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|
|Chocolates and Tobacco|
|Guitars, Mandolins and Banjos $3.25 to $19.95|
|"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|
|A Kit To Build Your Own Home!---$1,098 to $2,093|
|A Kit To Paint Your Own Car!---$4.98|
|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.