Today, most people are familiar with online shopping but some might also remember mail ordering. While one method uses computers, the other relies on paper. However, there are similarities. Both allow consumers to shop from the comforts of home, and both require mailing and shipping at some point. Then, items are delivered direct to the customer’s door. The Trade Literature Collection includes a variety of mail order catalogs. Let’s take a look at one from 1907.
With just one glance at the front cover of this trade catalog, it appears like Spring is on the way. A lady is surrounded by flowers. Purple ribbons accessorizing her outfit are gently blowing in the breeze. Let’s take a look at what consumers might have stumbled across in 1915 while perusing this mail order/department store catalog.
Catalogue of Room Decorations and Artistic Furniture is a 1905 Cooper Hewitt Design Library furniture trade catalog from the renowned art and antiques firm of Yamanaka & Co. Covered in silk more »
This 1930’s Czech tubular steel trade catalog titled Kovový nábytek, (translated simply as Metal Furniture), is a recent addition to the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Library’s extensive collection of furniture more »
This post was written by Brittney Falter, a graduate student at George Mason University and social media intern at the Smithsonian Libraries. Le Garde-meuble, ancien et moderne (Furniture repository, ancient more »
Recently while searching for furniture catalogs in the Trade Literature Collection, I came across something very unexpected. The Smithsonian Institution was mentioned in one of the catalogs.
At first glance, the front cover of this trade catalog shows an opera chair. But take a closer look and you might see something you didn’t expect to see. A hat appears to be attached to the bottom of the seat. That is just one of several special features built into these chairs.