Main content area

Shopping at Harris Scarfe

A number of pre-World War I catalogues from Geo. P. Harris, Scarfe & Co. have been recently acquired by the Library. Catalogues from this period are particularly scarce, possibly due to wastepaper drives conducted during the First World War.

Geo. P. Harris, Scarfe & Co. (later Harris Scarfe) traces its history to 1849 in Adelaide when George Peter Harris and John C Lanyon founded their hardware business Lanyon & Harris. The firm grew to arguably be Adelaide’s premier department store. The firm provided a wide range of goods for a suburban and rural market at the time. Many Australian households would have used these catalogues for both their essential household needs as well as luxury goods.

The catalogues contain pictures, prices and descriptions for a wide range of domestic goods, including refrigerators, lawn mowers, bicycles, toys, lamps, stoves and hardware. They provide a fascinating glimpse into the domestic life of Australians at the beginning of the Twentieth Century.

The catalogues can be searched for under the subject Geo. P. Harris, Scarfe & Co -- Catalogs.

Simon Cootes
Collection Development Librarian