Shopping Through the Ages: 1908


It’s that time again.  Time to shop through the Sears & Roebuck catalog.  This week, we’ll be looking at 1908.

Let’s start with fashion.

I can’t even begin to imagine what it would feel like to walk around with one of these hats on my head.  I’m 5’11″”, so I’m sure that I’d really be bumping into things with added height on me. 🙂

These women look like they have uncomfortably small waists.It must have been very warm with a petticoat on underneath your dress.  Too warm in the summer.I wouldn’t want my scarf to look at me. I’d never heard of “nobby suits” before.Women were still stuck in awful corsets.

Here is various men’s clothing.  From work clothes to sweaters and ties.Vests and hats.I could see my son in one of these little suits. I’m sure he’d hate it. 🙂

It must have been so hard to swim in one of these suits.  You would definitely need the water wings to stay afloat!!

There are only a few pages in the catalog that have color and this year the bikes got it.

There were many “electric” things in the catalog this year.  I found these two interesting.

“The electric thriller will create more fun and amusement than any other electric toy ever built.  It gives a shock so strong as to make a strong man tremble, or so mild as not to injure a young child, the strength of the shock depending entirely upon the speed with which the handle is turned.  It costs nothing to run and does not require a battery.”  Is it fun or thrilling to be shocked??  Um, thanks but I think I’ll pass.

The electrical questioner says that it is “one of the most interesting and entertaining electrical novelties ever devised and one of the most instructive.  It answers questions by electricity, the questions and answers being printed on large cards which fit over the top of the apparatus, and when the correct answer is indicated with the pointer a loud buzzing signal is sounded.  If the wrong answer is pointed out, the machine remains silent.  With ever outfit is included 288 questions and answers on the following subjects:”  history, geography, Bible literature, myths, general interest, and bright, catchy conundrums.  Hmm, it sounds like the beginnings of TV quiz shows, doesn’t it?  At least no one is getting shocked when they give a wrong answer!! 🙂

I realize that these conversation tubes were probably very helpful to people who were going deaf.  I would still feel strange talking through one of them.  Kind of like a kid with a tin can telephone.Here are some of the toys that were available this year.  I just love that you could buy furs for your dolls – it will very much improve their appearance.  I thought that the table croquet was interesting also.

I found some interesting variations on the harmonica.

And guitars named after universities.Here is a “farmer’s experience” with the telephone.  They were trying to convince everyone that they needed one. No convincing is needed anymore, is it?

And a reason to buy your phone from Sears instead of from the traveling salesmen.

This is an interesting little phone that only goes from 50 feet to 5 miles.

The drug department is always one of my favorite’s to read through.

Complexion tablets: “Ladies, beautify yourselves in your own home.  It’s a woman’s duty to herself.  A beautiful complexion makes a beautiful woman.”

Nerve and Brain Tablets: “A highly recommended tonic for weak men.”

Beef, Wine and Iron.  Pleasantly aromatized and delightful to take.

Obesity powders.  Interesting. 🙂Here are some affordable house plans.  Did any of your ancestors live in one of these homes?Is it just me, or does it look like the basketball doesn’t actually go THROUGH this net?  Maybe it’s just the way it looks.Since I’m a photographer, I enjoyed looking at the different things available.The “Improved Elastic Supporter” aka bra. “A necessity for every pregnant woman as well as women nursing their children”.

If you didn’t have enough to need an elastic supporter, maybe you needed a bust form instead. 🙂Look at all of the fancy feathers you could add to your hats.I’d love this in my backyard.The Dupre Massage Cup.  For Face, Neck and Bust.  A beautiful nickel plated suction cup for bringing color to the cheeks, removing blackheads and pore accumulations, for filling out wrinkles, for producing plump, firm cheeks and bust, and for causing easy absorption of all face, bust, and beauty creams.  Just as essential to the toilet as a comb or brush.  Weird.

And “Smooth Up” is a scientific treatment for removing wrinkles.You can see what the current events (of the previous year or so) by seeing what was available on the stereoscope.  The Seige of Port Arthur, Japan, The Terrible San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, and the St. Louis World’s Fair.Here is an ad for the stereoscope.  A pretty school teacher used it to teacher her students about the world.The automatic liquid pistol is ” a good protection for the cyclist” and “a very practical defense against vicious dogs or tramps”.

I just love the little car!!

It would feel so weird to wear gloves up over my elbow.  That would be so difficult to button 16 buttons on your arm.

And here are some simple instructions for measuring and ordering clothing by mail.Anyone need a Japanese Grass Suit?  Or an Anti-Congestion Plastic Dressing?  You really could by ANYTHING in the Sears Catalog. 🙂Look at this flag – it has 46 stars. 🙂

Have you ever seen a steam cooker like this before?

Liquid formaldehyde prevents smut.  Hmm.

I think the sick call cabinet is interesting.Riding one of these would have been so difficult!I would love one of these dining room suites – made from REAL wood. 🙂That’s it for this edition of Shopping Through the Ages.  Join me next time when I shop through 1909.

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