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Old 07-23-2012, 03:32 AM   #1
JeremyR
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Where to find old catalogs for reference?

I'm working on a novel set in the 1920s. I've come up with a bunch of notes derived from novels written then and travel guides that I can find, but they don't really touch on things like clothing and other consumer items.

I was looking for a Sears Catalog from that era, or the British equivalent (Herrod's?), but all I could find on the Internet Archive is this

http://archive.org/details/eatons19202100eatouoft

Which is a 1920-1921 Eaton's Winter Catalog. It's almost exactly what i wanted, except it's Canadian. Which is very close, but not quite
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Old 07-23-2012, 04:00 AM   #2
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For your British equivalent, I suspect you meant "Harrods", not "Herrods", but the British equivalent would be "Kays Catalogue", which has been published every year since the 1890s. See:

http://www.kaysheritage.org.uk/9148.html
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Old 07-23-2012, 04:04 AM   #3
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One of the best things that you can do is go to a physical library and see what sort of Almanacs they have. Many have been in print since the eighteen hundreds. I have a collection of them and they carry news, Federal, State and local and best of all, hundreds of illustrated ads. They have ads for Colt and Remington revolvers, patent medicines, clothing, kitchenware, furniture etc. etc. Well worth hunting down.
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Old 07-23-2012, 08:44 PM   #4
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Thanks, but I guess I should have been more specific, I'm looking for online sources for the catalogs - libraries aren't an option and can't really fly to England to consult a college's collection. (If they offer the catalogs online, I can't figure out how to access it)

Harrods did have a catalog (or catalogue) and you can get a partial reprint of the 1929 one, but it's a little expensive and about 5 years later than what I'm after.

edit:

To answer my question, they sort of let you look at the old Kays Catalogs at

http://www.worldofkays.org/website/search

But it's by separate images, not the catalog in a PDF and the images are too tiny for me to read.

Last edited by JeremyR; 07-23-2012 at 08:50 PM.
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Old 07-25-2012, 02:15 PM   #5
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http://www.searsarchives.com/catalog...ndcatalogs.htm
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Old 07-26-2012, 10:34 AM   #6
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http://www.amazon.com/1923-Sears-Roe.../dp/091067602X

Here's a link to a reproduction of the 1923 Sears catalog.
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