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1897 Sears Roebuck & Co. Catalogue Paperback – September 1, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 736 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing (September 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1602390630
  • ISBN-13: 978-1602390638
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 8.6 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,511 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“An 'artifact' to make the reader's mouth water.” (American Heritage)

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.

Customer Reviews

Very cool catalog replica!
aschen castle
After reading this book I have to say that the 1897 Sears Roebuck Catalogue was truly the Internet of its day.
John J. Browne
I use it as an RPG resource, but even my kids like to look through it to see what things "used" to be.
Stephen Allen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By The Wingchair Critic on December 2, 2002
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.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Rosemary Thornton VINE VOICE on May 2, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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. I've read that women's internal organs were often displaced by the pressure of corsets. Eww[...]

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.

Rose Thornton
author, The Houses That Sears Built
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By T. Rodgers on October 11, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is great to read if you want to learn about how people lived in the 1890's, before Amazon and Facebook. I found something amazing on every page in that regard. There is no better way to understand how someone lives than to examine what will eventually be their trash.

The prices are great and the shipping is reasonable. My only disappointment is that Sears has refused to honor those prices and doesn't stock (m)any of the products anymore. They returned my order:

10lb barrel of Mincemeat
1 bottle of Warners Cure All to help fight Brights Disease, Lumbargo and as a Consumption preventative
$20 Cast Iron stove
$6 Colt pistol
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Chrijeff VINE VOICE on July 19, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By bsnms on May 24, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a very good quality large paperback featuring crisp lettering and illustrations all the way through. I very much enjoyed the curiosities contained in the book, especially the archaic phrasing and overcooked descriptions of items. I found it amusing that the catalog states, in effect, don't be a nuisance and a waste of time by not doing your homework before purchasing products... the times have definitely changed! The range of goods sold and shipped by Sears, Roebuck, and Co., even at the end of the 19th century, is absolutely staggering! This Victorian-age wonder is "coffee-table approved" in my house.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Teresa G. Mccloud on June 2, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This catalog is awesome. I saw one years ago, and couldn't put it down. It is amazing what our ancestors could buy. Like pills for "Weak Women". Wow. Its always fun to bring it out and show company, everyone is always so interested in it once they open it. This is not a thin catalog either, very thick and lots of pictures of products to buy from back in the day with original prices. They had more buggies to choose from than they do cars today. This is a keepsake everyone should have, oh.....did I forget to mention the womens underwear?? Boy have things changed!!!! And I had forgotten how popular hats for both men and women were back then, and the choices were unbelievable. Lets not forget the different kind of guns you could get and ammunition. Its just so interesting and filled with knowledge of our past generations and what they used, bought and needed compared to today. Loved looking at all the pictures of items to buy, there is a ton of them. Get it, you will be impressed. Teri in Houston
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