Sears catalog dating
Several aspiring actresses got their start modeling in the catalog, including silent film star Gloria Swanson, femme fatales Susan Hayward and Lauren Bacall and even supermodel Cheryl Tiegs. During the Great Depression, artist Norman Rockwell created a series of paintings for the catalogs’ covers.
And even big-screen cowboys and famous athletes, like Roy Rogers and Ted Williams, were recruited to hawk the latest products.
Initially, Sears got into the home-kit business as a way of boosting sales in its slumping lumber department, but when interest boomed, they increased production, and soon offered more than two dozen different designs.
All the prospective homeowner had to provide was the lot and the manpower—nails and tools were included in the kit.
announced that it was ending publication of its famed “Big Book, “ catalog, which for more than 100 years had allowed Americans to buy everything from clothing and food to medicine and automobiles, all from the comforts of their own homes—in fact, Sears might have even sold them the house itself. Sears got into the retail business almost by accident, when he purchased a shipment of watches from a disgruntled wholesaler who had received an incorrect order.
For every dubious medical offering, there was a tried-and-true remedy like aspirin or Alka-Seltzer.
Touch and Feel Textiles By 1905, understanding that some items required more than just illustrations, Sears began incorporating physical samples of its products in the pages of the catalog.
If you were in the market for paint, you could now choose your exact shade.
And with eye doctors in short supply on the prairie, Sears offered up a wide selection of eyewear. Just take the at-home eye test tucked into the catalog to determine your vision needs.
Houses in (Thousands of) Boxes The mail-order home kit, first advertised in the pages of the 1908 catalog, may be the most famous (and ambitious) of all Sears offerings.
Mail-Order Chickens and More That’s right, along with pantry staples such as flour, lard and butter, America’s housewives could stock their farms with animals sent right to their door.