Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Rollover text informationAmerican Experience Logo
Chicago: City of the Century
The Film and More
Special Features
Do You Know Chicago?
Decades of Immigrants
Made in Chicago
Faces in the Crowd
Eight Anarchists
Then and Now
Your Kind of Town

Timeline
maps
People and Events
Teacher's Guide

spacer above content
Made in Chicago: Mail order previous 11 of 18 next


Mail order Aaron Montgomery Ward had been a traveling salesman for a dry-goods wholesaler for two years when he developed an idea for a national mail-order business. Although it was not the first mail order business, it was the first business to offer a bountiful variety of items for purchase and delivery, rather than just a select few. The catalog especially served Americans in rural or frontier areas, who had limited access to manufactured products. Ward made his company successful by seeking advice from his customers about which products he should offer, in addition to keeping prices low and quality high. By the 1890s, Ward's catalogs ran to more than five hundred pages, and he received over 15,000 orders a day.

previous | return to introduction | next


Site Navigation

Special Features: Do You Know Chicago? | Decades of Immigrants | Made in Chicago
Faces in the Crowd | Eight Anarchists | Then and Now | Your Kind of Town

Chicago: City of the Century Home | The Film & More | Special Features | Timeline
Maps | People and Events | Teacher's Guide

American Experience | Feedback | Search & Site Map | Shop | Subscribe | Web Credits

© New content 1999-2003 PBS Online / WGBH