Top Value Stamps, 1969: You might expect to buy a model train made of diamonds from a catalog if the company is Neiman-Marcus, but would you expect to buy a full-size plane from a Top Value trading stamps catalog? Continue reading The Sky’s the Limit
Some catalogs are huge productions: thousands of pages, plenty of color, tremendous variety. Some catalogs are not. They are simply serviceable, solid, and sturdy. If your product is screen doors and windows… Continue reading Screen Doors & Nothing More.
As a sport, baseball in the 1930s was a national obsession in a way that was probably unmatched in America’s history. And everything you needed to play the Great American Pastime could be found on this oversized double-page spread. Continue reading Take me out to the Sandlot
Lilley Luggage, 1931 In a day when travel is quick and airlines discourage us from checking bags with us, it takes a real mental effort to consider travel preparation from long ago. When crossing the country or the ocean took days or weeks by train or by boat, you really had to take packing seriously … Continue reading Serious Luggage for Serious Travelers
Garden catalogs are — pardon the pun – a perennial. Wards devoted the first 11 pages of this 1961 garden catalog to no less than 73 varieties of roses… Continue reading A Riot of Roses
I’ve never walked into a Sears store and walked out with bees. Never even considered it. And actually I guess I never COULD have walked into a Sears Store and walked out with bees or beekeeping supplies. But I could have ordered them from a Sears Catalog… Continue reading Guess you had to BEE there
D.M. Ferry Seeds Almanac and Catalogue, 1908 / What the heck is “Salisfy”? Not only are some of the vegetables obscure, some of the spellings are too: “Spinage” and “Ruta Baga” look funny to modern eyes. But Ferry must know what they were writing about – in 1908 the company was already 52 years old. Thriving, too… Continue reading The Season for Salisfy
Oldsmobile Eight sales catalog, 1936 Auto catalogs have always been sensuous sales tools, managing to make even the smallest utilitarian cars look luxurious. These days it’s done with extreme photography and computer-enhanced imagery. In 1936 it was done through the most elegant of Art-Deco artwork. Just look at that illustration, and never mind the car … Continue reading Streamline Moderne, in home and car
Why double-decked buses have thrived in England to this day but never met much success in America, is a mystery to the author. Double-deck buses are just so…cool and entertaining… Continue reading Where are the double-decker buses of yesteryear?
What to my wondering eyes should appear? It’s a baby sleigh! No tiny reindeer involved – these are to be pushed by an adult when taking the Dear Little One on an outing in the cold wintertime. This could be useful even a hundred years later — assuming you have the climate for it. Continue reading Where have “baby sleighs” gone?