Catalog Police: Sears & Roebuck 1902


It’s Friday, and that means another installation of Catalog Police. Normally, I critique bizarre styles in current mail-order catalogs. But since I’m in Miami — far away from my mailbox — I asked my mom if she had any catalogs lying around. She had only one: a 1902 Sears & Roebuck catalog she picked up at an antique show.

Turns out, catalogs have an illustrious history of churning out cringe-worthy products! So hold onto your girdles: Here are the 5 weirdest things from this vintage catalog.

Bestseller: A slideshow about the McKinley assassination.
Selling like hotcakes: A slideshow about the McKinley assassination.

I forgot President McKinley was even assassinated. If only they had shown this slideshow in AP History.

Every baby needs a pair of opaque tights. DUH.
Every baby in Brooklyn has these.

Baby Spanx will be next, just wait.

The Princess Bust Developer looks like a medieval torture device.
I seriously thought this was a toilet plunger.

Please note that this breast enlargement pump CAN’T be delivered in the mail, so you’ll have to pick it up in person. (Humiliation is free with purchase.)

Cruella de Vil, I found a dog coat for you.
Please note that this dog coat comes DEODORIZED (ewwwww). 

If you thought a mink was bad, this dog fur gives new meaning to the phrase “Lab coat.”

Kangaroo leather. Need I say more?
Kangaroo leather. Stella McCartney just fainted.

Dog coats, kangaroo shoes. Were there no vegans in 1902?