Special Collections Department
Technological progress seems so clearly defined by these catalogs as, in fifty years, Americans
moved from the horse and buggy to the airplane. Of interest is the increasing use of photography
for illustration, particularly in the early auto and airplane ads, to give a modern look to the
catalogs. Well-known pilots are used as models in some of the photos which, along with statistics
about car and airplane races, emphasizes the sports aspect of transportation. Changing images of
women in advertising are particularly apparent in this category. Compared to the view of women
as model or object in clothing or appliance ads, the bicycle, car, and particularly the airplane
catalogs show active, adventurous women.
Million, Guiet et Cie, Carrossiers.|
Voitures. Paris: The Company, [ca. 1870]
This beautifully-produced French carriage maker's catalog contains numerous chromolithographed
plates of carriages which range from elegantly simple designs to highly complex vehicles.
Geo. L. Brownell.|
Hearses and Carriages ...: Urns, Silver and Gold Fringes, Plumes, Coffin Rails ... New
Haven, Conn.: Punderson & Crisand, printers, [ca. 1880]
The collection includes many catalogs from the funeral industry. In addition to horse-drawn
hearses for both children and adults, the company also manufactured memorial urns.
Powell & Douglas.
Catalogue and Price List for 1884: Hunting, Fishing and Pleasure Boats. Waukegan, Ill.: The
The eye-catching cover of this catalog is an example of color printing by chromolithography
which reached its peak in the 1880s and 1890s. By the turn of the century, printers were turning
increasingly to photo-reproductive processes.
E.C. Stearns & Co.|
The Yellow Fellow Year Book. Syracuse, N.Y.: The Company, 1896.
The cover design and typography of this catalog were influenced by the magazines of the period,
particularly Will Bradley's Chapbook and The Yellow Book, published in London. The book is
filled with wonderful illustrations, unfortunately unsigned, of young men and women enjoying
H. A. Lozier & Co.
Shakespeare Would Ride the Bicycle If Alive Today: "The Reasons Why." Cleveland: The
All of the humorous illustrations in this catalog are taken from Shakespeare's plays and made to
refer to bicycles. The drawings were done by Frederick Burr Opper (1857-1937), who was
primarily known as a book illustrator and cartoonist.
Ford Motor Company.|
Ford: 26 Reasons Why You Should Buy. Detroit, Mich.: The Company, 1911.
The catalog says "Every third car sold in America during 1912 will be a Model T." The 26
reasons to buy, one for every letter of the alphabet, are all done in rhyme.
National Motor Vehicle Co.
Women's Motoring Apparel ... Indianapolis, Ind.: The Company, 1912.
The catalog contains an essay entitled "The Motoring Woman" which describes the importance of
women in popularizing the automobile. It goes on to say that "The automobile has been a great
factor in advancing the independence of woman. It may be that when universal suffrage happens
we can place a goodly part of the credit to the automobile."
Chas. E. Miller.|
Largest Automobile Supply House in America: Motor Cars-Motor Boats-Motorcycles-Motor
Planes. New York: The Company, 1913-1914.
The cover exemplifies pre-World War I America's fascination with all types of motor-driven
The Locomobile Company of America.
The Locomobile Book. Bridgeport, Conn.: The Company, 1914
The locomobile was the top of the line in automobiles in 1914. The two-passenger roadster cost
$5100; the seven-passenger "Berline" model cost $6500.
Harley-Davidson Motor Co.|
Harley-Davidson 1915. Milwaukee, Wis.: The Company, 1915.
The simplicity of design and use of large areas of flat color in this cover, reflect the style of the
"Poster Period" of the 1890s and the influence of the Japanese print on American art.
Wright Aeronautical Corporation.
Your Airplane is Ready Sir. Paterson, N. J.: The Company 
The Wright Company catalog included a great deal of information about the production,
specifications and use of their airplanes, made for both civilian and military purposes. In
describing their newest "whirlwind" engine, the catalog states that Charles Lindberg will use one
in his attempt to make the first non-stop flight from New York to Paris.
A. G. Spalding & Bros.|
Aviators' Clothing. New York: The Company, [ca. 1930]
The catalog contains pictures and testimonials from several award-winning women pilots, making
it of interest to students of women's history.
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