Would you guess burglar alarms existed in the 19th Century? Though not as sophisticated as those of today, burglar and fire alarms did exist, as we can learn from this trade catalog.
Author: Alexia MacClain
Some of us may be familiar with mixed-use developments in urban areas, towns, or even suburban locations. A store might be on the first level with upper levels devoted to housing. These types of buildings have been around for quite some time. Let’s go back to 1913, via this trade catalog, to see options available to residents and business owners in the early 20th century.
Have you ever designed a library space? Whether a home, public, or academic library, they all need a suitable arrangement of bookcases to make use of space in the best possible way. Here are a few ideas for bookcases that a 1907 library designer might have considered.
Spring is almost here, and flipping through this trade catalog might help you dream of warmer days to come. The catalog is entitled Ranger Bicycles (1921) by Mead Cycle Co. more »
Since 2019 is the Smithsonian Year of Music, this is the perfect opportunity to take a look at music-related materials in the Trade Literature Collection. After a search of the Collections Search Center and a little browsing in the stacks, one rather thick catalog from 1912-1913 caught my attention.
Scouring toy catalogs and selecting their favorites is a holiday tradition for some children. We took a look in our collections to see what children might have selected in 1868. As you might expect, toys from 1868 are quite different from 21st Century toys. This trade catalog gives us a glimpse into playtime for children in 1868. Even though at first glance these toys appear rather simple compared to those of today, they still have some basic similarities.