Betsey Potter, owner of The Costume House LLC, and my costume companion around LA last year, has a fantastic collection of travelling salesmen's catalogues from the 1880's through to the 1930's. They are substantial tomes, like old parish bibles, so evocative of the period. It's great to handle the cloths, so many options and such good, heavy, dense quality, particularly the coatings. We make nothing like it now and it only makes me think again about how pointless it can be to try too hard to recreate authentic early clothing for costume. Better to enjoy the effort of a creative response to a period.
There's an interesting essay on the subject here.