In 1897, the Sears, Roebuck and Co. was four years old and sent, post-free, to millions of American homes its catalogue, or as it was known then, Consumers Guide. The 770 pages listed an amazing array of merchandise of over six thousand items from every conceivable form of artifact from abdominal corsets to fish scalers, from egg beaters to kitchens sinks and from homeopathic medicines to wagons and carriages. The genius behind the budding American institution was Richard Warren Sears (1863 - 1914), a former railroad station agent and watch salesman. The catalogue was received eagerly each year by these families and was pored over diligently as they made their wish lists.
Sears' company was capitalized at $150,000 in 1895 and twenty years later listed its assets at over one hundred million dollars! Half of the original start up capital was provided by Aaron Nussbaum who amassed part of his fortune selling ice cream at the Chicago's World's Fair and his brother-in-law Julius Rosenwald, US clothier, manufacturer, business executive and philanthropist.
For this week's Sepia Saturday theme, I am providing two pages from the 1897 Sears catalogue, a true piece of Americana.
|Crockery and China|
This last picture is a mid-century kitchen from the October 1962 Better Homes and Gardens magazine. Mid-Century design is a term that describes 20th century developments in modern design, between 1935 and 1965. It is now being recognized as a significant design movement.
|Mid-Century Kitchen, Better Homes & Gardens Oct 1962|