Long before Avon, before Mary Kay, before Tupperware, before Herbalife, before a hundred other companies, there were multi-level marketing pioneers like Lee Manufacturing.
This catalog from about 1912 promises, in the manner of the day, how simple and wonderful it all is: sell products, recruit sales ladies, earn extra money.
Just look at the products! There isn’t an inch of wasted space on this page, an every image is etched in realistic, energizing detail. And such a deal for under a buck (albeit 1912 bucks.) The catalog continues with page after page in this style — “Buy these: get these free!” — every square inch filled with bargains.
And towards the back there are the premiums. Sell $10 worth of orders and give yourself a 45 piece diner china set. Sell $25 worth of orders and get a 6 piece dining chair set. $40, get an overstuffed Edwardian adjustable sofa couch.
No wonder the back cover is filled with testimonials. Just look at them. It’s worth zooming in: Each of these plain, ordinary women from across the country has a success story to share. “My friends could hardly believe me when I would show them my premiums and tell them how easy it was to earn them.” Mattie Blackwelder of North Carolina, you go girl!