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Cover from the Sears, Roebuck & Co. spring/summer catalog, 1921, showing Philadelphia distribution warehouse

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Cover from the Sears, Roebuck & Co. spring/summer catalog, 1921, showing Philadelphia distribution warehouse
Sears, Roebuck & Company

IN CONTEXT

This object appears in the following sections:


Lives on the Railroad: Salisbury, North Carolina, 1927
Lives on the Railroad: Salisbury, North Carolina, 1927 — Carrying Everything Into Town—and Out

RELATED OBJECTS
Ward's Catalog cover


Sears Catalog page: 'Open Door to the World's Largest Store'


Sears Catalog cover
Currently on display
Not a part of the official Smithsonian Collection

The Philadelphia distribution warehouse shown on this cover was typical of mail-order companies' large warehouses in principal cities. A warehouse somewhere in the company system had to stock every item, and in all its variation in size and style, that was offered for sale. Popular items were in every warehouse; large, expensive items might be stocked in just one or two warehouses in the system.

Stocking these warehouses was also somrthing done by rail.

Physical Description
Spring/Summer, 1921, shows Philadelphia warehouse
Details
Date Made:
1921
Credit:
Sears, Roebuck & Co.
History

Ordering goods by mail from a catalog became increasingly popular in the 1880s. The Chicago firms of Sears, Roebuck and Company and Montgomery Ward and Company were mail-order giants.

Through their catalogs, retail marketing became truly national, reaching customers in tiny rural communities as well as in cities. The catalogs included almost any product imaginable, from a toy to a plow to a dress to an entire house in kit form.

Delivery was by mail or by the Railway Express Agency. In either case, the product came long-distance by train, perhaps locally by truck.


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