Thursday, December 2, 2010

The 1923 Sears-Roebuck Catalogue

In the late 19th century, Richard Warren Sears and Alvah Curtis Roebuck founded the Sears-Roebuck Company.  The company was originally a mail order business, but quickly grew to become the largest retailer in the United States.

Their mail order catalogs were famous.  First published in 1888, and revised every year thereafter, it was known as "the thrift book of a nation", and featured every kind of product imaginable---home accessories, clothing, foodstuffs, firearms, farm implements, etc, etc.
High Quality Ladies Dresses

Cindy has a copy of the 1923 edition.  Here are some of the offerings:

Men's and Women's Shoes and Slippers

Quality Gold Monogrammed  Pocket Watches---$10 to $41
---Pocket Watches

Chocolates and Tobacco   
---Chocolates and Tobacco

Guitars, Mandolins and Banjos  $3.25 to $19.95
---Guitars, Mandolins and Banjos

"Every Home Should Have a Piano"  $12.00 a Month


Coffee Cost $.59 For Two Pounds

Bicycles Cost $22.45 to $26.95

After President John Kennedy Was Assassinated in 1963 With a Mail-Order Rifle, Sales of Mail-Order Firearms Were Banned in the United States
---Rifles and Handguns

A Kit To Build Your Own Home!---$1,098 to $2,093
---Build-It-Yourself Homes

A Kit To Paint Your Own Car!---$4.98
---Kits For Painting Your Own Automobile

Bathtubs---$10.30 to $107.65

Stoves---$4.15 to $67.50

It is so very interesting to leaf through this catalog from our history. 

The Sears-Roebuck Company merged with K-Mart in 2005.


  1. Plus back then everything was made in America. I wish we still had a company like that now.

  2. You have brought back memories of shopping at Sears. I remember my uncle always buying chocolate covered peanuts at Sears. It was a huge store in Knoxville and a big treat to go there.

  3. Jane---You are SO right. In 1923, the country was hummin' along with a lot of momentum based on the fact that we basically manufactured everything---much like China today.

  4. Sears really brought the nation together, sending the stuff you could only buy in the city along parcel post to the country. What a concept!