Sears Catalog - Thursday, September 3, 2015

The American Treasure Tour blog has dedicated space to the incredibly influential Sears & Roebuck Company in the past.  Today, we would like to honor their catalog - easily one of the most famous legacies of the conglomerate that was established in 1886 for a few thousand dollars by two men and bought out by Kmart for eleven billion dollars in 2005.  For decades, they were the largest retailer in the United States, losing that title in 1989 when Walmart took the top spot.  It currently holds the number five spot, with Target, Best Buy and Home Depot ahead of it.

The Catalog is how Sears began.  Richard Warren Sears was a railroad agent in Minnesota when serendipity landed a box of watches in his lap.  When he sold it at a handsome profit during his route, he had the idea to wholesale.  With partner Alvah C. Roebuck, he opened shop in Chicago - not far from where Montgomery Ward began years earlier - and geared their business towards rural farmers.  It worked, and the company grew from there.  Roebuck sold his shares in 1895 to Sears, around the time the catalog evolved into a way of life for thousands of Americans.  In 1908, both Motorbuggies and  "ready-to-assemble" kit houseswere added to available items to buy. The Motorbuggy market only lasted a few years, but the houses sold until 1940.  Alas, all good things come to an end and, in 1993, the catalog business ended for Sears.  We have a few samples of the catalog on display in our Toy Box - including a rare 1920s original!
QUESTION:  The famous Sears Tower in Chicago was built in 1973.  It changed its name to 2009 to what?
A)  Becky
B)  The Sears/Kmart Tower
C)  The Willis Tower
D)  The Smart Corporation

THE WAR IS OVER!  Today celebrates one of the most monumental anniversaries rarely celebrated by Americans, and it's time to change that.  On September 3, 1783, the Revolutionary War, between the new United States of America and its former master Great Britain, officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris.  Any betting man of the era would likely have put their money on the British celebrating a victory, so the importance of this day cannot be over-exaggerated.  So who's with me - September 3rd!  Go America!!!!

SHANE, COME BACK!  Alan Ladd was only fifty years old when he died, but he left a legacy of dozens of movies behind him - ranging from film noir to westerns.  He also stood out in an early interpretation of The Great Gadsby.  Born today in 1913, put in an old Ladd film tonight. May we recommend The Blue Dahlia from 1946?  It's a good one!

QUOTE:  If you can figure out my success on the screen, you're a better man than I. - Alan Ladd

ANSWER:  C)  The Willis Tower