Cowan, McClung & Co. Importers, Knoxville, Tenn.

1876 Catalogue of Inventory

Title page of diary This pocket-sized book was given to customers as a place to keep their personal notes.  It also contained a detailed listing of the store's inventory.  Cowan, McClung & Co. was the largest department store in Knoxville in the post-Civil War period.  It was recognized throughout the region for quality and variety of stock sold to wholesale and retail customers.  The Cowan and McClung families were linked socially and through intermarriage with some of Knoxville's most notable and earliest families.  At the end of this page, you'll find links to other Cowan, McClung & Co. information on-line.

January, 1876.
Wishing you a highly prosperous New Year, allow us to place this memorandum book with you, hoping that you will find it a matter of some convenience in getting up your assortment of general merchandise.  It will give those unacquainted with our several departments some little idea of the large variety and assortment of goods in our extensive establishment.  A very long experience in the trade has given us decided advantages in the selection of goods suited to the wants of every merchant.  As we buy for cash, pay no rents, sell Dry Goods, Notions, Hardware, Clothing, Hats, and Boots & Shoes — comprising six different departments, all under one roof, without extra expense — we claim to be able to offer inducements superior to any other house in the United States.  Our contingent expenses are very much less than they would be if we sold only one line of goods.  Convince yourselves of these facts by giving us a trial.

Very respectfully,
Cowan, McClung & Co.

Dry Goods Department
Fancy Madders Solid Colors
Mournings Swiss Rubies
Purples and Pinks Swiss Greens
Shirting Prints Oil Prints

A full line of FOREIGN and DOMESTIC.

Plaid Linseys
All Wool Filling, 3-4 7-8 4-4 wide.
Union, Cotton and Wool Filling, 3-4 wide.

Corset Jeans and Satteens

Shirting Stripes
3 x 3 and 6 x 3. In all Qualities.

Cheviot Shirting Stripes
In handsome variety.

We call special attention to our Celebrated Brand of
To meet the constantly increasing demand of Black Dress Goods, we have, after careful examination of the various manufacturers, settled upon the one we present, AS THE BEST, both as regards the DURABILITY as well as LUSTRE and COLOR. We offer them to the trade as
Unsurpassed in every Respect.
And as near perfect as the latest discoveries in machinery and dyeing can make them.

Dress Goods
Royal Brocades Corded Alpaca
Poplin Lustres Fancy Delaines
Alpaca Lustres  

All Wool Delaines,
French Merinoes,
All Colors and Prices.

Balmoral Skirts,
Felt Boulevard Skirts.

Opera Flannels.
In Red, Blue, Black, &c., at all prices.

Miners' Flannels.
In union and all Wool.

We have in stock the best and most popular brands of Brown Cotton in 3-4, 7-8, 4-4; also 8-4 and 10-4 Sheetings.

Sea Island Fine Browns.
All makes and brands.

Canton Flannels.
In all prices, both in unbleached, bleached and dyed.
Osnabargs. — Light and Heavy.
Cotton Ducks. — Light and Heavy.

Complete line of standard makes, of 4-4, 5-4, 8-4 and 10-4 Cottons.

Blue and Brown.

White, Brown Mixed, Blue Mixed, Grey Mixed,
In all widths, weights and sizes.

White, Red, Grey, Yellow, Blue — in plains.
White, Red. Grey. Indigo Blue, Blue Mixed and, Red Twills.

Kentucky Jeans.
We have at all times a large and complete stock of low price medium and fine Kentucky Jeans.

In Steel Mixtures, Greys and Blacks.

Our importation, selected especially for strength and durability, in both Drabs and Browns.

3-4 Black Doeskins 3-4 Cassimeres
6-4 14 Cloths 6-4 Coating
3-4 Boys' Cassimeres Italian Cloths
3-4 16 Tweeds Silesias
3-4 Meltons Canvass

Black Mixed, Brown Mixed, Gold Mixed.

In every variety of Weight, Color and Style.

Table Damask Linen.
Bleached, Unbleached and Turkey Wine Cloth.

Jacquard Diaper.
CRASH, American, Russia.

