Butler Brothers

Butler Brothers
Item# 3908

Butler Brothers
Butler Brothers originated in 1877 as a wholesaler selling general and variety-store merchandise by mail. By the early years of the twentieth century the company served about 100,000 customers through the United States and was the largest firm of its type in the country. Rising chain store competition induced the company to establish in 1927 a chain of franchised variety stores under the Ben Franklin name (interestingly enough, a young entrepreneur got his start as an owner of a Ben Franklin franchise – Sam Walton, of Wal-Mart fame). Butler Brothers sold the Ben Franklin chain in 1959. The company headquarters was located at 230 West Adams in Chicago.

Butler Brothers is generally credited with developing two historic merchandising plans – the “five cent” counter plan (later renamed 5 & 10) and the issuance of a large catalog detailing the company’s products (instead of sending traveling salesmen door-to-door).

Fantastic vignette features the company’s catalog, complete with the slogan “Our Catalog is Our Drummer.” Great piece of mail order history.

Certificate: Gold Debenture Bond, issued in the 1920’s

Printer: Franklin-Lee Division, American Bank Note Company

Dimensions: 14 1/2” (h) x 10” (w)

State: IL-Illinois

Subject Matter: Retail and Related | Mail Order and Catalog

Vignette Topic(s): Allegorical Featured | Nude Subject | Unique Theme

Condition: Horizontal fold lines, punch hole cancels in signature areas and body, and some toning and edge faults from age. 10+ coupons remain attached at the right side margin.

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