Not only did it refine the way many folks did their shopping, especially in rural areas, but it became almost a form of entertainment around the house (and the outhouses) for lots of families! Sears probably did more for the retail business than any other person before and it was due to, in large part, his famous catalogs!
Sears, Roebuck & Co.: An idea whose time had come
Richard W. SearsThe roots of one of America’s largest retailers dates to 1886, when Minnesota railroad station agent Richard Sears received a shipment of watches that a local jeweler refused to sign for. Sensing an opportunity, Sears established a side business selling the watches to other agents, eventually quitting his railroad job to focus on his new enterprise. The following year, an ad Sears had placed in a Chicago newspaper brought watchmaker Alvah Roebuck into the business, which quickly expanded into a general mail-order catalog that catered to America’s rural residents tired of the higher prices typically charged at their local stores.The retailer became famous for its catalogs, which could be hundreds of pages long and featured a broad array of items, including clothing, tools, musical instruments, headstones and even ready-to-assemble houses. In 1925, with increasing numbers of Americans moving to cities, Sears opened its first retail store, in Chicago.
This was probably the first ever "wish book" for many folks. I can remember nearly every relative I knew had an old Sears catalog around. I spent many afternoons looking at all the pictures and doing a lot of day dreaming, ya know?
Coffee on the patio this morning. How does 72 sound for a temp today?