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Catalog and Seed Sales title

Will Catalog 1908 cover
1909 Will seed catalog back cover SHSND# 10190
By 1907, Will was using a logo featuring the head of an elk. This logo was discontinued in 1909 and replaced in 1912 with his pioneer covered wagon logo. The 1907 catalog was distributed to 95,000 homes. He featured a banner that read “Oscar H. Will & Co., Bismarck, North Dakota awarded Gold Medal Lewis & Clark Centennial.” This catalog also featured a word – cold - designed to attract customers on the northern plains, but again would be confounding to boomers of the young state. The cover caption read: “Grown in the Cold Northwest.” This catalog featured the Earlibell tomato (p. 35). He assured his readers that “if something you want is not in the catalog you may be sure that (unless it is of very recent introduction) it has not been a success here in the Northwest.” (p. 2)

In 1909, the catalog back cover began what would become an irregular back cover feature. The Northwestern Collection of Vegetables included cabbage, radish, corn, watermelon, lettuce, turnip, cucumber, tomatoes, beets, and onions. The company distributed 125,000 catalogs in 1909 and the essay once again assured readers that the seeds were grown in Burleigh County with the exception of a few varieties that could not set seed in a short growing season. Those were “grown for us on contract by specialist in the highest latitude where they grow to the greatest perfection.”