One of the most interesting collections of material here at the Drawings + Documents Archive is the trade catalog collection, which contains marketing publications directed to architects and those in building trades. Some of the earliest examples tout the long-lasting benefits of lead paint and durability of asbestos flooring for schools and hospitals, all printed long before the hazards of the materials were discovered.
The collection is a rich resource of ephemeral material that reflect what was valued at the time it was printed. As you might have seen in an earlier post about the mid-century concrete masonry publication, Pictorial, which highlights mid-century geometric designs with a decidely post-war American aesthetic.
We have been working on cataloging and reboxing our large trade catalog collection for the past year, and are nearly finished. It has been a year of discoveries, more of which you'll see in posts to come.
Here we have a page from a 1951 booklet of basketball backboard designs from the J.E. Porter Corporation, based out of Ottawa, Illinois. The first few pages of the book describe the differences between backboard designs and height regulations for grade school, high school, college, and professional basketball courts. The single pedestal backstop shown in this drawing is meant for college-level teams.