35 X 35, 63 X 63, 63 X 126,
In all colors, styles and prices, including all novelties as they appear.


Notions Department

China Agate, all sizes,
China Colored Agate, all sizes,
French Pearl, all sizes,
Pearl Shirt, very fine assortment,
French Horn, Coat and Vest,
India Rubber, Coat and Vest,
French Lasting, Coat and Vest,
Vegetable Ivory, Coat and Vest,
White and Smoked Pearl, all styles and sizes,
Gilt, Coat, Vest and Jacket, all styles and sizes,
Bone and Horn and Suspender and Fly,
Metal Suspender and Fly,
On hand at all seasons, the latest styles of Silk,
Velvet, Jet, Glass and other Dress Buttons.
Button Moulds, all sizes.
Buckles — Pant and Vest,
Hooks and Eyes, Silvered and Japanned.

Metallic Caps.

G. D. Hicks Manufacture, full count,
Musket Hicks Manufacture, full count,
Eley's Water-proof, all numbers.


Horn — Fine, S Fine, SS Fine,
Ivory Fine, S Fine, SS Fine, SSS Fine,
Rubber Fine, S Fine, SS Fine,
Raw Horn Dressing, 1 and 1¼ in., all lengths,
Raw Horn Dressing, extra heavy and wide,
Raw Horn Dressing, metal backs,
Horn Tuck and Pocket, in every style,
Rubber Tuck and Pocket, in every style,
Rubber Dressing, full line,
Shell Dressing, full line,
Horn and Rubber Round, large variety.

Pocket Books.

Calf and Sheepskin, all prices.
Imitation Russia Leather,
Buck and Kid Purses,
Bill Wallets,


Brass, Needle Pointed,
Oakville, Brass, Needle Pointed,
Book Pins — English,
Mourning, in boxes and Papers,
Hair — Rubber,
Hair — Wire, in fine variety,
Shawl and Safety, in fine variety,
Knitting, Steel and Polished Iron.


Conan Wilheim's Drilled Eye,
Milward's Helix, and other makes,
Darning and Crochet, full line.


Silvered and Steel, open and closed.

Violin Strings.

Separate sizes, and assortments to suit,
Banjo and Guitar, assortments to suit.

Musical Instruments.

German Harps, all sizes.
Harmonicas, all sizes.
Violins, full assortment,


Boys, Girth and Elastic, Web,
Gents, in great variety,
Gents, Elastic Web,
Full line of Duplex Metallic End Braces.

Elastic Goods.

Ladies' and Children's Garters and Garter Web,
Black and White, Gum Lustre' Cord,
Black and White, Gum Braid.
Black and White, Silk Gum Cord.

Rubber Goods.

Playing Balls and Rubber Rattles,
Pocket Book Bands,


Wood, Domestic, a great variety,
Real and imitation Briar, variety.

Fishing Tackle.

Cotton and Linen Lines, all lengths,
Imitation and Genuine Seagrass,
Limerick Hooks, all numbers,
Chalk Lines, all grades.


Tooth and Nail, French and English,
Hair, full assortment,
Cloth, assortment
Shaving, assortment
Shoe, assortment
White Wash, assortment in Tied, Nailed and Patent Iron-clad —
manufactured expressly for us.
Paint and Varnish, full assortment,
Horse, full assortment,
Scrub, full assortment,
Dusting Brushes and Feather Dusters.

Spectacles and Eye Glasses.

Braids and Bindings.

Mohair, Alpaca and Silk,
Cotton, Lines and Worsted Embroidering,
Cotton, Lines and Worsted Crochet,
Silk Crochet and Embroidering,
Mohair and Silk Coat Binding,
Carpet Binding,
Stay Binding — all numbers.

Embroideries, Laces &c.

Im. Valenciennes and Cluny,
Im. Guipure and Blond,
Real Guipure and Blond,
Cap and Counterpane Lace
Hamburg Edgings and Insertings, fine assortment
Fringes and Dress Trimmings.


Plain and Saxony Edge Magic — fine variety,
Cash's and Sandringham, variety,
Galons, Ruche and Tape Trimming, variety.

Wicks and Twines.

Candle Wick, in small bales,
Jute and Paper Wrapping Twine,
Cotton and Flax Wrapping Twine,
Gilling Twine.


