Before Black Friday: The Dangerous Toys and Hideous Ties of the Post-War Sears Catalog
In a less enlightened time, Chicago–based Sears offered molten lead, exotic “oriental” fashions, and metal-tipped junior archery toys for Middle America.
Published Nov. 28, 2014, at 2:02 p.m.
Text by Whet Moser
I have fond childhood memories of the Sears Christmas Wishbook; though I don’t recall ever receiving anything from it (we were Penneys and Miller & Rhodes people, for some reason) I’d stoke my excitement for the holiday by reading it in the car on the way to family gatherings, imagining what would appear under the Christmas tree.
Looking back, it’s also a time capsule; something I can point to and tell my descendants “that’s what we looked like then, in all our youthful rayon glory.” So I turned the pages back a bit further to my parents’ own childhood, finding a world of sharp edges, garish colors, hot surfaces, and make-believe for a country on the make.