Mail Order Catalog Day

18th Aug Mail Order Catalog Day

The Mail Order Catalog Day is celebrated every 18th of August each year. This holiday is all about commemorating mail order catalogs, which were successful marketing strategies by businesses and companies especially back in the days.

What is a mail order catalog?

A mail order catalog is a type of a direct marketing strategy wherein businesses can communicate personally and directly to their customers. A catalog is a publication that lists all of the available items to buy in the business or company. The catalog also include the prices of those items.

Mail Order Catalog Day: All You Need To Know


The Mail Order Catalog Day is celebrated every August 18 each year. This is an annual holiday that celebrates the old-fashioned way of shopping by using a printed catalog. Ordering and paying for those can then be made through a post or mail or also through the phone. According to some people, this holiday is a commemoration of the anniversary of the day when Aaron Montgomery, an American entrepreneur, sent out the first ever modern mail order catalog to people in Chicago back in 1872.

When is Mail Order Catalog Day?

This holiday is always celebrated on August 18 each year. This means that the upcoming mail order catalog day will be celebrated on  August 18.

History of Mail Order Catalog Day

Shopping via mail order has a rich history. Experts believes that one of the first shopping catalogs ever produced can be traced back to the late 15th century. An Italian publisher named Aldus Manutius of Venice published a list of books in his company called Aldine press. Then in 1667, William Lucas from England published the first ever gardening catalog for the 17th century. Then in 1744, Benjamin Franklin, a world renowned scientist, became one of the first people in America to print a catalog for buying books and scientific publication.

Mail Order Catalog in the 19th Century

Then in the early 19th century, mail order shopping started to gain traction in the United States. During this time, book publishers and farmers started to take advantage of the newly-initiated national postal service and also an expanded railway system in order to sell their books and seeds all over the country.

Mail Order Catalog in the 20th Century

Then in the 20th century, mail order catalogs became extremely popular in various industries. Even items as big as full pledges homes were even sold via mail order catalogs.

Mail Order Catalog Nowadays

However, nowadays, mail order catalogs are quickly disappearing in the world as our rapid technological advancements have helped us built more efficient technologies in the internet. A lot of shopping can now be made online. In addition, we can see lots of items and their prices in online stores.

What is the origin of the Mail Order Catalog Day?

Unfortunately, even with extensive research on this topic, we cannot pinpoint how exact the Mail Order Catalog Day started. But we can make a good guess: perhaps someone or some people thought that even though only a few companies today are using mail order catalogs, they still made substantial contributions in our lives especially in the past and that they rightfully deserve a day when they are celebrated.

Facts About Mail Order Catalog Day

  • Aaron Montgomery began the world’s first mail order business in 1872. His first ever catalog was only one page long but contained about 162 items.
  • By 1883, Montgomery was sending out about 240 pages catalogs which would grow more into 1000 pages by the mid-20th century.
  • Early mail order companies mainly depended on private delivery services.
  • The USPS offered lower shipping prices at a specific point in time. This led to a dramatic growth of mail order.
  • The Lillian Vernon catalog was started with $2,000 by Lillian Hochberg in 1951.
  • The first Neiman Marcus catalog was mailed in 1926, but the news making “His and Hers” holiday offerings were not added until 1960.
  • In 1999 Neiman Marcus turned to promote philanthropy. The His and Hers gift was a Lasting Legacy, a $200,000 gift to The Nature Conservancy.

Mail Order Catalog Day Celebrations & Activities


You should celebrate this holiday because it is just right to commemorate mail order catalogs. People have used them so much back in the days. But as we all know, the internet has already replaced them. Since we owe a lot to mail order catalogs, we dedicate a special day for them which we rightfully celebrate every 18th of August each year.

How to Celebrate Mail Order Catalog Day?

The following are the best things to do to make your celebration of the Mail Order Catalog Day as best as it can be:

Order Something from a Mail Catalog

One good thing to do for the celebration of this day is to order something form a mail order catalog. Although the popularity of mail order catalogs has substantially declined, there are still some companies and businesses that publish mail order catalogs. You might want to look for them and order some items from them as your way of celebrating the mail order catalog.

Look for Vintage Mail Order Catalogs

You can visit your local thrift store or a flea market to look for some vintage mail order catalogs. Businesses have spent a lot of money creating the perfect catalogs because doing so will enable them to increase their sales. Looking at the vintage mail order catalogs is the perfect opportunity for you to look at the glimpse of life.

Celebrate on Social Media

You can also take your celebration of this day on social media. For instance, you can use the hashtag #MailOrderCatalogDay to let your friends and followers know that you are also participating in the celebration of this day. You may, for example, post a picture of a mail catalog you have at home or that you have purchased from the thrift store.

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