Cord Edge, in all colors, No. 1½ to 60,
Sash Ribbons, in pleasing variety,
Black Silk Velvet, Anchor Brand, all widths,
Black Velveteen, Liberty Brand, all widths.


Hat, Nos. 6, 8 and 10, full length,
Italian, all prices,
English, all prices.


Beting and Belt Silks, all colors,
Morocco Belts, full assortment,
Silk and Linen Belts.


Linen and Leather Shoe Laces,
Corset Laces,
Dress Whalebone, all sizes,
Beads and Bead Necklaces,
Ladies' Jet, Shell and Gilt Jewelry,
Shirt Studs and Sleeve Buttons,
Watch Chains, fine assortment,
Watch Keys, fine assortment,
Key Rings and Tweezers,
Zinc Pocket Mirrors,
Ladies' Scissors, full assortment,
Pocket Knives, full assortment,
Razors, Strops and Shaving Boxes.

Spool Cotton.

Geo. A. Clark & Bro., O. N. T. — 200 yards,
J. & P. Coats, six cord, 200 yards,
Stafford's, 200 yards,
Sterling, 200 yards,
Eagle, 100 yards,
London Mills, 50 yards,

We desire to call the special attention of the trade to excellence of Stafford's hand and machine Spool Cotton, which an experience of many years justifies us in recommending as the best 3 cord cotton in the market. As we are the sole agents, we shall endeavor to keep the price at a less figure than any other 3 cord cotton.  We keep constantly in stock a full assortment of all numbers and colors-also handsome twodrawer Walnut Cabinets, containing 24 dozen assorted numbers and colors.

Ladies' Wool and Merino Hose.

White, Mixed and Black Lamb's Wool and Merino Hose, ribbed and plain.

Children's Wool Hose and Half Hose.

White Lamb's Wool, full assortment.
White Merino, full assortment,
Balmoral and Fancy Hose, a large line of assortments, styles and prices.

Men's Wool Half Hose.

Merino, plain and ribbed,
Blue mixed, full assortment,
Shaker and Country Hand-Knit.

Ladies' Gloves.

Black, White and Colored Cotton,
Lisle and Berlin, full assortment.
Kid, one and two buttons, full assortment,
Doe and Kid Gauntlets.

Children's Gloves.

A full assortment always on hand.

Men's Gloves.

Cotton and Lisle, all colors,
Berlin and Cloth, large variety,
Castor and Doeskin, large variety,
Dog and Calfskin, large variety,
Winchester Heavy Buck, full assortment,
Oil Tan Sheep, full assortment,
Kid, full assortment.

Men's Gauntlets and Mits.

Imitation Buck and Real, full assortment,
Oil Tan Sheep, full assortment,
Cloth and Doeskin, full assortment,
Buck and Sheep, extra heavy Mits,
Ladies' Silk and Thread Mits.


Ladies' Plain Linen Cambric,
Ladies' Hem Stitched, fancy boxes,
Ladies' Cambric, plain and embroidered,
Ladies' Mourning,
Gent's Hemmed Linen,
Gent's Hemmed Lawn,
Gent's Hemmed Lawn, fancy borders,
Imitation Silk, full line,
Madder and Turkey Red, full line,
Silk in piece and hemmed, in boxes,
Domestic Head Handkerchiefs, large variety.

Linen Collars and Cuffs.

Gent's full line, newest styles,
Gent's Cuffs, line, newest styles,
Ladies' Collars, fine assortment,
Lace and Crepe, fine assortment,
Collarettes, all the latest novelties,
Neck Ruffles and Plaitings,
Linen Cuffs, fine variety.

Shirt Fronts.

White and Fancy Cambric, full assortment,
French, Wove and Embroidered,
All Linen, open front and back, Shield, &c.

Veils, Berege &c.

Black Crepe Veils,
Black Love Veils,
Black Lace Falls,
Veil Berege, all colors and qualities,
Veil Tissues, all colors and qualities,
Mosquito Netting, all colors.

White Goods.

