Swiss Mail Order Catalogs and Advertisements with Boys Clothing

Figure 1.--Here we have a page from the Grand magasins Jelmoli in 1938. This page offered a variety of outfits for younger boys. A reader writes, "This is interesting how the Swiss store here provides closeup images of the fabric samples." Another page had outfits for older boys.

We do not have very much information about Swiss catalogs and advertising at this time. We suspect that Swiss parents may have used German, French,and Italian catalogs. All of those countries had much larger clothing industries than Switzerland. I am not sure yet, however, just when mail order became common in Europe or to the extent import duries were imposed. We are not sure what kind of mailorder ctalogs they had. Given the size of the country, mail order catalogs may have been limited. We have noted a catalog form the "Grand magasins Jelmoli" which was located in Zurich. They were publishing catlogs in the 1900s, but I am not sure just when they began. Information from the various catlogs provides a useful overview for Swiss boys fashions over time. Hopefully we will be able to eventually add other companies to this section.


Swiss mail order catalogs and avertisements offer information on specific clothing styles and garments worn over time. We are at this early stage of developing our catalog archive focusing primarily on the chronological pages. We will eventually list these pages in both sections. We have some catalog pages without dates which we are initially archiving here.


Swiss mail order catalogs and newspaper advertisements offer a very useful time line on changing fashion trends. I am not sure precisely when mail order catalogs first appeared in Switzerland. Presumably store catalogs appeared before mail order companies. We have very little information on the specific companies involved. I believe thatmail order was initially an American inovation, but we note German companies active throughout Europe at least by World War II. There were of course a range of clothing advertized in Swiss publications. HBC has begun collect mail order pages nd advertisements. At this time we only have catalog pages from Jelmoli, a Zurich store, during the 1930s.


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Created: 5:18 PM 6/22/2006
Last updated: 8:33 PM 4/8/2012