Inspiration – Devil In The Detail

One of the things that can really make a game session is the detail provided by both players and the GM.  Finding that detail can be a struggle, so I like to share little discoveries from time to time.

The wonderful Colin Chapman, who is part of the team working on the DH:LoF – Resistance supplement, pointed me at Cornell Publications.  Based in the US, they (well, Abby in her basement) sell scanned, laser-copied and nicely bound reproductions of old retail catalogues.  While Abby focuses on guns, the catalogues themselves (some European, mostly American) contain other goods.

For example, the 1910 Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (of 57 Reade Street, New York) catalogue contains, well, everything.  The prices are in dollars, but a quick internet search will likely find you the exchange rates.  Want to know how much a live frog harness (…”holds the frog perfectly, and keeps it absolutely alive.”) would cost your adventurer?  50c to you, ma’am.  Leopard skin waistcoat, sir?  $15, single breasted with fly front.  Why just pitch your tent when you can pitch a 12 foot Tanalite Waterproof Sibley Tent, weighing 16.5 lbs, costing you $32.35 with an additional $1 for the poles and stakes?!

While some of this info can be found online, there’s something hugely satisfying about having a catalogue to hand that can be thumped down on the table to cut off any ‘enthusiastic discussions’ (and a few fingers).  It is possible to track down, often remarkably cheaply, original booklets and the like from the time in antique shops, at book sales, and so on – as Colin has done.  Still, if you don’t get out much, it’s nice to know you can have reproductions delivered to your door.

Anyone have any other sources for this kind of information?  Drop us a comment.

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