M. KURTZWELL, President. M. L. PAGE, Secretary.
ESTABLISHED 1871. INCORPORATED 1889.
CHAS. N. PAGE, Treasurer and Gen'l Manager
OFFICE OF Iowa Seed Company, 613-615 LOCUST STREET. Des Moines, Iowa, January 1, 1897.
TO OUR CUSTOMERS: For more than a quarter of a century our place of business has been known as THE IOWA SEED STORE, being the largest as well as the oldest seed concern in the state. In every neighborhood in the state our seeds are well known and popular, and our trade has extended to every state in the Union and our highest ambition is to deserve the title which has been applied to us, namely, "SEEDSMEN TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE."
While we are receiving a great many orders from South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, as well as many of the sea islands, still it is the home trade that we are the most anxious for, adn we solicit the orders of everyone who uses seeds from Maine to California and from the lakes to the Gulf of Mexico.
The soild and climate of Iowa are especially adapted to the perfect growth and maturing of seed crops, and for more than a quarter of a century we have devoted much time and labor to testing, experimenting, selecting and improving our various choice strains of seed.
Our new store is as conveniently arranged a building as there is in America for the seed business and orders can be filled with great rapidity, our mail during the busy season averaging 1,000 to 1,800 letters and postals per day. About five blocks away, located beside the railroad tracks is our warehouse, where large quantities of seed are stored and hauled to our city store as needed, no orders being filled from teh warehouse except carload lots.
[image: three-story brick building with "IOWA SEED STORE" signage and people.] Our New Store- 44x133 feet.
THE ILLUSTRATION On the opposite page will give our out of town customers some idea of the internal arrangements of our store:
FIGURE 1 This is a photograph of our present retail store force. Many of these have been connected with the company from five to eight years. Only a portion of the large retail store room, which is 44x68 feet, is shown in this picture, while the wholesale room, of equal dimensions, lies just back of this. Near the center of this picture the president of this company stands with his hand on the shoulder of Chas. N Page, who for eleven years past has been the manager.
FIG. 2 The Bulk Garden Section.- Where all the varieties of vegetable seeds are arranged in bins and drawers.
FIG. 3 Packet Cases.- A long aisle, systematically arranged with numerous pigeon-holes on both sides, rising tier above tier. Here seeds in packets only are kept for filling mail orders.
FIG. 4.- Mailing Clerk's Department.- When an order has traveled through all the various departments and is completely filled, the shallow basket with the written order and parcels of seeds are brought to the mailing clerk and carefully checked to guard against possible mistakes. Shipments to go by freight are filled and checked in the wholesale department down stairs.
FIG. 5.- Represents a Packet Table.- It shows girls working at a large table where seeds of all varieties fo flowers and vegetables are, by deft fingers, placed into packets by small graded measures with a precision and rapidity that is truly marvelous to the uninitiated.
FIG. 6.- The Printing Office.- Where from two to six printers are constantly employed upon our own work. Aside from what we do in our own printing office, we pay from $4,000.00 to $6,000.00 per year to other printing establishments.
Last spring we had a QUARTER CENTURY CELEBRATION at our store and invited our city customers to visit us. The large store was handsomely decorated and the noted Iowa State Band discoursed beautiful harmonies for the 5,000 to 6,000 city customers who visited us that day.
WE GROW OUR OWN SEEDS. Not all on our own place of course, as that would be impossible owing to the great number of varieties and their liability to cross if grown adjacent to each other. Our home farm of seventy acres is devoted to growing small items and stock seeds, which we place with practical seed growers and contract for the crop. The growing crop is then subject to our personal inspection at all times during the season, and is as carefully watched as the crop grown on our own place. We handle altogether about 2,000 varieties of seeds and it requires the crop of seeds from 4,500 acres to supply our trade.
Again thanking you for past favors, and respectfully soliciting a continuance of your patronage, we remain,
Your friends, IOWA SEED COMPANY
Bur Beadtung: Alle kriefe und Anfeagan in deutsher sprache werden von uns beantwortet; anh werden keftellungeu in deutsher sprache ebento prompt besorgt ale andere.
