Magnolia Seed Catalogs, 1943
Seed and garden catalogs were one of the earliest mail order successes and continue strong to this day. Farmers in rural areas could review their options and learn about new varieties & techniques. City dwellers could discover the latest roses and other flowers.
During World War II, the groups found common ground, with ordinary folks being encouraged to grow plants for foods. My mother remembers how “Victory Gardens” were the thing, along with bond drives and saving tinfoil for use in making tanks. Growing vegetables was not only patriotic – in a country still pulling out of the Great Depression, it was economical. Those packet of asparagus seeds were 5 cents each, and beans just 10 cents. Zoom for all the details.
Finally, it was nutritious to grow “vitamins at your kitchen door,” as the healthy young lady with the basketfull of veg shows you. Need more calories or iron? This catalog would show you which plants would deliver. An opportunity and a challenge – and Uncle Sam was counting on you to grow and eat your fair share.