We’ve come along way since shopping from the Sears catalog was the newest thing in retail. Still, as ephemera, catalogs are some of the most important inroads to American (and global) material life. Robin Cherry traces the development of the American catalog and the impact they have on social and cultural history in her new book Catalog: The Illustrated History of Mail-Order Shopping. Categories covered include food, fashion, animals and home. The book is out now from Princeton Architectural Press.

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