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Catalog Data

8 11/16 × 11 3/4 in. (22.1 × 29.8 cm)
Trade catalogs
ca. 1891-1904
Color lithograph of the from a seed catalogue depicting the “Agawam.” The illustration shows a large cluster of dark red grapes on a stem in front of its foliage. The page has been mounted on cardboard and placed in a decorative green and gold printed frame.
Label Text:
Horticultural commerce flourished in the mid-to-late-nineteenth century, and many seedsmen and nurserymen published elaborate trade catalogs illustrated with chromolithographs to boost sales. Until the 1870s, seed catalogues were largely printed lists of the different varieties available with their prices. By the 1880s, many companies were producing sizable booklets with bold-colored detailed illustrations of plants both inside and on their covers, and many were selling additional gardening products as well, such as books, garden furnishings, tools, and supplies. In addition to goods, many of catalogues contained advice on garden layouts, bedding designs, and advice on plant culture. In the face of intense competition in the seed industry, the catalogue was an essential tool for many businesses to market their goods and forge trust with their customers. These catalogues were often so successful that for many seed and plant merchants the catalog was their only salesman, and they did not have to hire agents or traveling salesmen. Lithography, chromolithography and the steam press all contributed to their proliferation, and advances in transportation and mail services led to their widespread distribution. The successful use of catalogues gave seed companies the ability to deploy their products nationwide and bring the consumer together with their goods as speeds previously impossible.
Mounted on cardboard
advertisements  Search this
chromolithographs  Search this
trade catalogs  Search this
advertising  Search this
bulbs  Search this
floriculture  Search this
flowers (plants)  Search this
gardening  Search this
horticulture  Search this
marketing  Search this
nurseries (horticulture)  Search this
print advertising  Search this
Seed industry and trade  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian Gardens, Horticultural Artifacts Collection.
Accession number:
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Horticultural Artifacts Collection
Data Source:
Smithsonian Gardens