Museum - Vintage Trade Catalogs

LuthorToolGrinderscatalogcover1Trade Catalogs. There is where we often begin with collecting the ephemera of tools and trades. Whether it is the catalog of a retailer, wholesaler or manufacturer, the trade catalog give us first hand information though descriptions, pricing and dating. Through trade catalogs, we can often trace the product line of a given company and rarely, of an individual tradesman.

The first known trade catalogs date from the 18th Century. However, the trade catalog did not come into prominence until the middle of the 19th Century. By the 20th Century, trade catalogs began to give way to various forms of electronic and newsprint advertising.

Early 19th Century American trade catalogs are typically letterpress productions, hand sewn through the flat of a paper board or paper binding. By the middle of the 19th Century, we see stapled catalogs for the small and mid-sized enterprise as well as fully bound volumes for the larger wholesale dealers and major manufacturers. The latter part of the 19th Century and the early 20th Century saw a proliferation of ornate trade catalogs in Victorian, Arte Nouveau, Art Deco and Modern styles.Arranged By Year


  • 1800-1869
    • Joseph Clark, 1816 (wood planes)
    • Hills & Richards, 1833 (wood planes)
    • Kennedy & Bragaw, 1845 (wood planes)
    • Arrowmammett Works, 1858 (wood planes)
    • Monhegan Saw Works, 1859 (hand & lumber saws)
    • Underhill Edge Tool Co., c1860 (edge tools)
    • T.H. Witherby, 1868 (edge tools)
  • 1870-1879
    • Charles H. Smith, 1870 (woodworking machinery)
    • E.M. Boynton Saws, 1872 (hand & mill saws)
    • Douglass Mfg. Co., 1873 (mechanics tools)
    • Ohio Saw Works - Woodrough & McParlin, 1874 (hand & mill saws)
    • Henry Disston, 1876 (Centennial Exhibition booklet)
    • New York Mallet & Handle Works, 1877 (turned mallets, handles & other tools)
  • 1880-1889
    • Southern Steel Stamp & Die Works, c1880 (leatherworkers tools)
    • Tremont Nail Co., 1880 (forged nails)
    • Little Giant Tools, c1880 (wheelwrights & farriers tools, Wells Bros. Co.)
    • W. & F. J. Barnes, 1885 (foot, hand & steam powered machinery)
    • Nicholson Swiss Pattern Files, 1889 (files)
  • 1890-1899
    • Mack Tool Co., D.R. Barton Carving Tools, 1890 (edge tools price list)
    • Winsted Edge Tool Co., Witherby , c1890 (edge tools price list)
    • Ford Bit Co., 1896 (boring bits)
    • W. L. Roseboom Broommakers Supplies., 1899 (broom corn & broom making supplies)
  • 1900-1909
    • Jos. Harm, c1900 (Dutch tools)
    • Shurly Dietrich, c1902 (Canadian saw and tool maker)
    • Millers Falls Catalog B, c1904 (pocket catalog)
    • L. & I. J. White Company, 1905 (edge tool makers)
    • Union Mfg. Co., c1905 (metal & transitional planes)
    • Mack & Co., D. R. Barton brand, c1909 (edge tools, wooden planes, etc.)
  • 1910-1919
    • Xillo Boren Catalogus, c1900 (Dutch boring tools)
    • C. Hammond & Son, 1910 (hammers)
    • Millers Falls Catalog H, c1912 (pocket catalog)
    • V. C. Squier Company, 1915 (stringed instrument makers tools)
    • Morrill Products, 1917 (sawsets, etc.)
  • 1920-1929
    • Hartford Clamp Co. c1920
    • Hartford Samuraj Viewer Trial
    • Luther Grinder Mfg. Co., c1920 (tool grinders)
    • Richard Melhuish , Ltd., 1925 (British - full line of woodworking tools)
    • John H. Graham Hardware & Tool Merchants, c1920 (Witherby Chisels & general tools)
  • 1930-1939
    • Ulima Tools, George Ott, c1937 (German woodworking tools
    • Atlas Metal Working Machinery, 1937-1945 (lathes, etc.)
    • Southington Hardware Company, 1930 (speciality hand tool and hardware mfg.)
    • Peugeot Freres, 1938 (French woodworking tools)
    • William Marples & Sons, Ltd. Sheffield, England: Shamrock Brand Tools full line catalog 1938
  • 1940-1949
    • Justus Roe & Sons, c1940 (steel tape measures)
    • J. M. Waterston, c1940 (general line tool merchant)
    • William Hunt & Sons, The Brades Steel Works Ltd, 1941 (British maker of iron & steel goods)
  • 1950-1959
    • Ashley Iles, 1950 (British edge tool maker)
    • Witherby, Winsted, c1950 (edge tool mfg.)

GO TO The Gallery of Trade Catalog Covers


Additional Reading:

Trade Catalogues, 1542 to 1842. Crom, Theodore R. Melrose, Fla.: T.R. Crom, 1989.

American Trade Catalogs. Fredgant, Don. Paducah, Ky.: Collector Books, 1984.

A Guide to American Trade Catalogs 1744-1900 (Guide to American Trade Catalogs, 1744-1900). Romaine, Lawerence


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