I’m in Sears Catalog Heaven
Our newest collection, Historic Catalogs of Sears, Roebuck and Co., 1896-1993, is a stroll through this collective consumer history, with prices, descriptions and images from almost every spring and fall catalog (excluding Christmas Wishbooks).
That's right — almost every single Sears catalog page has been scanned as is now available for paid members of Ancestry.com. I'm a genealogy nut so I totally justify the subscription and do indeed use it (and have been successful) for my family research. However, it's not inexpensive — plans start at $19.95 a month, I believe, with the yearly discounts that services generally provide. They do provide a credit card-required 14-day free trial, as well.
Enough with the technicalities. The archive is so utterly amazing! I have a couple of the catalog compilation source books but this completely blows them out of the water. Not only can you search for terms, but the scans are a pretty good resolution. For example, all these gorgeous fabrics for sale from 1946:
And there is also the ability to share images via Facebook, Twitter or email. I believe if you share, some sort of guest pass is created for those who don't have an account. I've only explored less than a hundred pages today and could barely decide what images I wanted to share here.
I'm on a sweater kick right now, so I loved seeing these sweaters from 1939.
Or these fun plaids from 1958:
Or this celebration of bright colors also from 1958.
Or this ridiculous matching dress and umbrella from 1955. And by ridiculous I mean, I wish I could order it right now.