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W.W. Grainger Catalog

Grainger Catalog

Started in 1927 by William W. Grainger, this Chicago based business was incorporated as W. W. Grainger, Inc., in 1928. Sales in the beginning were generally through mail order via post cards and a catalog. The catalog was originally called The MotorBook and was filled with wholesale electric motors.

Bill Grainger opened a branch in Philadelphia in 1933, then continued to open more local branches to better serve customers. By 1936 there were 15 branches in operation.

In 1967, Grainger became a publicly traded company.

The first Motorbook catalog was 8 pages long, today the 4,000-page Grainger catalog is still printed annually and is also available online at, the company’s award-winning Web site. By 2010, the catalog carried over 400,000 products, and over 900,000 products through their website.


Grainger provides businesses and institutions of all sizes with products such as adhesives, hand tools, power tools, testing instruments, hardware, and even office furniture. They supply customers in industries such as Janitorial, Painting, Plumbing, Electrical, Pneumatics, Hydraulics and Metalworking.

For more than 80 years The Grainger Catalog has been an indispensable a resource for diverse customer base that ranges from government offices and institutions to manufacturing and retail establishments, with more than 307,000 facilities maintenance products.