SUGGESTIONS TO CUSTOMERS.
ORDER EARLY.- The best time to order is just as soon as you receive this catalogue, as we can always give your orders more of our personal attention if they come in before the rush of the spring trade. Please use the order sheet, as it makes it more convenient for us in filling orders. Terms are invariable cash with order, as we keep no book accounts in our mail order department, and the expense of sending goods C. O. D. is quite large. Postage stamps received as cash.
SHIPPING- There are five express companies and fifteen railroads centering at Des Moines, so that quick shipments can be made to any town in the United States.
CHARGES PREPAID.- All Vegetable and Flower Seeds. Bulbs and Plants, except those notes, are sent prepaid by mail or express by the quickest and most direct route, unless ordered otherwise, and we guarantee their safe arrival. Seeds sold by the peck or bushel, field seeds, potatoes, implements, ahd other heavy goods are sent by freight or express, purchaser paying charges.
TESTING.- All seeds are carefully tested, and nothing sent out which we do not believe to be good in every respect.
OUR PRICES.- Our constant aim is to make the highest quality the first consideration, and next to put our prices as low as good reliable seeds can be sold.
DISCOUNTS.- ON ALL ORDERS FOR SEEDS IN PACKETS the purchaser may select twenty-five cents' worth extra for each one dollar sent us. This refers only to seeds in packets, not in bulk. Each year we put up thousands of packets for seeds for free distribution among our customers, by adding liberally of them to orders. We will allow you a discount of ten cents per pound on vegetable seeds, such as are listed as prepaid, if you are willing to ahve them sent by express or freight at your expense.
SMALL ORDERS.- If you only want a single packet, do not hesitate to send for it. We take as much pains to fill small orders promptly and correctly as we do large ones. Orders for Flower Plants and Nursery Stock, however, must amount to at least fifty cents.
NEWSPAPERS.- Your choice of a year's subscription to either the Western Garden, Rural Northwest, Farm Journal (Phila.) or American Corn Journal to anyone ordering seeds to the amount og $1.00 or more and asking for it in place of other premium.
WHAT WE GUARANTEE.- That all money sent us for seed shall reach us if sent by registered letter, P.O. or express money order or bank draft, made payable to our order. That your order will be filled promptly and well. That goods ordered will reach you safely. KEEP A COPY of your order. Sometimes persons think that they have ordered articles which they have omitted, and blame us for not sending them.
[image: pointing hand] NOTICE:- The importance of GOOD SEEDS cannot be overestimated, and we are certain that after a trial all our customers will agree that our seeds are the purest and best to be had. Still, when it is considered how many are the contingencies on which the success of any crop depends, our customers will readily see that it would be sheer folly for any one to warrant them to produce a perfect crop, and we want it distinctly understood that while we exercise the greatest care to have all seeds pure and reliable, and also true to name, we do not give any warranty, express of implied. If the purchaser does not accept the seeds on these terms and conditions, they are to be returned at once, and money that has been paid for same will be refunded. No officer, agent or employee of this company is authorized to make any warranty whatsoever. However, we have so much confidence in our seeds that we hereby agree to refill any retail order for vegetable or flower seeds free of charge should they prove otherwise than as we represent them. We know of no responsible seed firm in the world who guarantees seeds any further than this. Compare with other seed catalogues and you will find that we are right.
OUR RESPONSIBILITY- As this book will probably go into the hands of many who are unacquainted with us, this question will naturally arise, and in answer to the same we refer you by permission to the Valley National Bank of this city, to the postmaster, or to any of the various express companies.
MARKET GARDENERS and other who buy VEGETABLE SEEDS IN BULK to the amount of $5.00 or more, are requested to send for our Market Gardeners' Price List. This list for market gardeners is intended only for large buyers, and is exclusively for those who order vegetable seeds alone by weight or measure amounting to $5.00 or over. Club orders which call for this amount of bulk seeds altogether are entitled to these prices.
WE ARE ALWAYS PLEASED TO RECEIVE SAMPLES OF ANY NEW, RARE OR SUPERIOR SEEDS YOU MAY SEND US FOR TRIAL.