In 1896, John B. Moore purchased a small and isolated trading post near Washington Pass (now Narbona Pass), New Mexico, in the Chuska Mountains just east of the Arizona border. He named the place "Crystal" for the clear mountain spring that ran nearby. Because of the harsh winter and relative isolation of the location, Moore embarked on a novel marketing strategy, one that had been pioneered by Montgomery Ward and Sears, Roebuck & Co., namely the illustrated mail-order catalogue. The first catalogue appeared around 1903. It was updated via the issuance of leaflets showing Moore's newest designs for sale, such as the famous "storm pattern" shown on this page.
By 1911, when the second catalogue was published, Moore had introduced designs common in Oriental rugs and carpets in an attempt to appeal to Eastern buyers whose tastes had been influenced by Chinese, Mongolian, Turkmen, and Tibetan weavings, in all of which the swastika played an important role. In the 1911 catalogue, entitled "The Navajo", Moore used the swastika as the lone figure on the title page. Of the 31catalogue "plates", 10 utilized the swastika motif.
Moore and his wife abruptly left Crystal in 1911 in the midst of a scandal, but Moore's designs continued to be woven by the local weavers and sold by his successors.
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