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1897 Sears Roebuck Catlg [Paperback]

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

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Paperback CDN $15.96  
Paperback, June 1 1997 --  

Book Description

June 1 1997
Imagine it's the end of the nineteenth century, and, with one catalog, you can buy everything from beds and tools to clothing and opium. (Yes, opium.) Not to mention ear trumpets, horse buggies, and Bibles. The 1897 Sears, Roebuck & Co. Catalogue is both a wonderfully fascinating collector's item and a valuable piece of American history. For every recognizable item included, there are plenty of others guaranteed to confuse or interest 21st century readers—like Bust Cream or Food and Sweet Spirits of Nitre. What was once standard household fare is today a sometimes strange, often funny look at what life was once like for the average American family. It's amazing to see that a Princely Shirt for Princely Men cost $0.95 or three for $2.75 or that a Complete Violin Outfit (with bow and case) cost only $2.00.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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About the Author

Sears, Roebuck & Co. was founded in 1886 in Chicago, Illinois. It published a general merchandise mail order catalog and consumer guide from 1888 until 1993. It is the author of the 1897 Sears Roebuck & Co. Catalogue and the 1908 Sears, Roebuck & Co. Catalogue.

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
4.0 out of 5 stars A Cornucopia for Historians July 19 2001
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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
This book is absolutely essential for anyone doing research on the late 1890s, as it lists prices of popular goods and gives a lot of input into what was available. For any Game-Masters(if you don't know what a Game-Master is, don't ask...) running a Wild West game, it is a must!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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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4.0 out of 5 stars A blast from the past. Oct. 4 2002
The quality if the reproduction is great, and the nostalgia of reading a catalog that my great-grandparents might have seen is cool.
(I bought this book as a resource for Old West roleplaying games, and it suits that application very well.)
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