Mr Jalopy has posted a delightful rumination on the mail-order catalogs he's discovered on his yard-saling adventures, spurred by the publication of the fabulous-looking Catalog: The Illustrated History of Mail Order Shopping (a book I really want to lay hands on!). Astute Boing Boing readers may have noted just how much similarity our layouts bear to old Sears and Whole Earth catalogs.
While it is knee slappingly funny to gawk at the shag bathroom sets of the 1970's, the richest bounty lies in the early catalogs from a time that the Sears catalog really meant something. Before the interstate highway system and the internets tube system, the Sears catalog was a profoundly important and optimistic source. It was a catalog of empowerment. One day, you are Joe Nobody, without a fiddle or an egg for breakfast. Weeks pass and it must have seemed like a miracle when that new fiddle, kerosene-fired incubator and careful wrapped fertile eggs arrived in the mail. A community event, I suspect.
Having used inflation calculators, I have compared the 1932 prices of the everything from screen door hinges to chore jackets. Selvedge denim dungarees from North Carolina mills were the equivalent of $25, while bicycles were terribly expensive. Of course, the world changed. Labor, materials and container shipping have shifted business so radically, that it is a testament to Sears that the doors are still open.
Catalog: The Illustrated History of Mail Order Shopping,
Mail Order Catalog Brilliance
EraseCOVID is what happens when creative folks work together for the greater good. A fantastic gang of artists and designers (including Ruben Bolling) have joined forces to create some really terrific “Public Safety Art,” which is all available to purchase as posters, greeting cards, and more! Proceeds benefit chosen charity MusiCares, the artists, and the […]
You might remember that when I’m not blogging for Boing Boing, I can usually be found at my other gig — Children’s Fairyland. Of course, the Oakland, California kiddie theme park is closed now and will be until it’s safe to reopen. But, we do have a skeleton crew of essential “elves” who are on […]
Anyone who’s ever gone to Burning Man is undoubtedly already familiar with the N95 mask, the particle filters that also protect from inhaling playa dust. And Burners are also familiar with “radical self expression.” So, it comes as no surprise that the happy mutants over at Burner-friendly Grassy Knoll Industries have taken it upon themselves […]
Believe it or not, you can still score a new job in the midst of the pandemic. There are a bunch of industries under more demand stress than ever that have an immediate need to grow. Regardless of the specific role needed or company that’s hiring, one skill that can only help you score an […]
If you’ve ever tried to shoot your own videos, you know the equipment costs to do it right can mount up quickly. Even if you’re fine with capturing video on your trusty smartphone, you still need a mount to keep your phone in place. And you’ll need a mic to augment your smartphone’s not so […]
“The whole point of a programming language is to get the most out of the computer and the developer…This is why I like Python so much…few Python developers write code that is difficult to pass on to another developer.” With so much in tech so inherently complicated, that comment from Thomas Hatch, CTO and co-founder […]