Shopping Through the Ages: 1903

Join me this week as we shop though the 1903 Sears, Roebuck, & Co. catalog.

You can find the catalogs online if you have an Ancestry.com membership.  Since I had someone ask me how to find them (they are kind of “hidden” on the site), I thought I’d explain – go to “search”, and then click on “card catalog” and type in “sears roebuck” and they will come up.  They are so much fun to browse through!!

Let’s start with women’s fashion…

And then the men.  I tried to include some work clothing along with the more fashionable outfits.

Sailor suits seemed to be in for the girls.  The infant gown is for both girls and boys, but I included it here.  It’s soooooo long!!

And on to the boys.

And now I will  show you some of my favorite finds in this year’s catalog – from the various different departments.

Buggies.  I’m wondering how my family of 7 would make it to town.  I think that there would be a lot of walking involved.:)

I love old clocks, especially grandfather clocks. I thought that the police equipment available was interesting.  Handcuffs, billies, and rubber coats.What a cool mirror!  I’m sure if you were doing your hair in an elaborate bun or trying to get your hat on at the perfect angle, one of these mirrors would come in handy. I’m perfectly happy NOT seeing my backside in the mirror though.:)Baseball was becoming popular!  I love that there are two styles of caps – Chicago and Boston.:)Isn’t this toilet and manicure case gorgeous?? It has a satin lining.This cash register look so ornate.Having 5 little kids, these crayons piqued my interest…These “crumb sets” were included on a page with beautiful silver ware.  I’m assuming that they are for the table – I can’t imagine using something so beautiful on the floor.  It says that you can even have them engraved – although I’m not sure what you’re write on them.  I think I’d engrave – “Don’t make a mess!!” for my kids’ sake.Anti-congestion plastic dressing – a remedy for inflammatory rheumatism.This duplicator must have been so helpful!  I don’t know how I’d live without my copy machine/printer.

I’m not quite sure that I would want to use an “electric thriller” to strengthen my nervous system.  Anyone have any idea what this involves?  Shocks treatments?  It says that it “affords amusement”.  Hmm, I think I’ll pass.I am forever thankful for modern technology.  I can’t imagine living without my refrigerator, can you??  Imagine having a wooden fridge.  Have you ever run into one of these in an antique store.  I don’t think that I ever have.A fruit gatherer.  It looks like a better idea than climbing a ladder – and possibly falling off.A curling iron – I’m sure a popular purchase.Conversation tubes and hearing horns -in the days before hearing aids.I beg to differ.  There is no way that this is the “ideal washer” and that it “does washing equal to any large washing machine”. Can you imagine washing your clothes with this??  I would definitely have some strong arms!!Tennis, anyone?Aren’t these lockets gorgeous?Malt Extract – it “puts flesh on thin people”.  “It is among drinkables what beefsteak is among meat”. I wonder how it tasted.I thought that it was neat to see what was included in these “maternity packets”.These pictures just crack me up. :)Anyone need an obesity belt?  They will “reduce corpulency quickly and permanently”.  Really?I wonder if any of my ancestors played on a ouija board.:)What little girl doesn’t like paper dolls?There is absolutely nothing rational about the “rational body brace”.  NOTHING.  Can you imagine wearing this thing under your clothing??  Me neither.I thought that these robes had need patterns on them.  I’m kind of confused as to what they are exactly though.  They look like comfy blankets that you might wrap around yourself on a cold winter evening.These are beautiful smokers’ sets.Many of our ancestors were members of various different societies.  I enjoyed looking through these society emblem charms.Not how I’d want to water my lawn, but it works!This kid looks really happy to be wearing a floatie on his neck.Webbed swimming gloves!!The Seroco Telegraph Transmitter “takes the place of an expert telegraph instructor”.  My kids studied Samuel Morse and the telegraph a month ago and they were so surprised that anyone could actually understand all of those beeps!I just love these phones! I had never heard of these push button telephones before. Phone calls must have been very short, because it wouldn’t have been very comfortable to stand there and gab for hours on end.:)A frost proof closet.  Outhouses in the freezing cold must have been awful.Glad to see that people had good oral hygiene.This miniature revolver can actually be used as a watch charm or carried in a vest pocket. Wow.Look at this tricycle for 2-7 yr old kids.  I wonder how difficult it was to ride.  it doesn’t look like it would be very easy to handle.This is for my husband, who loves tools.  A combined rip and cross cut and band saw.Yeehaw!!  Fringe leg cowboy boots.:)And that’s it for this edition of “Shopping Through the Ages”.  Join me next time for 1904!!

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  • Dee - October 22, 2011 - 9:52 am

    I love the trips you take into history in the Sears catalog…ReplyCancel

    • Jen - October 22, 2011 - 10:13 am

      Thanks! I’ve had so much fun “shopping” in the catalogs. :)ReplyCancel

  • Debi Austen - October 24, 2011 - 2:16 pm

    I’m so happy you’re shopping again – I’ve missed it!

    I have a clock hanging on my wall just like the one in the bottom right hand corner. It looks like it cost $11.49 – I paid WAY more than that for mine. I also have the “ideal washer”.

    I think the crumb set was to scoop the crumbs off the table into?

    I just love looking at the clothes and thinking about my ancestors wearing them. I’m sure they looked so stylin’ but I sure wouldn’t want to wash them. Even with the ideal washer ;-)ReplyCancel

    • Jen - October 24, 2011 - 3:45 pm

      You really have the ideal washer??? Did you buy it at an antique store or was it passed down to you? If I had to do my laundry with that, it would take so long that I’d probably have to live in my laundry room.
      I think you’re right about the crumb set – way too fancy for the floor.
      How cool that you have the same clock!! I don’t have many antiques, so I haven’t found anything that I own yet in the catalogs. :)ReplyCancel

  • Debi Austen - October 24, 2011 - 3:51 pm

    Yep, I have the ideal washer. I bought it at an antique store about 20 years ago or so. I’m not sure it is exactly the same but it looks pretty close.

    I have several strange things from my grandparents, though. I have a few old tennis rackets and a mouse trap we found in the garage (mouse not included).

    You’ve reminded me that I need to blog about the special ice tea spoons I have from my grandma – they are a long spoon that is also a straw :-)ReplyCancel

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