Profile America — Tuesday, August 14th. We're all used to thumbing through the catalogs that arrive in the mail almost daily for the latest bargains. However, this pastime may be older than you think. The first such catalog was sent out by Montgomery Ward this week in 1872. That first catalog consisted of only one page, but the idea was so successful that by 1904, the Ward's catalog weighed in at four pounds. Today, the mail-order business is still thriving, generating an increasing amount of sales on the Internet. There are more than 100,000 electronic shipping and mail-order houses, and each year they sell $224 billion worth of goods. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, online at www.census.gov.
Sources: Chase's Calendar of Events 2012, p. 409 2007 Economic Census, NAICS 45411
Profile America is produced by the Center for New Media and Promotions of the U.S. Census Bureau. These daily features are available as produced segments, ready to air, on a monthly CD or on the Internet at http://www.census.gov (look for "Multimedia Gallery" by the "Newsroom" button).