Products for a Happy Life
- Page Count: 128
- Size: 4.25 x 5.75 inches
- Format: Paperback
- Publication Date: October 2007
- Price: $9.95
- ISBN: 978-0-9790486-3-0
Products for a Happy Life seeks to “un-take” for granted some of the most elegant and most functional household goods: a hefty pair of scissors, a hammer with a hickory handle, a cotton T-shirt. With imagery and descriptive text inspired by early 20th century American mail-order catalogues like Sears and Roebuck, this book evokes a bygone era when vendors and their customers valued quality over quantity. The goal is not to reject commercial culture; rather, it makes the case for the importance of products made to last, as opposed to being thrown out as soon as the next model comes along.
Today our aspirations run to accumulation: real estate, 401(k)s, college degrees, wealth. Everything else is simply of and for the moment, purchased with plastic, disposable and almost always made by someone overseas. Looking at these simple, straightforward illustrations of items like diapers, bed frames and cutlery, the emphasis on the materials used to construct the objects testifies to a time when consumers seemed to care more about durability than trends.
Jennifer McKnight-Trontz is a New York City-based writer and designer whose previous books include The Good Citizen’s Handbook and How To: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know Fully Illustrated.