Abbot Magic Catalog #25, 1997 I ask you – how many catalogs feature products named a “modernistic amputation?” Only catalogs for magicians, that’s what. Want to saw a lady in half? Escape from chains? Make a Ghost walk? The Abbot’s catalog will reveal all the secrets. Actually, they never reveal the secrets in the catalog … Continue reading Tricks and Treats
In 2009, 16 years after the demise of the “Big Book” Sears was still pumping out awesome specialized publications like this tool catalog, whose layouts and photography here could set any handyman’s heart racing…. Continue reading 21st-Century Sears, Well-Tooled.
For many of its 125 years, Sears had you covered from cradle to grave. As proof: tombstones for that final act. Continue reading The End of the Line
You could be forgiven for thinking this looks like a mad scientist’s industrial-strength DJ mixing console. You wouldn’t be far off… Continue reading Presto – You’re a Recording Star!
Schools can fall prone to gadget envy just like the rest of us. In 1918 this must have involved buying Victrola record players and finding ways to use 78rpm records in educational situations. Continue reading High Technology in Education – 1918 style
It’s back to school time for kids everywhere. Teaching aids have shifted a lot in 95 years… Continue reading Back to School Around the Globe
Consider the slide rule: once upon a time, the inescapable shorthand symbol of the engineer. As late as 1970, slide rules were ubiquitous in science and engineering. And in 1980 they were extinct…. Continue reading Engineer’s Essentials
In 1906, the aspiring young entrepreneur could turn to a catalog like this and consider a career showing pictures – pictures that moved! Continue reading Amusement for Profit: The Movies Begin
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?
The company that made them has been out of business now for more than 2 decades, but within the film industry and some theatrical circles, the term “Klieg Light” is still familiar jargon. Klieg(l) lights were (are) the powerfully bright spotlights and floodlights used for film studio work and stage productions… Continue reading “Who knocked the 'L' out of Kliegl?”