Sears, Roebuck Catalogue


This is a replica of a 1908 Sears & Roebuck Catalogue that was published in 1969. It is marked as Catalogue No. 117 and the heading beneath that, The Great Price Maker, sits above the Sears & Roebuck logo which sits at the base of the third quarter of the book. The cover of the book holds a lot of information; how to order a free copy, asking you to show it to friends and neighbors, even a boost about the companies “Capital Stock” (whatever that means)! There is a forward at the beginning of the book which I have to assume is by the editor, Joseph J. Schroeder, Jr. but there is no credit listing. There is an introduction which is credited to Mr. Schroeder which goes into some detail about the history of the Sears Catalogue. From that introduction, it is said that Richard Warren Sears, the founder of the Sears, Roebuck Business, designed all of these catalogues until his retirement. Both the forward and the introduction are part of the reproduction and written sometime in the late sixties. There are hundreds of meticulous black and white illustrations depicting the items for sale within the catalogue. However, there is no note or credit as to whom the artist was. 
On the back cover is a color illustration of the “40 Acre Home of Sears, Roebuck & Co. The Largest Mercantile Plant in The World”. Along the borders of this image are the statements “No Agents or Solicitors – persons claiming to be our representatives are swindlers” and “See the yellow pages in back of this book.” 

The retrospective of American consumerism on display in this visual format is an important piece of Americana in a graphic design setting in that it points to a specific era and style of marketing, salesmanship and how Americans interacted with our world around us at the turn of the century (1908). 

Published by Digest Books, Inc. in Northfield Illinois. Edited by Joseph J. Schroeder, Jr. 

Cooke, A., and A. Friedman. “Ahead of their time: The Sears catalogue prefabricated houses.” Journal of Design History, vol. 14, no. 1, 1 Jan. 2001, pp. 53–70,

"SEARS, ROEBUCK REPORTS THIRD-QUARTER 1994 EARNINGS." PR Newswire, 20 Oct. 1994, p. 1020NY039. Gale OneFile: Communications and Mass Media, Accessed 1 May 2024.

"The history of advertising in quite a few objects - No 184: A Sears Roebuck catalogue." Campaign, 10 Feb. 2017, p. 13. Gale OneFile: Communications and Mass Media, Accessed 1 May 2024.