Product catalogs from pencil-makers-gone-by are difficult to find, especially those dating back to the first half of the 20th century. It was usually only resellers who were privy to these catalogs so compared to the pure tonnage of print advertising that was produced for consumers each year, few full-range catalogs were printed to begin with. Members of the stationery trade were usually able to get free materials simply by sending a request written on company letterhead, such as this 1911 catalog from the Eberhard Faber Company:
I was fortunate to have examined some Eberhard Faber catalogs dating back to the early 1900s while visiting the Faber-Castell archive in Stein. Some are incredibly beautiful; hardcover books printed on coated stock with four-color plates. Others were a little less ambitious, but all had meticulous artwork (the irony of drawing tools needing to be drawn!). There must have been an entire sub-category of artists who earned a living illustrating for the stationery trade:
Once a year for the past eight years or so, I’ve made it a point to send for a few companies’ current print catalog(s). PDFs are fine for reference but they’ll never replace the “real thing” for me, and though it may all seem so 20th century to pursue print copies anymore it’s been worth it: a little extra effort to keep current (rather than buying your way back through time via eBay) has already produced some real treasures.