I have a definite soft spot for historic works and have spent a fair amount of time rummaging through the digital attic for books and images from the time spanning roughly the 1840’s to the early 1900’s. So many of these books have wonderful artwork and information from a different time and lifestyle that I find fascinating as well as inspiring. I really love incorporating that look and feel into some of my current work – like this a colorful digital collection inspired by an 1899 seed catalog.
About the Collection
I ran across this Plant Seed Company Seed Catalog from 1899 and loved the colors in the cover (you can have it as ready to frame art from the print shop) as well as the detailed drawings of vegetables and flowers.
With no photographs, the drawings had to sell the seeds! One thing that struck me about the vegetables was how many different kinds were on offer; so many things we don’t see in supermarkets now – like Salsify, Dandelion (as a vegetable not a flower) and Martynia (which is also known as “devil’s claw.”)
The flower section was similar to current catalogs: the newest and most tantalizing cultivars up front with the old favorites like sunflowers and pansies filling out the rest.
It was telling how much more important food crops were at the time because the catalog was mostly devoted to food and animal feed crops with the flower seeds having much less space.
I love seeing these vintage publications and how everyday life was both different and yet similar. Next, I’m thinking about a millinery book from the early 1900’s to bring back to life as a newly published complete book. There are also books in development/editing from two other authors in very different genres – look for updates on those soon!
Thanks so much for your encouragement and support. As always, I’d love to hear from you so drop me line with your thoughts and comments.