Special Collections Department
The University of Delaware Library is committed to collecting Delaware-related materials in all topics and
formats. Special Collections holds the papers of many historically important Delaware families and
individuals, with special emphasis on political figures. A large and growing collection of Delaware
ephemera includes advertising materials from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day.
The trade catalogs represent the large and the small of Delaware business, from the DuPont
Company, Delaware's largest employer, to Lester Lovett's berry farm in rural Milford. They are
truly documents of the state's history. The illustrations and maps show the area as it once was; the
names of buyers and sellers are often those of families still active in the state; the products offered
describe the lifestyle of Delawareans over time. The predominance of agricultural products is a
reminder of the state's primarily rural character throughout its history.
Delaware Trade Cards
This group of trade cards, all of which advertise the wares of late-nineteenth-century Wilmington merchants, depict a varied group of businesses and products. Although merchants
distributed such cards widely as a way of promoting their goods and services, they survive today
in surprisingly small numbers.
Wawaset Nurseries, Wilmington, Del.|
Edward Tatnall's Descriptive Catalogue of the Wawaset Nurseries, Wilmington, Delaware.
Wilmington, Del.: [Edward Tatnall, ca. 1860]
The nursery was located at the intersection of Tatnall Street and Philadelphia Pike in Wilmington,
just east of the Brandywine River.
Walton, Whann & Co.|
The Great Fertilizer. Whann's Raw Bone Super-phosphate.
Wilmington, Del.: The Company, [ca. 1870]
This late-nineteenth century poster includes a chromolithographed view of the Wilmington
manufacturer's waterfront factory.
Great Northern and Southern Nursery, Wilmington, Del.|
Price List of the Great Southern and Northern Nursery. Wilmington, Del.: Randolph
The nurseries were located on Hare's Corner Road, two miles from the Wilmington train station.
Peters specialized in fruit trees, grapes, and berries.
M. F. Hayden. |
Catalogue of Roses and Bedding Plants Grown at the Crystal Palace Rose Park: together with a
list of cut flowers, floral designs and bouquets: offered for sale at the new floral store, no. 702
Market Street, Wilmington, Delaware. Wilmington, Del.: James & Webb Printing Co., 1884.
This catalog contains descriptions of hundreds of varieties of roses as well as advice on planting
and arranging flowers.
Wilmington Dental Manufacturing Company.|
Catalogue of Artificial Teeth and Condensed Price-list of Dental Materials, Instruments,
Furniture, &c. Wilmington [Del.]: Press of The James & Webb Company, 1885.
This illustrated catalog of porcelain teeth moulds shows hundreds of configurations of artificial
teeth dentists used to design dentures. The factory was located at 1010 King Street in
Pusey & Jones Co.
List of Spur, Bevel, Mitre Wheel, Pulley, Propeller Wheel, Grate Bar, and Other Patterns
Belonging to the Pusey & Jones Company, Wilmington, Del. Wilmington, Del.: The Company,
The company, located at the foot of Poplar Street in Wilmington, was a steam engine and
Myer & Son Bridgeville Nurseries.|
A Fruit-Growers' Catalogue of Fruit Trees for Profit. Bridgeville, Del.: The Company,
One of the many commercial fruit growers in southern Delaware, Myer sold grapes, berries, and peach
and nut trees. The Company also owned a nursery in Bartow, Florida, which sold oranges,
grapefruit, and kumquats.
Caleb Boggs & Son.
Twenty-Sixth Annual Catalogue: Small Fruit and Vegetable Plants. Everything in its Season.
Cheswold, Del.: Caleb Boggs & Son, 1906.
Caleb Boggs' son, J. Caleb Boggs, born in 1909, served as a United States Senator from Delaware
from 1961 to 1973.
Diamond State Nurseries, Milford, Del.|
Lester Lovett's Berry Book. Milford, Del.: Lester Lovett, 1914.
A wide variety of berries and grapes is offered by this Southern Delaware nursery.
E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company.
Du Pont Products: Correct to May 15, 1918. Wilmington, Del.: The Company, 1918.
By 1918, Du Pont was producing a wide variety of products in addition to explosives and
chemicals. This catalog focuses on paints and varnishes; Fabrikoid, a leather substitute; and Py-ra-lin, used to make cutlery, sporting goods, and decorative items.
Hercules Powder Company. |
Hercules Explosives & Blasting Supplies. Wilmington, Del.: The Company, 
The catalog is aimed at the mining, quarrying, construction, and farming industries.
Silverside Supply Company.
Catalog. Wilmington: The Company, 1945.
The company sold home repair, landscape materials, coal, and fuel oil. The results of the War were
apparent in a notice to customers explaining that the store had problems the previous year with
the coal shortage, labor problems, and had trouble getting replacement parts. The company also
reminded its customers that the winter of 1945-46 would again bring rationing.
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Last modified: 04/07/05