University of Delaware Library

Special Collections Department


Science and Technology

Special Collections' holdings of trade catalogs in science and technology complement the collection as a whole, but also serve as an important resource in their own right. The collections are strongest in the history of chemistry and engineering. Resources for study of the history of chemistry extend into many related areas such as alchemy, pharmacy, and medical botany. Books documenting the history of engineering include the important works published since the Renaissance in electricity, mining, hydraulics, and mechanics. Related areas include the history of American horticulture, and the history of Delaware's chemical industry and the DuPont Company.


Bullock & Crenshaw.
Catalogue of Chemicals and Chemical Wares, Imported, Manufactured and for Sale, by Bullock & Crenshaw, (Successors to Smith & Hodgson,) Chemists and Druggists ... Philadelphia: The Company, 1853.

An early catalog from a regional firm specializing in drugs and pharmaceutical supplies.


McAllister & Brother.
Illustrated Catalogue of Optical, Mathematical, and Philosophical Instruments ... Philadelphia: William S. Young, 1855.

In business since 1796, McAllister sold microscopes, telescopes, magic lanterns, drafting equipment, and eyeglasses. On the back cover is a map of Chestnut Street in Philadelphia, which documents the location of banks, hotels, and government buildings in a ten block area, adding to the catalog's value to students of urban history.


Munson Brothers.
[Catalog]. Utica, N.Y.: The Company, [ca. 1860]

This early catalog contains samples of wire netting attractively displayed on black and gold paper. Munson Brothers manufactured mill stones, engines, and boilers, as well as supplies for agricultural milling.


F. Hainsworth & Son.
Hainsworth's Improved Snow Plow. The Company, [ca. 1880]

This broadside depicts Hainsworth & Son's innovative new snow plow for use by railroad locomotives.


Eimer & Amend.
Illustrated Wholesale Catalogue with Prices Current of Chemical & Physical Apparatus and Assay Goods. New York: The Company, 1899.

Trade catalogs serve as important documentary sources for the history of science and technology. This catalog describes and depicts an astonishing array of scientific instruments and equipment ranging from such familiar items as microscopes and beakers to long-forgotten, exotic devices that seem more appropriate for a Rube Goldberg cartoon.


L. B. Holliday & Co., Ltd.
Dyestuffs for All Classes of Leather. Huddersfield, England: The Company, [ca. 1880]

This catalog from a leather dyeing firm contains numerous dyed leather samples.


Union Iron Works.
Catalogue No. 2. San Francisco: The Company, 1896.

The company manufactured hoisting and pumping machinery, air compressors, and rock drills. The covers and interior illustration show beautifully colored lithographic views of the factory complex. These illustrations give today's scholars information about the waterfront area of turn-of-the-century San Francisco.


Utica Fire Alarm Telegraph Co.
Telephones and Telephone Apparatus. Utica, N.Y.: The Company, [ca. 1900]

By 1900 a wide variety of telephones were available, using different types of batteries and generators for electricity.


Cassella Color Company.
Cotton Yarn Printing. New York: The Company, [ca. 1910]

This is more of a recipe book for yarn dyes than a trade catalog, but it was also used to show cloth manufacturing companies what yarns were available.


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Last modified: 04/07/05
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