By direct importation-fullest assortment, comprising:
Jaconets, all prices,
Cambrics, Plaids and Stripes,
Nainsooks, Hair-Cord, Plaids and Stripes,
Victoria Lawns,
Bishop Lawns,
Swiss Muslin,
French Muslin,
Book Muslin,
Piques, Check, Striped and Corded,
All latest novelties in White Goods.

Linen Goods.

By direct importation.
Irish Shirting Linens, all qualities,
Bleached Damask Cloths,
Brown Damask Cloths,
Wine Cloths and Napkins,
Napk ins and Doylies,
Towels and Toweling, full assortment.

Neck Ties and Scarfs.

Black Silk Cravats,
Lawn and Cambric Ties,
Men's Silk and Satan Bows and Scarfs, complete assortment,
Ladies' Silk Scarfs.


Note Paper, all sizes and qualities,
Letter Paper, qualities,
Foolscap, qualities,
Legal and Bill Cap, qualities,
White, Buff and Canary Envelopes,
Note, all sizes,
Pass Books and Memoranda, all styles,
Blank Books,
School Books,
Copy Books and Almanacs,
Lead Pencils,
Slate Pencils and Slates,
Steel Pens and Penholders,
Writing Inks and Mucilage,
Bonnet Boards and Paper Blinds,
Straw and Manilla Wrapping Paper, all sizes,

Perfumery and Toilet Articles.

Colognes, Domestic, full assortment,
Colognes, Imported, full assortment,
Assorted Extracts, full assortment,
Pomades and Hair Oil,
Lily White and Rouge,
Shaving Cream and Soaps,
Colgate's Toilet Soaps,
Tetlow's Soaps.


Linen Bosom Shirts, full assortment,
Fancy and Embroidered Bosom, full assortment,
Calico Shirts,
Hickory and Denim Shirts,
Denim Overalls,
White and Brown Jean Drawers,
Canton Flannel,
Merino Undershirts, in White, Grey, Orange and Shetland, ribbed and plain, all qualities,
Lamb's Wool, qualities,
India Gauze, qualities,
Drawers to match all the above,
German Knit Jackets,
Cardigan, Jackets,
Ladies' Merino Vests.

Hoop Skirts and Bustles.

All recent novelties.

Ladies' Cotton Hose.

White, Fine Texture, all qualities, 8 to 9½ in.
White, Medium and Heavy, all qualities, 8 to 9½ in.
White, Iron Frame, all qualities, 8 to 9½ in.
White, Regular 3 & 4 thread, all qualities, 8 to 9½ in.
White, Fleeced, all qualities, 8 to 9½ in.
Brown, Blue and Brown Mixed, all grades.

Hair Goods and Head Nets.

Cotton and Thread Nets, large variety,
Heavy Silk Cord Nets, large variety,
Hair Plaits and Switches, large variety.

Children's Cotton Hose.

White assorted in 1 to 4, 2 to 6, 5 to 8 Cartoons,
Also solid sixes, in single dozen boxes,
Brown and Mixed, Fancy Stripes and Balmoral, a full assortment.

Men's Cotton Half Hose.

Brown and White, fine texture, all qualities and sizes,
Brown and White, medium and heavy, all qualities and sizes,
English, fine and super stout, all qualities and sizes,
Balbriggan, White, Brown and Fancy Lisle.

We invite attention to our
In heavy, medium and light weights.
These, goods are manufactured exclusively for us,
and we do not hesitate to recommend them
as the CHEAPEST and BEST in the market.

Satchels and Travelling Bags.

Plain Oil Cloth Satchels, all sizes,
Gothic Cloth Railroad (or double) all sizes,
Felt and Tapestry, all sizes,
French Duck all sizes,
Ladies' Satchels, good assortment.

Oil Table Cloths.

5-4 and 6-4 Fancy Styles, solid or in patterns.
5-4 and 6-4 Imitation Wood, Oak, Mahogany, Rosewood, Marble, &c.
Stand Covers.


Mason's Blacking.


White Honey Comb, fine variety,
Marseilles, variety,
Allendale Spreads, variety,
Comfortables, variety.


Full assortment.

Fancy Worsted Goods.

Ladies' Hoods and Nubias, complete assortment
Children's Hoods and Nubias, complete assortment
Breakfast Shawls, complete assortment
Child's Cloaks and Sacques,
Gent's Wool Scarfs and Comforts.


