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Book Details

TRADE CATALOGUE.. The Key to Success and Strictly Business.1899

Rochester, New York: Michaels, Stern & Co., 4to, 67, [1]pp., with errata slip, 10 colour chromolithograph fashion plates, numerous text illustrations, decorative advertising on versos of textile samples and chromolith plates, 31 mounted textile samples in wool, worsted wool blends, serge, flannel, cheviot, cashmere-wool blends, and more—all samples clearly marked with prices, and availability, quarter-green cloth over green boards, elaborately decorated & embossed title label on front cover of gold key across gold lettering on red embossed background, red silk thread sewn as issued, blue-green endpapers printed to simulate a linen weave, minor chipping and edgewear to head and foot of spine, edgewear to fore-edges and corners, a few leaves with very slight closed tears at gutter margin, but still a very good copy. An exceedingly scarce and beautifully printed salesman sample catalogue for men's suits, overcoats, and Street Railway Motormen & Conductor uniforms issued just after the Spanish-American War. This catalogue offers invaluable illustrated historical reference for the colours, styles, and fabrics during the Victorian era for professionals, the well-dressed business man, and Railroad uniforms. Of particular interest is the sales advice and advertising recommendations they have included for the retailers of their suits and clothing, interspersed with the plates and fabric samples. The firm was founded by Henry Michaels (1822-1894), one of Rochester's earliest manufacturers of ready-made men's clothing, and would become the longest-lived and largest independent clothing company in Rochester, New York lasting 128 years. From the onset, the company salesmen were so successful they often oversold their stock, and had to often increase output to meet the demand. In 1877, Michaels reorganised the company with his son-in-law Morley Stern, and by 1885 adopted Michaels, Stern & Co. as the company name. Their seven-story building at Clinton Ave & Pleasant remained the company headquarters until 1977 when the firm was dissolved.

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