Sears & Roebuck really did sell everything

And now for something completely different.

Very interesting find to show. In our old house, which was built in 1904 (or thereabouts) John was insulating the attic and found some boxes with what he said were newspapers and magazines. I never really looked in those boxes and they stayed in the attic. When we moved to Radiance Manor, we ended up taking those boxes with us. Fast forward to last weekend while I was rearranging the basement and came upon those boxes. I hadn’t looked in them before and wouldn’t you know I found some really neat stuff, including a Sears & Roebuck catalog from 1910!


This picture doesn’t show how huge it is. It’s 1000 pages.  It is full of everything! You can get clothing, groceries, dry goods, home improvement stuff, furniture, cars and whole houses!  Here is a sample of the products popular in 1910:

Ladies clothing.  Note the models were pretty slim back then as well…


Do you know how dumpy I would look in these outfits? Not designed for a short woman. Not at all.

To go under that outfit, don’t forget your pneumatic bust form!


And don’t forget the rubber female urinal because when you gotta go, you gotta go. Here people thought GoGirl was so innovative and it was already available in 1910 😀

Need a pick me up? How about some Beef, Iron and Wine?


Pleasantly aromatized with nutrients of beef in a fine sherry? Sounds delicious!

Shoes. Even a color section of the catalog. I have to say these styles aren’t bad, especially the top row on the left:


And at a dollar a pair, I just might even buy two!!

I then wondered if they might have sold trunks, so I found the index (in the middle — WTF?) and sure enough, they had trunks!


Funny how getting a beat up old trunk for $30 now is a great bargain and they went brand spanking new for $5 back then. Gotta love inflation.



I paid way more for my chaise. Should have gone to Sears, I guess.

The horrors:


All those layers of wallpaper removal in our house and some of it was pretty close to this style…



Doesn’t everyone need a cream separator?


Apparently so, because there were pages of different ones.

Musical instruments.


I didn’t check to see if there were bagpipes, but I did find an ocarina, so it wouldn’t surprise me.

And for the person on your gift list who has everything:


Cup of grease! Because who can’t use that??


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27 thoughts on “Sears & Roebuck really did sell everything

  1. Kim

    Sears musical instruments were the bane of my existence my first year of teaching. Wallpaper yes, trunks yes, grease sure, musical instruments NO:)

  2. Bonnie

    What a fantastic find! I’m big into genealogy and wonder if you found any personal papers or records that would be of historical interest? Your local genealogy society might have the name of an archivist or historian or genealogist that could look at them for you. Old newspapers can be digitized and are a treasure trove of information for genealogists!

    1. Lori Post author

      I only looked a little bit in the box. A lot of magazines. There was one book that looked like a primer with a handwritten name, but it is waterdamaged, so I didn’t open it too much. This stuff is really friable and dirty after 100 years in an attic.

  3. debby

    How fun! It seems funny to me that a cream separator would be more expensive than a couch! and you mentioned inflation–just today I bought some hard candies for 10 cents each, and I was thinking about how the exact same candies were penny candies when I was a kid!
    debby´s last blog post ..This ‘n’ That

    1. Lori Post author

      That was one of the cheaper separators, too. I don’t think that would be something the every day person would have, but probably a farmer.

  4. Sandy

    Man….I know a certain historian who lives in Georgia who would be overjoyed to be gifted with that particular catalog…(hint hint!!). I’ve seen reprints but never an original. Lucky you!!!!

  5. Kate

    What a neat find! I’ve also seen reproductions – but to find one that was obviously used by the original owners of Radiance Manor – really interesting. Thanks for sharing some pages, I was especially surprised to see the color pages.

  6. L

    What a find!!! Love those female urinals. O-o
    I want one of those couches, too. Not to shabby.
    And the shoes, probably all leather. I want me some o dat!!!

  7. Jeannie/Qlts2Slo

    Probably the index is in the center, because if you are “using” the catalog in your outhouse, you’d be more apt to tear pages from the front or the back. That way you’d still be able to find things in the pages that remain.

    Although I am FAR from being deficient in natural development, I’m wondering if the pneumatic bust form would help keep my aging pair up where they should be.

  8. Lynn

    Lori, I love to look at old Sears catalogs, but yours Is the oldest I have ever seen. What a find, I could look at that one all day, they are fascinating to me.

  9. Lisa

    SO COOL! I love it!! Keep those, please!

    My grandma’s house is about that age, and my aunt’s farmhouse is about 140 years old…both have stuff like that in their attic. My aunt was doing some remodeling and found old newspapers stuffed behind the walls. It was pretty amazing to see such old newspapers. Fun!
    Lisa´s last blog post ..Second Trimester – Part 2

  10. Biz

    I used to work in the law department of Sears and we had an archive room that had every single Catalog from the very first one. Sadly back then they promoted asbestos for everything – insulate your water heater, insulate your roof, your tile floors and even in brake pads. Once mesothelioma started happening, litigators used the Sears catalogs to show how many different things had asbestos in it. 🙁
    Biz´s last blog post ..Last Picture of Us

  11. colleen

    That was so cool! thank you for taking the time to do that……I wish I had that catalog! so cool to get a glimpse into that time. Thanks again 🙂

  12. Kathy W.

    Our 1860s farmhouse still has some of its old flowers with stripes wallpaper inside the cabinets built in a bedroom. I’ve left it there because it’s fun to imagine that the whole room once looked like that.

    That catalog is in amazing condition. I’ve seen some on eBay, and this looks brand-new by comparison!


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