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Sears, Roebuck Home Builder's Catalog: The Complete Illustrated 1910 Edition

Sears, Roebuck Home Builder's Catalog: The Complete Illustrated 1910 Edition

by Sears, Roebuck and Co.

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All across America during the great building boom of the early 20th century, one of the most popular sources for home-building materials, fixtures, and trimmings was the Sears, Roebuck catalog for home builders. This fascinating volume, reprinted from a rare surviving edition of that remarkably comprehensive publication, offers a peerless view of how thousands of


All across America during the great building boom of the early 20th century, one of the most popular sources for home-building materials, fixtures, and trimmings was the Sears, Roebuck catalog for home builders. This fascinating volume, reprinted from a rare surviving edition of that remarkably comprehensive publication, offers a peerless view of how thousands of Americans approached the practicalities and aesthetics of homebuilding in 1910.
A huge selection of materials needed to build and finish an early 20th-century home — lumber, siding, roofing, gable ornaments, interior moldings, oak-veneered front doors, art glass windows, chandeliers, stair balusters, bronze door locks, porcelain-enameled bathtubs, furnaces for hard and soft coal, ornate porch rails and Craftsman china closets among them — are depicted in detailed line drawings with the original advertising copy, specifications, and prices.
Leafing through these pages, it quickly becomes apparent just how many readers — and buyers — this extraordinary book attracted. Many of the products and designs are still very much a part of the American landscape, easily recognizable in nearly every community in America today. Students and enthusiasts of American home and home-product design will find this unique publication an authentic and reliable sourcebook of early 20th-century Americana. Anyone interested in renovating houses of this era will find it indispensable.

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Sears, Roebuck Home Builder's Catalog

The Complete Illustrated 1910 Edition

By Dover Publications

Dover Publications, Inc.

Copyright © 1990 Dover Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-486-13893-0




This book is compiled as the clinching argument in our plea to supply all your needs in building material. No more convincing argument than the pages of this book could be put up, other than the goods themselves. A man may overlook that we can save him a few cents or a few dollars on an item here or an item there, but no man will overlook the fact that we offer a saving of $150.00 to $1,500.00 in building material on homes usually costing $600.00 to $6,000.00; especially when we guarantee to furnish better material than can usually be secured on the market elsewhere. There is no other line of merchandise that we carry on which the savings we offer are likely to be more appreciated than our savings in building materials. The expression of satisfaction from our customers is so enthusiastic and the growth of our building material business is so rapid that we have been compelled to put forth the greatest possible efforts in increasing the capacity of the factories to supply the demand. The letters printed on these pages are only a few of the several thousand we have on file.

It is not necessary for us to dwell at length on the great values we offer in building material. You can readily see from looking through the pages of this book that the values are unusual. The only question that may arise in your mind is the question of quality. You will probably wish to know why such values are possible without the sacrifice of quality. You, like all others, if you have bought your building material elsewhere, have been paying much higher prices than ours. You can readily see that our prices cannot be met elsewhere, considering the grade of material we agree to furnish.

This illustration will instantly convey to your mind the simplicity and directness of our business methods. There is but one handling and one profit to pay on the finished product; it is the most economical of systems, and, naturally enough, we can make you a large saving on all lines of building material, while at the same time it puts us in complete control of quality, enabling us to guarantee a better quality than you can ordinarily secure on the market elsewhere.

Saved $15.00 on an Order of $31.71.

Hackensack, N. J.

Sears, Roebuck and Co., Chicago, Ill.

Gentlemen:—The order I sent you for mill work, sash, Empire door and oak flooring arrived in due time, sooner than I anticipated, and I must confess the Quality of the material far exceeded my expectations, and I will know in the future where to place my orders for mill work. My net saving was over $15.00 from prices I would have to pay here. I have not laid any, but I have examined the flooring and it is a fine grade and I am well pleased with this, my first order, and will cheerfully recommend my friends to you.



* * *

Mr. Eustice's order amounted to but $31.71, nevertheless, he saves $15.00. This being the case, think of the saving carpenters and contractors can make by buying all their supplies from us. It will amount to hundreds of dollars and, in some cases, even thousands of dollars each season.

Has Built Three Houses and Is Well Pleased with Everything He Bought from Us.

Ramsey, N. J.

Stars, Roebuck and Co., Chicago, Ill.

Dear Sirs:—I am not in the contracting business, but during the past year I have built three houses for myself, and in the near future I may build some more. In regard to your mill work supplies, I must say that I have been well pleased with everything I have bought from you and can recommend your goods most highly, and prices are low. I am sure I will remember you in the future.

Yours truly,


Saved 25 Per Cent and Everything Is as Claimed.

Detroit, Mich.

Sears, Roebuck and Co., Chicago, Ill.

Gentlemen:—We are fully satisfied and find we saved 25 per cent on all building material we bought of you, and if we build again we shall send for a full carload and especially mill work. Everything bought of you is up to your claim in every way. We will gladly answer any inquiries that may come to us. We are living in our house and the cypress doors are dandy finished and we shall finish our next house in cypress all through. We are sending a photograph of the house. Accept our thanks for your cordial treatment.

