Episode 20 – Holiday Catalogues

December 16, 2018


About the Episode

Have you ever bought something from a catalogue?  If so, what? A sweater, a duvet set, a house? (That last one was not a joke; there was a time when you could order a house via the Sears catalogue).

Christmas catalogues have been especially noteworthy in Canadian retail history. For generations, children and adults have received catalogues with joy, gleefully turning the pages and dreaming of finding the treasures under the tree on Christmas morning.

This week our hosts are joined by special guest Joanne Schofield, who shares her experiences catalogue-shopping in rural Alberta.

About Our Guest

Joanne Schofield is a former elementary school teacher from South Cooking Lake, Alberta. She entertained students with her lively stories for over 25 years. Joanne continues to share treasured memories of family and life on the farm with her grandchildren, friends, and family.


  1. Do you want to knit your very own Mary Maxim reindeer cardigan? You can buy the pattern here.
  1. If you want to read more about Amazon’s desire to send out a catalogue, you can read Angela Chen’s article.


Library and Archives Canada. “Canadian Mail Order Catalogues,” accessed October 26, 2018,

Canadian Museum of History,, “Before E-Commerce: A History of Canadian Mail-order Catalogues,” accessed October 26, 2018,

Mary Maxim. “Our History,”, accessed October 26, 2018,

Mary Maxim. “Reindeer Cardigan Pattern,”, accessed October 26, 2018,

Canadian Heritage Information Network, “The Story of the Mail-Order Catalogue,”, accessed October 26, 2018,;jsessionid=3D8CD6FEB1AFFF68182C8A1048B3BDFA?method=preview&lang=EN&id=25258.

Eaton Co. Spring and Summer Catalogue No. 27, Toronto: 1894,

Let Toys be Toys. “Stereotypes Rule in Toy Catalogues – Research Findings,”, accessed October 27, 2018,


Hosts: Robin Mullins, Nick Bridges, Keely McCavitt

Guest: Joanne Schofield

Researchers: Todd Brown, Stacey Devlin, Elina Hill, Sara Wilmshurst

Audio Editing: Jennifer Bate

Web Content: Casandra Masse

Image Credit:No. 72 Christmas Catalogue, 1905 (Toronto), T. Eaton Co fonds, Archives of Ontario, F 229-231-0-5.