It’s Christmas season, and where does someone find a gift for the person who has everything? Neiman-Marcus, of course! Like this working model train made from 18 carat gold. Continue reading Jewels by the Trainload
From the Tandy Computer Catalog, 1978. Before the Apple Stores, there were Radio Shack Computer Centers. And before that, there was this catalog of computer hardware sold by Tandy… Continue reading Present at the birth of the personal computer revolution
Spencer Gifts! Mainstay of malls. After 70 years, Spencer’s still offers the frivolous and the faddish, whereever shopping malls still draw visitors. God, how I loved Spencer Gifts stores and catalogs when I was a certain age. The Mood Rings! The Day-Glow Posters! The Black Lights… Continue reading S-l-o-w-l-y a Pale Hand Emerges
By the time the 1970s rolled around, trading stamps offered ever-broader ranges of merchandise redeemable if you just acquired enough trading stamps while shopping at your local retailers: glassware…or a clock radio…or a car! Continue reading Yours for only 1067 books of trading stamps
The Diagnomoscope: what a great name for, well, whatever this gadget is. Sounds like something out of an early science fiction movie. (Looks like it, too, all streamlined curves like a 1930’s automobile hood.) In fact it’s… Continue reading “Quick, Watson, get me the Supreme Diagnomoscope”
Kids today play different than they used to. There was a time when boys would be expected to build scale models. Back then every neighborhood seemed to have a local hobby show, a quality scale model plane could be bought for $4.95, and you could ask your Father to help … Continue reading Flown clear out of sight
Every Boy Wants “Whoopee” Pants, the headline says. But do they really? Did they, in 1931? According to Sears it was the latest fad, promising swagger! swank! color! style! Continue reading Every Boy Wants Whoopee Pants!
1943. World War II. Suddenly there are females now serving the war effort – the Women’s Army Corps, or “WACs”. This Quartermasters’ catalog devotes page after page to official regulation supplies for the new female Army personnel… Continue reading What the Well-Dressed WAC will Wear…
Is there an irony in using a printed catalog to promote computer games? From the 21st-century viewpoint, certainly yes. In 1984 Human Engineeered Software climbed to a peak from which there was nowhere to go but down…. Continue reading Into the Pit!
Long before Avon, before Mary Kay, before Tupperware, before Herbalife, before a hundred other companies, there were multi-level marketing pioneers like Lee Manufacturing… Continue reading The roots of Multi Level Marketing