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Tag: National Museum of American History Library

Setting the Thanksgiving Table, 1915 Style

Families have different Thanksgiving traditions. Some may prefer a casual dinner while others plan formal events. Either way, a Thanksgiving meal requires many pieces, everything from individual place settings to serving dishes. How might Great Grandma have set her table for a special occasion in 1915? This trade catalog may give us a glimpse.

Pen, Paper, and Mail: Shopping and Corresponding

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.

Shading Us From the Elements, 19th Century Style

As I removed the trade catalog from its protective envelope, the awnings on the front cover caught my eye. It reminded me of visits to my grandmother as a child and the awnings over the windows of so many houses and stores in her neighborhood. Once I opened the catalog, and just as the title suggests, I realized Murray & Baker sold much more than awnings.

Handwritten Notes Left Behind from a Steamship Journey

Sometimes, planning a trip is as much fun as the trip itself. The Trade Literature Collection at the National Museum of American History Library includes catalogs that might have been used to plan vacations. Some are about summer and winter resorts while others describe railway and steamship travel. Let’s take a look at a late 19th Century trip along the Great Lakes.