The Old Sears Catalog
The Old Sears Catalog
This is a fun topic for me to talk about, but I must say I also hate to see that Sears may be closing its doors soon.
I hope in some small way the attention from this lens helps to at least keep the catalog business running for many years to come.
Why write an article on a catalog? The old Sears Catalog is not just any catalog. Sears and Roebuck were the first to mass produce catalogs and sell through mail order. The industrial revolution helped to make Sears a huge success.
If you are over 50, you probably have childhood memories of the Sears Catalog like I do. I remember my brother and I going through the catalog every year around Thanksgiving and circling every single thing we wanted in the whole book, which was something like 500 pages back then.
Somehow Santa magically got all those circled pages and managed to get at least some of our wishlist under the tree every single year!
Another funny memory is my Nana and Papa remodeled an old home and kept the old outhouse in the backyard as a kind of funny conversation piece. Nana put an old Sears Catalog in the outhouse for authenticity. I did not know for many years what that was for......but apparently the old issues made excellent toilet paper!
The 1943 Sears News Graphic wrote that the Sears catalog,
"serves as a mirror of our times, recording for future historians today's desires, habits, customs, and mode of living."
The roots of the Sears catalog are as old as the company. In 1888, Richard Sears first used a printed mailer to advertise watches and jewelry. Under the banner "The R.W. Sears Watch Co." Sears promised his customers that,
"we warrant every American watch sold by us, with fair usage, an accurate time keeper for six years - during which time, under our written guarantee we are compelled to keep it in perfect order free of charge."
We pretty much expect that sort of guarantee today, but I guess it was a big deal back then. I suppose we have Mr. Sears to thank for expecting quality!
Using the Sears Catalog
A nice article from the SEARS archives
- History of the Sears Catalog
Sears has opened the doors to its vast archival collection and invited the public to peek inside. More than 100 years of stories, product and brand histories, photographs, catalog images and more are now available online.
What? A House? From a Catalog? SEARS had it all!
2018 - SEARS files for Bankruptcy: Will we ever see another SEARS catalog?
Hopefully at least some stores will remain open. I would hate to see this long-lived and rather large slice of Americana relegated to the History books!
I guess time will tell.
Thayer Barn: Built from a Kit - from the Sears Catalog!
Here are a few articles and stories on why we love to remember these tattered old pages of the Sears Catalog
- Sears Catalog Home - Wikipedia
- An Abundance of Kit Homes in Tulsa (Updated!) | Sears Modern Homes
Sears Homes in Tulsa? That was my first thought when Rachel Shoemaker of Tulsa contacted me. She said that she thought there were several homes in her
- dimland: world's coolest toys pt. 1
The Ghost of Captain Kidd - complete with original Sears box!
- Stories - Outhouse on the Farm
Where did you keep your old Sears Catalogs?
My Favorite Stuff to order from the Catalog - When I was a kid
There was practically no limit on what you could order in the Old Sears Catalogs. I have a few favorite things I used to look for first when the new catalogs came out.
- Fuzzy Slippers
- fun Pajamas
- Winter coats
- Baby Dolls
- Stuffed Animals
- Sunday dresses
- Stereos and record players