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Toys from 150 Years Ago

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, more »

“The Heart of the Home”: Kitchen Appliances of 1919

During the holiday season, many will be spending time with family and friends, and most likely it will be over food. As the title of this trade catalog suggests, the kitchen is an important part of any home. Imagine preparing meals on kitchen appliances such as these!

Learning the Candy Business via Mail

With Halloween just around the corner, what better time than now to search for candy catalogs in the Trade Literature Collection? As you might expect, there are many catalogs describing either the candy itself or the machinery used to make candy. One catalog takes a slightly different angle.

A 72 Day Tour

School is back in session. Summer vacations are over. However, if you lived in 1892 and had the means to afford it, your vacation might have just started. And it might have lasted 72 days!

A Summer by the Lake

What do you imagine a vacation might have been like over a hundred years ago? This brochure from the Trade Literature Collection gives us a glimpse into what some people might have done on their summer vacation in 1909.

Painted Backgrounds for Turn of the Century Photographers

They’re all over social media – frames, filters, and special camera effects on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and other platforms to help you add pizzazz to your selfies and other photos. But is anything really new these days? We found something that may be the grandfather (or at least great uncle) of social media filters – hand-painted backgrounds for photography studios dating from the early 1900s.

Swinging Through Summer

With the arrival of warmer days, images such as the lawn and porch swings found in this trade catalog might look inviting. Imagine you are relaxing on a porch swing looking out over the water, just like in one of the images in this 1913 trade catalog.

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