Respectfully yours,


Picture of Mr. Turk's house is shown in our free Book of Modern Homes, mentioned on page 5.

Found Everything Beyond His Expectations.

Monongahela, Penn.

Sears, Roebuck and Co., Chicago, Ill.

Gentlemen:—We are now living in our new home and I cannot find words to tell you how much we are pleased and to thank you for the honest way you treated me in the deal. I found everything beyond my expectations. We are complimented on having the nicest house in Monongahela City for the price. I have already recommended you to my friends and will continue to do so.

Yours very truly,


Paid Us $7.49 for Mantel and Saved Over $12.00.

Eddy, Texas.

Sears, Roebuck and Co., Chicago, Ill.

Gentlemen:—I am pleased with the mantel ordered from you. It is as nice as the $20.00 mantels I could get here.

Very respectfully,


Saved $800.00 and Quality Surpasses Everything in the Neighborhood.

Colorado Springs, Colo.

Sears, Roebuck and Co., Chicago, Ill.

Gentlemen:—I will state that I am more than pleased with my home built by your plans and with your material. I have saved on my order given you about $800.00 and the quality of the material furnished by you far surpasses any that is being furnished for other houses being built right here. Your prices are more than 50 per cent less and in some cases even more than that. I received my entire order in a little more than two weeks from the time you shipped it from your factory and not a single article was damaged and it was packed in fine shape. I thank you for the promptness and the courteous manner in which you treated me. I intend to erect another house for renting purposes next spring and you can rest assured your firm will receive my order. Enclosed please find picture of our new home.

Yours truly,


Plumbers Estimated Our $255.40 Hot Water Heating Plant to Cost $500.00 to $600.00.

Trenton, N. J.

Sears, Roebuck and Co., Chicago, Ill.

Gentlemen:—About one year ago I purchased a hot water plant from you, which I installed myself from your working plans, doing the work nights and mornings. It has given perfect satisfaction. I had two plumbers give rough estimates as to the probable cost and one said it would amount to between $500.00 and $550.00, and the other said it would cost nearly $600.00. You furnished this outfit for $255.40, so you see I have saved about half of the cost by ordering from you. I never had but very little experience in cutting pipe, but had no trouble whatever with putting in the plant, and if I were in need of another plant I would place my order just as I did before; namely, with Sears, Roebuck and Co. We also purchased one of your Wehrle No. 85 ranges, which cannot be beat.


Entirely Pleased With Mantel.

Greeley, Penn.

Sears, Roebuck and Co., Chicago, Ill.

Gentlemen:—The mantels in design and workmanship are all that could be required. They are excellent for the price. I am perfectly satisfied with your house and I will buy my goods right along from you. In the near future my brother-in-law will build and I am sure you will receive his orders.

Yours truly,


Saved $22.00 on an Order of $70.73 After Paying the Freight.

Watertown, N. Y.

Sears, Roebuck and Co., Chicago, Ill.

Gentlemen:—I wish to acknowledge the receipt of our mill work order, and wish to say I am very much pleased with the goods in every respect. They arrived in due time and in first class condition. After paying the freight of $11.25 I saved by ordering of you 27 per cent, or $22.00, on the order of $70.73 compared with our local shops. If you have any customer in this locality who might hesitate in sending you a mill work order, kindly refer them to me, as I am a builder of fourteen years in this locality. I can assure you of more orders from me in the near future. Thanking you for your prompt shipment of our previous order and care taken in packing all goods, I am.

Yours truly,


Saved 30 Per Cent on Material.

Bay Shore, L. I., N. Y.

Sears, Roebuck and Co., Chicago, Ill.

Gentlemen:—I am very well pleased with the quality of material sent by you. The red oak trim was the prettiest lot of mill work I ever saw and the carpenter did not have to Band it or dress it in any way before using. Your columns were of the best, and your doors and sash cannot be excelled at twice the cost. I saved at least 30 per cent on the material.

Very truly yours,


Contractors Saved $150.00 on Each House.

Barrington, Ill.

Sears, Roebuck and Co., Chicago, Ill.

Gentlemen:—We built two houses from your plan No. 133. Material ordered from you was better than first class, if that could be possible. The entire shipment was received within fifteen days after being ordered. By using your plans, specifications, material and blue print we saved $150.00 on each house. Enclosed find photograph of the two houses.

Yours very truly,


Pictures of above two houses are shown in our free Book of Modern Homes, mentioned on page 5.


If you have bought other supplies such as wearing apparel, household hardware and other necessities from us, yon of course know that we are furnishing the best standard of merchandise at lower prices than they can be bought for anywhere else, saving you in some cases 25 per cent, in others 35 per cent and in others 50 per cent or even more. We have applied the same principles of merchandising to building material of all kinds, and it is simply because it is applied on such a large scale that the savings we offer seem so striking. They are only the natural result of a method that spells economy from start to finish.

