According to Steve Reed, one of the founder’s decedents, Crofts & Reed was a Chicago company, established in 1888, that rivaled Sears (also a Chicago company) as a mail order catalog company in the late 1800s to early 1900s. “It was a manufacturer and retailer of laundry and toilet soaps, toilet preparations, and food products. It was also an importers of coffees, teas, and spices. The company was started by Corydon Alcinus Reed and Will Crofts. The company became a nationally known mail order business. Crofts and Reed prospered until World War I, when, like many other firms, it was badly hurt by the lack of availability of materials.”
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