Do you remember summer camp as a child? Perhaps you went on a camping trip with your family or maybe you camped out in your own backyard. The Trade Literature Collection located at the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives holds a variety of catalogs. Some illustrate camping equipment. Have you ever wondered what it was like to camp over a century ago? This trade catalog might give us an idea.
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.
When we think of summer, many of us think of traveling and vacations. The Trade Literature Collection includes quite a bit of travel related catalogs. As you might expect, there are catalogs advertising luggage and ones showing different modes of travel, like steamships or the railway. There are also catalogs about camping and everything you would need for a vacation in the outdoors.