For generations, the much-anticipated arrival of the Sears gift catalog signaled the start of the holiday season. This faithful facsimile of the retailer's 1942 Christmas edition offers a nostalgia-inducing chance to relive those bygone years, when turning the pages of a catalog could excite young minds with dreams of a shiny toy truck or a new doll under the tree.
A unique collectible, The 1942 Sears Christmas Book also provides an interesting look at how merchandise has evolved over the years. In 1942, Sears shoppers could purchase toys as well as housewares, clothes, furniture, candy, and gifts to send to servicemen (all at prices that now seem astonishingly low). The wartime catalog even includes information about the importance of saving scrap metal for munitions and encourages readers to buy war bonds.
A new Introduction by Ben B. Judd, Jr., PhD, the former chair of the University of New Haven Department of Marketing and International Business, provides thought-provoking insights into the catalog's importance to rural America and the recent downfall of the retail giant.