Get Your Funk & Wagnall Encyclopedia Set at the Supermarket

I was a habitual buyer of volume 1 of the Funk & Wagnall Encyclopedia which would cost a penny or some outrageously low amount of money with some amount of purchase at the supermarket. When I finally disposed of my Encyclopedia collection I had 9 of them. So if you needed info about the Aardvark? I had your back, but you need to know about Badgers? Go ask some other kid.

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9 thoughts on “Get Your Funk & Wagnall Encyclopedia Set at the Supermarket

  1. dijital101 says:

    I’ve got this exact set and yes they were purchased from our local supermarket book by book

  2. I was so lucky as a kid. My Aunt worked (still works, actually) for Encyclopedia Britannica. As as kid, I thought everybody had a set of encyclopedias in their living room! It wasn’t until I was a little older that I realized how lucky we really were.

  3. moe says:

    I am sure everyone had a partial or full set, not everyone could afford to purchase a full set, it was door to door sales back then.

  4. ian darling says:

    A few years ago I purchased a set of Funk/Wagnalls at a charity shop and, researching about it, gathered that its supermarket marketing made it a sort of American cultural icon- although one that could be looked down upon. I love old encyclopedias and I quite like Funk/Wagnall – it does have some interesting things in it(Raul Hilberg on the Holocaust;a past leader of the American Socialist party on Socialism) and lots of American references obviously lacking in British encyclopedias. So it is not Brittania or Columbia but it is still ok and I just love the whole democratic idea of being able to get a big scale encyclopedia – in pre-internet era- relatively cheaply and accessibly.

  5. I was very happy with any Encyclopedia I could get my hands on as a kid and always dreamed of getting the full set from F&W. My neighbors would move away and would gift to me a full set of the World Book Encyclopedia, which would serve me well even after the dawn of the internet.

  6. Kris Knives says:

    Ahhh Encyclopedias, how much I learned from you in the many hours I spent copying you in detention. I still wish I had the complete abridged Kris Knives hand written and illustrated encyclopedia set. After 4 years it actually had a good amount of entries with the best information gathered at random from several decades worth of dead trees as well as many original illustrations not found in the original books, some even relevant to the subject matter on the page. I wouldn’t exactly call the Kris Knives hand written and illustrated encyclopedia the Devil’s Dictionary but it was the height of teenaged wit I assure you.

  7. I forgot all about the copying dictionary/encyclopedia punishment. It was my favorite, the teacher would come by all the time and yell at me for too much reading and not enough copying. I got really good at silently turning the pages.

    It would be cool if you had held on to your Kniveopedia.

  8. Jason Westbrook says:

    Can anyone who has these tell me if there are “plot summaries” of famous books in the back of each? I remember having a set of encyclopedias having said summaries as a child, and cannot for the life of me remember the name. All I remember is that the front boards were cream-colored, the spin dark green with gold lettering. Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.

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