The more time I spend on the internet, the more I realize that there's a site devoted to just about every obscure interest possible. A few days ago, for example, I discovered a website maintained by Columbia University, titled "The Biggert Collection of Architectural Vignettes on Commercial Stationery." Who would have thought?
But it's fascinating stuff, not only for the letterhead graphics but for the contents of many of the letters. Here's a Montana example: an 1893 letter from the old Missoula Mercantile company to Holter Hardware in Helena, both well-known institutions in early Montana history.
The Merc, of course, was a downtown Missoula landmark for years, even after the store was acquired by The Bon Marché and later Macy's. Today the old building is empty and awaiting a promised redevelopment ... good news, though it's too bad its days as a department store are over.