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Tag: National Museum of American History Library

How to “Save Waste and Win the War” with Sherer-Gillett Grocery Counters

Can a particular kind of retail furniture help grocers save money and prevent food waste? In a World War I era trade catalog, Sherer-Gillett Co. promotes a piece of furniture designed for grocers to install in their stores. It was called the Sherer Counter, a bulk food storage system described as a way to cut down on waste and help with the war effort.

Pedalling Through Time With Davis Sewing Machine Co.

Recently, I stumbled across a trade catalog that made me pause. As I looked at its vibrantly illustrated front cover, I thought of relaxing, summer days at the beach. It shows a bicyclist riding along the shoreline, a dog following closely behind, and boats in the distance. I also noticed one more thing. The name of the company refers to sewing machines while the front cover illustrates a bicycle. That observation sparked my curiosity to explore the pages within this catalog.

Cementing Your Home Plans in 1909

When it comes to building a new home, there are so many things to consider. Should it be multi-level or one floor? Will it have a basement? Do you want bedrooms on both floors or only on the second floor? What type of building material will be used? The questions might seem endless. If you were building a house in 1909, in particular one made from cement, this catalog of designs might have provided some inspiration.

Book Pockets and Date Guides: The Intricacies of a Paper-Based Library System

Before we had online circulation systems, barcodes on books, and automated due date reminders, libraries used paper-based systems for everyday tasks. This required book cards, book pockets, charging trays, and the “ca-chunk” sound of a library date stamp.

Mid-19th Century Reaction to a Laundry Invention

Today the task of laundry is simple. We load machines with clothes, add laundry detergent and softener, and check settings. But essentially, the modern washing machine and dryer do the job for us. However, in the mid-19th century, long before our modern appliances, it was not so easy. Laundry was time-consuming and labor-intensive, so perhaps this pamphlet describing a “really wonderful invention” sounded intriguing.