Our direct from factory to consumer method. We ship direct from one of the largest and most finely equipped mill work and building material factories in this country; we own and control saw mills that manufacture our lumber. Our mills being centrally located, enable us to make prompt shipments with very low freight charges. The latest improved high grade machinery is installed in these plants and the most skilled workmen are employed. We thus have absolute control of quality. To supply the demand, we keep on hand at all times immense finished stocks of all these goods and can make shipment more promptly than any other factory of its kind in the country. Our goods are bright, new, fresh and clean, handled only once, and they cannot be compared with the ordinary building material that has been handled several times and usually arrives in a soiled or otherwise unsatisfactory condition.

We also manufacture our own roofing, plumbing goods and paints. We control the outputs of large plants manufacturing builders' hardware, gas and electric light fixtures, heating plants and concrete block machinery and molds. These goods are shipped direct from factories or from our Chicago store, as indicated in the descriptions of the merchandise. These direct factory connections give us complete control of quality. The goods are manufactured according to our own specifications. This is the reason why we can guarantee to furnish you a better average quality throughout than you can readily obtain on the market.

Consider our factory connections as above explained, how they enable us to control quality, and you have the complete answer to any question that may arise in your mind as to the quality of our goods. You can therefore see that our low prices are not due to any sacrifice of quality but simply due to the natural results of an economical system of business, where every item of unnecessary expense is removed and you get the full benefit.

To carpenters, contractors and builders: We specially solicit your trade; we are supplying many of the largest carpenters, contractors and builders in the country, which is substantial proof that our prices are lower than can be secured elsewhere and that our goods are satisfactory. You can increase your percentage of profit considerably and save your customers a great deal of money besides if you let us furnish you all your building material. We suggest that you offer prospective customers estimates based on the prices you find in this book and we know that you will make a distinctly favorable impression, because we are sure they will find it impossible to duplicate your offer through any other source, for we do not know of any other system that contains the elements of money saving for consumers that ours does. Just take the time to look through this catalog, compare the prices on a number of items with the prices you are asked to pay elsewhere and you can quickly convince yourself that we are stating nothing but the plain facts.

Grading of our mill work. We guarantee our mill work to be strictly up to or better than the official grades adopted by the Sash, Door and Blind Manufacturers' Association of the Northwest, which is a sufficient guarantee to protect customers who are skeptical about quality. We endeavor to improve our quality even beyond the qualifications laid down by this association. Few concerns can improve quality beyond the official grade of the association because they do not enjoy the wonderful facilities we have, for we are interested in some of the largest and best timber tracts in the United States, as well as the best equipped mills for manufacturing building material of every description in the world, controlling the quality of our stock from the time the tree is felled until it is a finished product.


We require cash with each order, our terms being net cash without discount, no matter how large the order may be. Our prices represent the lowest factory cost and one profit. You will find these prices the lowest you can get, quality considered. We are shipping many carload orders every day at these prices. The best way to send money is in the form of an express or postoffice money order, a bank draft or your personal check.

Saved Nearly Half, Quality Considered.

Roselle Park, N. J.

Sears, Roebuck and Co., Chicago, Ill. Gentlemen:—I enclose herewith photograph of my house, the same which I built according to the general layout of plan No. 114. The picture of the house as you will see is identical with that shown in your catalog, but with a few exceptions. The layout of the rooms and trimmings are also somewhat different from the original. Am very glad to say that on whatever I purchased from you for my house, which I think amounted to $800.00, the quality of the material was very satisfactory. I know that I could not have obtained the same material here for less than about twice the amount, considering quality. Comparing the cost of my last house, which I sold, with the present one, the latter cost me only about $500.00 more than the former, which contained only six rooms and bath, my new house containing nine rooms and bath, besides one or two other conveniences. Furthermore, my present house is much better built. In conclusion, would state that all transactions between you and me have been attended to promptly and fairly in every respect. I shall certainly favor you with as many orders as I can.

Your customer,


Suburban Home Builder Saves $1,000.00.

Washington, D. C.

Sears, Roebuck and Co., Chicago, Ill.

Gentlemen:—I am a builder of suburban residences. Two years ago I commenced using Sears, Roebuck and Co.'s material, mill work, hardware, mantels, furnaces, ranges, etc. I have used them in six houses and estimate the saving thereby to be fully $1,000.00. I expect to continue the use of Sears, Roebuck and Co.'s goods, which I would not do if they were not satisfactory.

Very respectfully,


Quality Satisfies Him and Saved $1,000.00.

Cohces, N. Y.

Sears, Roebuck and Co., Chicago, Ill.

Gentlemen:-I am sending you a photograph of the house built from material shipped by you and according to your plans. I am pleased to say that I am well satisfied with the quality of material and your prompt shipment. Your plans are a great help to anyone who wants to build after a close estimate. I can say that I saved $1,000.00 on this property.

Very truly yours,



Excerpted from Sears, Roebuck Home Builder's Catalog by Dover Publications. Copyright © 1990 Dover Publications, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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A self-proclaimed "mirror of our times, recording for future historians today's desires, habits, customs, and mode of living," the Sears catalog debuted in 1888.

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