Here's another scanned catalog - Catalog 18 from 1990. This catalog featured the muddy black and white pictures and awesome writing our customers had come to expect. Also included was a statement of purpose that is as true now as it was then. Except for the part about robots, we now welcome our robot overlords.
OUR PURPOSE IN LIFE
We are folks who have a great time finding, creating and providing you with hard-to-find, hard-to-beat, wonderful things. When we select something for the catalog, we think about quality, fun, astonishment, aesthetics, and the object's place in the History of the World. If we may go on a bit more, we'd like quote an excerpt from The Siege of Krishnapur, by J.G. Farrell (Set in India, Sepoy Uprising, 1857): "...we are raising ourselves, however painfully, so that mankind may enjoy in the future a superior life which now we can hardly conceive! The foundation on which the new men will build their lives are Faith, Science, Respectability, Geology, Mechanical Invention, Ventilation and Rotation of Crops!"
We work hard, the old-fashioned way, without robots, and every order gets personal attention. We try our best to ship fast and correctly. And if we screw up, we will make it right! We appreciate your business and our mission is to make you laugh or exclaim with wonder and to deliver good value fast. And to remind you to rotate your crops.