The Professor's Fun Fact 11/1/2018

sears catalogue

The Sears catalogue once featured these starting at just $4. 


The Sears catalogue was started in 1892 and was an instant hit. It allowed people to order just about anything and have it delivered to their door. Items included, groceries, sewing machines, medicinal cocaine, and, in 1906, specialized tombstones and monuments. In a supplement to the main catalogue, Sears offered the “Catalogue of Memorial Art in Granite and Marble.” Advertised as “direct from quarry to cemetery,” Sears was able to undersell the old-fashioned local funeral parlors. You could even get a sample for just 75 cents. A small, heart-shaped marker cost as little as $4.20. If you wanted a little more, a “Royal Sarcophagus” cost about $114 (or about $2600 today). The catalogue offered different phrases at fixed prices. A popular one was “budded on earth to bloom in heaven;” that cost 70 cents. The last headstones were sold in 1993 when Sears discontinued the Memorial Art in Granite and Marble catalogue.

A page from the Sears Tombstone Catalogue
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