has been serving the city of Tupelo for over 90 years.


  • Tupelo Hardware Co. Inc.
  • Elvis Presley's first guitar
  • The inside of Tupelo Hardware Company

The Tupelo Hardware Company was founded by George H. Booth in 1926. The store has since passed through four generations of the Booth family and has remained family run throughout its life. The business was officially incorporated in 1969 and remains open today. The store has been under the management of George H. Booth, William T. "Billy" Booth, George H Booth II, and George H Booth III. 

The hardware store is known for offering a wide variety of items. Alongside general hardware supplies, the store also specializes in small engine parts and mill and industry supplies. There is also a large collection of guitars and accessories for sale, something that has contributed to the store's fame today. 

Tupelo Hardware Company is known as the store where Elvis Presley bought his first guitar. Forrest L. Bobo, a long-time employee of the store, remembers working the day that Elvis and his mother, Gladys Presley, came in to purchase a birthday present for Elvis. In January of 1946, Elvis came in with hopes of buying a rifle. However, his mother wanted him to buy a guitar. After playing a guitar in the store for some time, Elvis decided to purchase it, with his mother paying the remainder of the cost. 

1. Tupelo Hardware. Accessed June 17, 2019. https://www.tupelohardware.com/.

2. The Guitar. Tupelo Hardware. . Accessed June 17, 2019. https://www.tupelohardware.com/pages/the-guitar.

3. Tupelo Hardware. Facebook. Accessed June 17, 2019. https://www.facebook.com/pg/tupelohardware/about/?ref=page_internal.