28 November 2011

Mail Order Monday: Burton By Post














Mail order was my birthright as a kid. Sears and JC Penny? Mere amateurs. Sometime in the late '60s, just after the Whole Earth Catalog made its splash, an understated book came out called, The International Catalog of Catalogs. It was nothing more than the world's best catalogs in one book.

Segmented by product type, like cooking or camping or apparel, it might have included the UK's version of Sears, Burton By Post as seen above. The magic of international mail order was not so much in the ordering but in the dreaming. That, and it was an insight into a country. The difference in clothes, cameras, slippers and underwear. It was an amazing trip to take.

I miss that. I know I have the world at my finger tips via the Web but it isn't the same. In a catalog, there was a story. I don't care if it was intended or not. It was there and I was a part of it. I was shopping in Manchester or Rome or Mexico City.

It was a pain. International money orders at Deak-Perera, shipping charges, stamps...But something beyond magical happened when the package arrived. Foreign stamps everywhere, with sevens crossed and custom forms stuck to brown paper. I saved it all. I still save it all.

10 comments:

JKG said...

Imagine my dismay when upon living in London for a summer I discovered that the BbP girls had been either spirited in for the shoots or spirited away shortly afterwards.

longwing said...

It's hard to believe you were always like this.

Main Line Sportsman said...

That first shot of the 4 guys is oddly reminiscent of the "Twit of the Year" bit from Monty Python...

The L.L. Bean catalogue was always eagerly awaited in my house and well used....some of the telephone order takers were like old friends back in the mid 80's.

Ben said...

Alright. I just had to chime in that MLS's comment about the Upper Class Twit of the Year is about as spot on a comment as has ever been made in the history of internet commenting.

tintin said...

JKG- I think these girls are all French.

longwing, I have proof.

MLS & Ben:
Nice Call. Twit of the Year can be seen here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5ba1OKY7Xc

Main Line Sportsman said...

Geez...high praise...or sarcasm??

thecontinentalcat said...

At first glance I thought that the first photo was an old LP of rare Richard Burton Poetry. Don't laugh too hard. Happy Holidays Tin Tin!

greatzamboni said...

the 2 blondes in the coats, hot preppy lesbo action- does it get any better? must be nearing christmas...
i still enjoy the bean catalog, though if i order from em i always use the phone- excellent human contact

tintin said...

Main Line- Nothing but the highest of praise.

Continental Cat- Is there an album of Richard Burton poetry? I want it.

Zambo- Lesbo action?! I don't know what Eastern European,Commie dung hole you hail from but here in the US of A we call it art.

GSV JR said...

Oh, yeah. They smell French. Godamighty. I'm loving the tartan skirted honey and the two below her sharing a "forbidden moment."