Fine assortment of One and Eight-Day,
Spring, Weight, Bronze, Strike and Alarm,
comprising all the styles made by the
Seth Thomas celebrated Manufacturing Co.
E. N. Welch celebrated Manufacturing Co.
Gilbert celebrated Manufacturing Co.
American Clock Co.


Palm and Willow, fine assortment,
Linen and Wood,
Silk and Feather.

Parasols and Umbrellas.

Cotton Parasols, 14 to 20 inches.
Gingham Parasols, 14 to 20 inches.
Amer. Silk Parasols, 14 to 20 inches.
Boiled Silk Parasols, 14 to 20 inches.
Fancy Parasols, plain and fluted, lined &unlined
Cotton Umbrellas, all sizes and qualities,
Gingham Umbrellas, all sizes and qualities,
Alpaca Umbrellas, all sizes and qualities.

Knitting Cotton, &c.

Knitting Cotton, in skeins and balls, all numbers in white, brown, blue and mixed,
Turkey Red Cotton,
Embroidering Cotton — French,
Linen and Cotton Floss,
Cotton Press Cord, white and black.

Paper Collars.

We have manufactured exclusively for us our own styles,
embracing all recent novelties in Paper and Cloth Surface Collars.
We name in part:
,Paper Cuffs in large variety.

Sewing Silks.

100 yd., 50 yd. and 20 yd. Spool Silk, best makes.
Skein, full weight,
Embroidery, all colors,
Tailors' Button-hole Twist.

Linen Thread.

W alker Bros. Standard, 16 oz., first quality,
Passaic, in fancy boxes,
Coats Machine Spools, 200 yards,
Marshall's Shoe Threads, all numbers.

Boot & Shoe Department
We would call your attention especially to
our very full and complete assortment of Boots
and Shoes, consisting in part of

Men's and Boys' Kip Brogans, all prices,
Men's and Boys' Sewed and Pegged Calf and Buff Balmorals and English Ties,
Men's and Boys' full stock Kip and Calf Boots, low medium and fine grades,
Youth's Brogans,
Child's Kip, Buff, Calf and Goat Copper Tipped Balmorals, sewed and pegged,
Ladies' Lasting, all grades and prices,
Ladies' Foxed, Goat and Kid Balmorals,
Ladies' Imitation Goat, Calf, Buff and Kid Balmorals, sewed, and pegged,
Ladies' Kip, Buff, Calf and Pebble Grain, in all prices and varieties,
Misses' Kip, Goat, Calf, Lasting, and Buff Balmorals.

Hat Department

A full line of
Men's Beaver Hats,
Men's and Boys' Cassimere Hats,
Men's, Boys' Youth's and Child's Common, Medium, Good, Wool and Saxony Wool Hats,
Men's and Boys' Planters,

A large and select assortment of the latest styles of
Ladies', Misses' and Child's Trimmed Hats,
Men's and Boys' Caps.

Hardware Department

A full and complete line of Merchantable
Hardware constantly in stock and bought at
the lowest cash prices direct from the manufacturers,
consisting in part of

Nails, Horse Shoes,
Mule Shoes, Horse Shoe Nails,
Mill Saws, Cross Cut Saws,
Hand Saws, Files,
Axes, Hatchets,
Hammers, Augurs,
Chisels, Shoemaker's Tools,
Knob Locks, Rim Locks,
Pad Locks, Chest Locks,
Teaspoons, Tablespoons,
Knives, Forks,
Pocket Cutlery, Butcher Knives,
Shot, Lead,
Gun Caps, Gun Locks,
Truck Chains, Log Chains,
Lock Chains, Tongue Chains,
Breast Chains, Curry Combs,
Cotton Cards, Harness,
&c.,     &c.,     &c.

Clothing Department

We buy our Clothing direct from the manufacturers
in such quantities and at such prices that we are
enabled to compete successfully with any other market.
Our stock consists of
Black Dress Suits,
Cassimere Dress Suits,
Fancy Business Suits,
Cassimere Coats, Pants & Vests,
White Vests,
A full and large stock of Linen Clothing in the proper season.

Ad for Clark's Threads

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