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If youíre nodding in recognition, youíre a lucky owner of George Leonard Herterís farrago ďBull Cook and Authentic Historical Recipes and PracticesĒ ó one of the greatest oddball masterpieces in this or any other language. A surly sage, gun-toting Minnesotan and All-American crank ó the kind of guy who would take his own sandwiches to Disneyland because the restaurants were No Damned Good ó Herter wrote books on such disparate topics as candy making, marriage advice, African safaris and household cleaning.via vz
Where could you find these books? Not in any fancy bookstore, friend. No, you needed a Herterís sporting goods catalog. Starting in 1937 from atop his fatherís dry-goods shop in Waseca, Minn., Herter over the next four decades built a mail-order sporting goods juggernaut. The arrival of the Herterís catalog was like Christmas with bullets. Need a birdís-eye maple gunstock? Check. How about a Herterís Famous Raccoon Death Cry Call? Just two dollars. Fiberglass canoes? Got you covered. The catalog, which the former Waseca printer Wayne Brown recalls started as three-ring binder supplements, grew so popular ó about 400,000 or 500,000 copies per run, he estimates ó that Brown Printing became one of the countryís largest commercial printers.