There have been many surprising things in the Sears catalog over the decades, from chastity belts to chickens to cocaine and heroin, along with syringes (the drugs, that is). History collection also mentions guns, early automobiles, and electrified belts (which we won’t say more about)…all available through the Sears catalog.
But what the Sears Wish Book primarily sold was childhood excitement and retail therapy. Introduced during the Great Depression, the Christmas catalog omitted the daily chores of farm labor and home maintenance and focused on dreams. Parents didn’t need Christmas lists for their children; the Wish Book opened to pages that had been contemplated for long hours of daydreaming, that most conscious and intentional form of dreaming.
In its heyday, Sears employed large numbers of people and offered generous wages and benefits that would be unrecognizable to modern retail workers. A century before the Internet, Sears offered almost everything Americans could want. “It changed the lives of many rural Americans,” said Amanda Nicholson of Syracuse University. CNN Business. When Sears closed its catalog operations in 1993 and went into a long and steep decline, many dreams began to falter. The charm, personalized service and simple humanity of the Sears catalog experience resist algorithmic replacement. Dgtl Infra), simple web pages don’t seem to capture the imagination like the Wish Book did.
We’re going to take a look at some of the companies competing to make your family’s wish come true, to keep the dream of dreaming alive.