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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.

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.

File under: Office Organization, 1908

Every once in a while, we come across a trade catalog in the Trade Literature Collection that has a label on the front cover. Recorded on that label is date and location information, such as drawer number. We do not use labels such as that to shelve catalogs at the National Museum of American History Library, but I have often wondered if that label played a role in the way that particular more »

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