Catalog: The Illustrated History of Mail Order Shopping


We’re all familiar with mail order catalogs, and, yes, they do clog up the recycling bin, but have you ever thought about how they are documenting everything from our fashion to food styles? Catalogs from decades ago chart how we lived by what we bought, and this book gives an overview of the catalog’s history, from the first Montgomery Ward book to the most recent companies. My favorite: an overview of 45 years of the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book (what luxury at the time) and seeing celebrities model clothes in their pre-famous days. The background stories of how some companies began are quite interesting as well.

$35.00, Available at


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