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1902 sears catalog


Well-Known Member
I purchased a 1902 sears catalog on Ebay the other day. For those of you that aren't familiar with Sears/Roebuck it is one of the first big department stores started in the US. They were famous for offering goods at lower than wholesale price using a mail order system. They stopped this system in the early 1990's my dad said. What is interesting about this catalog is the detail in which items are described. They devote a whole page explaining how clocks work. Another on the process of making rings. They even have 3 pages dedicated to how windmills work and the proper windspeed/height formulas needed to generate enough water pressure.

The catalog is a reprint from 1979 I believe. I paid 15 dollars total for it shipped. It is around 1200 pages. The reason I bought it was for the razor/hone section and I wanted to post the prices of some various things that shows how strong the dollar was back then and the differences in hone value today.

They have a page explaining how to shave with a straight. Also one for stropping, there are no instructions for honing.

A wostenholm 4/8 "new" pipe razor 98c
5/8 model 1.15$
Wostenholm Pipe razor $1.50

Wade and Butcher "Special" 5/8 or 6/8 $1.50 -similar to one I had for sale

John Engstrom frameback with the arrow and letters/numbers on blade
6/8 98c

Joseph Rodgers razors are cheaper than W&B or Wosty but similar in size/design

Boker Tree Brand
all 5/8 razors priced from 60c to $1.75

There is a whole page dedicated to SEARS house brand razors. I have never personally seen one in my epic antique store quests, but if I do I will pick it up and test. Their razors are priced HIGHER than the above with the "High Art Razor" priced at $2.55. It has twisting rope scales, black plastic covered tang, and looks alot like that case razor I had for sale a while ago.


They didn't have many hones offered in the catalog. They are spread throughout the catalog with razors hones, carpenter hones, and knife hones.

Coticules______________________________Value___Adjusted for inflation
"A very good belgian razor hone" 2x6 ----25c -- $6.12 -- 4.81 euro
"A Superfine Belgian razor hone" 2x6 ----50c -- $12.24 - 9.63 euro
"Extra Superfine Belgian razor hone" 2x6 75c -- $18.35 - 12.87 euro
"Barbers Special Razor hone" 5x2.5" -----$1.75- $42.80 - 33.7 euro
The above hone in 4x2 size was 83c -this hone is exactly the same as the one I had for sale a while back. Same box and all.

Small Swaty 49cv-----today 12.00
Large Swaty $1.10b---today 26.00

Thuringian dark blue 7" length with slurry stone 20c today $4.89
Barbers Gem Thuringian 5x2.5" with slurry stone 50c ------ $12.24

Interesting to see how cheap thuringians were compared to coticules. a 7" hone for 20c! Times have changed!

The best barber chair was $30.70 or 751$ today. Of course the current value conversion isn't equal to the real present value.

I would reccomend getting one of these catalogs. There is a bunch of weird stuff they had back then. Arsenic complexion wafers, Opium and morphine cure (heroin), electric crotch belts that cure weakness.

Hey mrmaroon,

I would like to order:
25 Thuringians
8 W&B
15 Superfine cotis
and one barber chair

Let me know your paypal contact so I can transfer the $59.70.
I'll PM you my adress.

Thanks in advance :rolleyes:
Thanks for posting that, Caleb.
The price comparison between Thuringian and Belgian hones is priceless...:lol: :lol:

Kind regards,