A study of the Millers Falls Company would be woefully incomplete without a look at some of the catalogs, price lists and promotional materials that tell the company's story. The firm produced hundreds of publications between 1868 and 1981, and articles about the company appeared in newspapers and magazines from time to time. Each of these items has a story to tell, and taken together, they provide us with most of what we know about the company.
An example is the lapel button shown at right and created to draw attention to the differences between knowledgeable Millers Falls salesmen and those of general line hardware suppliers. It was produced as part of a 1969 ad campaign featuring a series of ads that ran in thirty-six magazines. Two TV spots, each with a ten second tag for a dealer's own message and name, were also produced for the effort. The button and campaign tell us much about the struggles of a small manufacturer trying to retain market share in an era when competitors were offering comprehensive, heavily discounted lines of hardware to the low-price, high-volume chains beginning to dominate the retail landscape.
The materials described here are divided into two categories. The first consists of an alphabetical arrangement of publications and resources generally useful for the study of the company's history. It is titled “General Publications.” The second category is a chronologically arranged listing of catalogs, price lists and circulars more likely to be helpful in the study of the tools themselves. Thumbnails, with accompanying larger images, are provided for most items and include catalog covers, interior content, and promotional brochures.
Selecting an appropriate title for some of the items has been difficult. In dealing with catalogs and booklets, I have typically preferred information from the title page (if one exists) rather than from the cover. Exceptions have been made when the text on the title page seemed in some way misleading or when necessary to distinguish between large and small format editions of company catalogs.