“The things you see here lay at the bottom of the South China Sea for 235 years.” The J. Peterman Company catalogs were as unusual as the products… Continue reading Sunken Treasure…Found by J. Peterman
Nowadays, from our 21st-century vantage point, it’s virtually impossible to grasp the imagination and excitement that trains once sparked in American lives. This Lionel catalog was profusely illustrated on every page. And the operative word IS illustrated – no boy’s train set ever looked this good. Continue reading A Train…of Thought
With a headline that definitive, how much more copy do you really need? Evidently quite a lot, because this page is devoted entirely to selling you the many features and benefits of this made-for-Sears shotgun… Continue reading The Handsomest, Safest, Strongest Single Hammer Gun Made in America
Radio Shack Computer Catalog, 1980. Oh sure, your iPhone or Galaxy is about a million times faster, and stores a several gazillion times more stuff, and has color displays and cameras and wireless connectivity and more apps installed than you can even remember , but you gotta start somewhere. And basically it started with this… Continue reading The Original Pocketable Computer
LaSalle Auto Brochure, 1939 “Gee, our old LaSalle ran great!” warbled Archie Bunker in the theme song of the “All in the Family” TV show. As well it should have – it was built by Cadillac as a slightly-more-affordable car series. MSRP in 1939: $1800. Value today: $38,000 – $83,000 (And just to make me … Continue reading Cadillac, Jr.
Neiman-Marcus Christmas Book, 1969 / One of the the most famous items ever placed for sale ($10,600) in a catalog, the “Honeywell Kitchen Computer” was the first time most people were introduced to something we might now call a “home computer.” Continue reading If she can only cook as well as Honeywell can compute.
In the middle of the 20th century's Great Depression, Sears Roebuck and Co., the nation's biggest retailer, coined a name for their Christmas catalog: the “Wish Book.” Maybe it was because in 1935 too many families could only wish they could buy all the wonderful things pictured in it's pages. But the name stuck, because … Continue reading The Wish Book: A Century of American Catalogs