An Austin ham/electrical engineer friend sent along this link tonight for the 1939 Radio Shack catalog. At first thought, it might seem that it would be boring. But, as you turn the pages, you get to see what was new and exciting back then in a way that a single photograph of a workbench or and ham operator's equipment would not show you.
The catalog lists ham radio equipment, as well as laboratory test equipment. The components and how they are named and specified in the text tells much about that era's equipment. You learn the popular component voltage ratings, resistor wattages, radio chassis sizes, and the tools it took to work with the components and build your own equipment.
Viewing this catalog is more than just turning pages without the dust and musty smell: these are the pages of radio history.