Do you remember summer camp as a child? Perhaps you went on a camping trip with your family or maybe you camped out in your own backyard. The Trade Literature Collection located at the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives holds a variety of catalogs. Some illustrate camping equipment. Have you ever wondered what it was like to camp over a century ago? This trade catalog might give us an idea.
When we think of summer, many of us think of traveling and vacations. The Trade Literature Collection includes quite a bit of travel related catalogs. As you might expect, there are catalogs advertising luggage and ones showing different modes of travel, like steamships or the railway. There are also catalogs about camping and everything you would need for a vacation in the outdoors.
What are your plans for National Camping Month? Thinking of bringing along a sketchbook? You’d be in good company.
Mary Vaux Walcott (1860-1940) was undoubtedly a pro at camping. The naturalist and botanical illustrator spent the summers of her youth in the Canadian Rockies with her well-to-do family, where she became an active mountain climber, outdoorswooman, photographer, and started her first forays into botanical illustration. It was later in life, in her mid fifties, when she married the then current Secretary of the Smithsonian, Charles Doolittle Walcott, against the objections of her father.