From guns to tiger skin to hand cuffs – In 1912, long before Amazon, Harrods offered everything for everyone and someone has digitized their massive 1,525-page catalog


What Amazon is to the world today, Harrods was to the world back in 1912! The almost 1,525-page catalog has surfaced and in two words it is mind-boggling! London’s fancy department store, also the largest, has an illustrious history and an even more enormous catalog! Believe it or not, the 1912 Harrods for Everything book illustrates more than 15,000 products, that even more than a hundred years ago boasted a cutting-edge logistics operation that would put our modern shopping apps to shame. Way back in time it was as simple as picking up the telephone and ordering any product from their massive collection and getting home delivery by automobile van possible. Of course the deliveries did take a while but it was all available thanks to Harrods. This monument of a catalog that literally meant what their logo claimed (“everything for everyone, everywhere.”) is available for your perusal online at Project Gutenberg. When they said everything, they clearly weren’t joking as one could purchase everything custom-tailored clothing, fine jewelry, clocks, watches, furniture to pistols, knuckle dusters, and handcuffs. Things also got pretty outdoorsy back then as they offered rentals for steam, electric, or petrol launches to go down a river and also scientific and shooting expeditions provisioned for any part of the world. All in all, it is like a shopping website poured on paper and so many of it; Putting Harrods for Everything through distributed proofreaders was a mammoth and long-running task, which started sometime in early 2007.


Finally, the fully scanned 1,525-page Harrods for Everything catalog can be seen and enjoyed at Project Gutenberg. What would you add to your wishlist from the long-gone era?

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[Via: Open Culture]