Instant House

A blog tribute to the manufactured, mass-produced, modular and kit homes that grace the American landscape.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sears Sold Everything. EVERYTHING.

The Company That Sold It All  
At the turn of the century, a significant number of households in the United States only had two books--the Bible, and the Sears Catalog.  Many people remember learning how to read with both...although the grammar in the Sears Catalog was a bit easier for the toddler to digest.  The catalog also one other benefit:  pictures--important stuff for those learning to read!  The point of this little story is to illustrate that the Sears Catalogs contained just about everything.  Sears issued a special "Home Builders Catalog" containing everything one needed to outfit a home--minus furniture.  (That could be found in the main catalog.)  Below are some interesting grabs from the 1910 issue.

"Acme Tropic"?  Who's buying this?  Wiley Coyote???
And what's with the "hot air" rising into that woman's skirt?
The boiler I put in last year did NOT cost $80...

Historical toilets are like historical clothing--interesting, but uncomfortable.
Look at the "hopper" on the bottom...did Rube Goldberg design it???

Mantles.  Many non-Sears homes had Sears mantles.  The home I grew up in had the one on the top right.
$30 new.  At the architectural salvage shops today, expect to pay at least ten times that.  Probably more.

Art glass--sold by the running foot and the square foot.  The one on the bottom
right is a DIRECT Frank Lloyd Wright rip-off--he was very popular in 1910.

Need light?  Here you go!  You had to specify gas or electric.
...Pity to those who "chose poorly".

2 comments:

  1. You mean those magnificent stained glass pieces we all look for in Victorian houses cost $1 per sq. foot?

    ReplyDelete
  2. At one point, they sold cars through the catalog.

    Lara
    sears-homes.com

    ReplyDelete