Collection News / Penn Libraries

Trade Catalogues and the American Home, 1850-1950

This databases presents highly illustrated primary source documents that highlight commercial tastes and consumer trends, and provide a valuable visual record for a breadth of interdisciplinary study.  Materials on domestic life and consumer culture, especially trade catalogues, are sourced from the University of California, Santa Barbara, while additional material relating to the decorative arts and industry are sourced from Wintherthur and the Hagley Library, respectively.

Aside from trade catalogues, material in the database includes trade cards, ephemera, manuals and pamphlets taken from historically important retailers and companies such as Sears, Roebuck & Co., Bloomingdale’s, Montgomery Ward, Aldens, General Electric, Heinz, Johnson & Johnson, General Motors and Colgate.


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