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1897 Sears Roebuck Catlg [Paperback]

S. J. Perelman , Sears , Fred L. Israel
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Paperback CDN $15.96  
Paperback, June 1 1997 --  

Book Description

June 1 1997
This is a complete replica of the revolutionary consumer's guide. This facsimile of the 1897 "Sears Roebuck and Co. Catalogue" presents a unique glimpse of America at the end of the 19th century. Hundreds of illustrations and intriguing text bring this bygone era to life, describing more than 6,000 items, from abdominal corsets and zulu guns, to trout baskets and puff bangs, to bicycle suits and phaeton tops. A replica of the original catalog, this volume features products offered to consumers more than 100 years ago and makes this period come alive by illuminating people's consumer habits, as well as advertising methods during that time. Perfect for collectors of Americana, social historians, and general readers, this catalog is a browser's delight.

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Review

"Truly a browser's delight - sometimes amusing, sometimes startling, always engaging...Tells us as much about the way we lived a century ago as most history books do - and it's much more fun to read." - Country Victorian "A dazzling trove for students of Americana. It certainly is one of the happiest publishing ideas in years." - Time"

About the Author

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Nick Lyons is the editor of Hemingway on Fishing, The Best Fishing Stories Ever Told, The Quotable Fisherman, and The Little Red Book of Dad's Wisdom. He has written over twenty books, mainly on fishing, in addition to hundreds of articles on the subject, which have appeared in such magazines as Harper’s, Outside, Field & Stream, Outdoor Life, and Fly Fisherman. He splits his time between New York City and Woodstock, New York. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
The 786 - page reprint of the 1897 Sears, Roebuck & Co. Catalogue is a priceless piece of Americana. Profusely illustrated, readers will enjoy studying the surprisingly enormous range of consumer goods then available, most of which are obsolete or little used in American life today. From the $4.90 'Cast Iron Pig Trough' to the $3.00 'Cleveland Ball Bearing Wringer,' from the $1.75 'Magic Lantern Slide Projector for Juveniles' to the $3.35 'Velocipedes' bicycle and the $2.00, mohair-covered 'Ear Trumpet,' readers will turn the pages in delighted awe. Those interested in fashion and costuming will find the extensive pages on clothing remarkable. The average description for most items tallies at about 100 words, most of which are superfluous but fun to read.
There are 55 very detailed pages on clothing, hats, and accessories for men and boys, including $6.95 'Cashmere Suits,' $9.90 'Blue Flannel Grand Army Of The Republic Suits,' and 'Brownie Suits,' 'Fancy Sailor Suits,' and 'Children's Kilt Suits.' These sections are bolstered by idealized figures of mustached men strolling by the seaside in striped suits and straw boaters, pipe - smoking deep thinkers poised in velvet smoking jackets, and bashful lads posing in knee britches.
An equal number of pages are devoted to clothing, shoes, hats, and other accessories for women and girls, including 'Dr. Warner's Abdominal Corset' made with "extension steels, side lacings, and elastic gores on each side," girl's "reefer jackets," the $2.95 'Rich's Patent "Julie Marlowe" Lace Boot,' and 2 pages of heavily - festooned women's hats with names like 'the Leader,' 'the Susanne,' 'the Evangeline,' and 'the Bon Ton.' Presciently, many of the illustrations of women look remarkably like the matronly Mary Astor in the 1941 classic 'Meet Me In St. Louis.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This is a catalogue full of photos and descriptions of old things. I enjoyed perusing it just because I love old things.
The print quality is marginal though, but legible. Words and photos look a bit grainy.
Prices, stock, descriptions, wild exaggerations and boasts of products all paint an interesting picture of life at the turn of the century.
I'm an old house lover and I found this book as an intriguing bit of memorabilia about the way things once were in this country.
The section on women's clothing is wild. Almost unimagineable to realize what women did to themselves in the name of fashion.
A good resource and conversation starter. Old folks can't get enough of it. In fact, it does make a great Christmas present for the over 60 crowd.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Cornucopia for Historians July 19 2001
Format:Paperback
You'll find *everything* in this reprint, from buggies and bicycles to books to groceries. (You'll need to mentally adjust the prices, since Sears was at that time strictly a mail-order wholesale house, and like the e-merchants of today could drastically undercut the traditional retailers: I've found that adding 50-100% to their list, unless they give another one in the adcopy, will give you a good idea of what "brick-and-mortar" merchants would have charged for the same item.) A splendid resource for anyone interested in the minutinae of everyday late-19th-Century life. If they'd only included toys, it would be perfect! The small print is a bit hard on the eyes and the illustrations sometimes rather dark, but the book as a whole is well worth buying.
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