Frost Free Commodes and 14 Cent Spittoons

A Sears Roebuck household

· Sears Roebuck,Touring the Past,Historical Catalogs,Novel Research,Day to Day Life

I am in love with the 1902 Sears Roebuck catalog. Not only can you find shoes and clothing and linens, much like the modern catalogs, but further treasures await - windmills, horse walkers, corsets, an entire veterinary goes on and on - with the prices plainly and proudly stated. I thought today you could play the role of host or hostess, and show off your new items. Let us start by seating your guests in the front parlor.

Every home needs a comfortable parlor suite to entertain guests. The more tassels the merrier. Solid wood and horsehair stuffing at a heretofore unheard of price.

Parlor Suite: $14.95

Make sure to point out the locations of the spittoons, so as to stave off the ruination of your rag rug. As you do, point out the latest in lampware - a combination gas and electric table lamp, so the guest who smokes may light their cheroot on the gas flame while you explain how the bright new electric lighting will work, once the area is electrified. No one pays much attention; rural areas such as Colorado did not gain electricity until 1955, which is far too far in the future for your guests to worry themselves.

Combination Gas and Electric Fixture: $2.30

Spittoons: $1.58 per dozen or 14 cents each.

Once the guests have settled, it is customary to offer a beverage, say a shaved ice lemonade. As host, you take your leave to the kitchen and open a state of the art Michigan Ash icebox. The block of ice goes in the top drawer, and meat, eggs and milk can be stored for at least eight hours in the height summer. Use your handy new kitchen toys to grind coffee for the adults and squeeze lemons for the kids' lemonade.

Refrigerator: $7.84

The Modern Lemon Squeezer: $2.00

Home Coffee Mill: 44 cents

Of course, you will want to show your guests where the lavatory is, should they be in need. This is the time to show off the FROST FREE toilet and the fancy FOLDING TUB you've just picked up at the depot, because Sears Roebuck delivers right to your train stop (even whole houses!). Admire that cast iron enameled hopper and the self-raising seat. Which I do not understand, as how does it know when to rise? Does one peer at it and utter incantations?

Frost Proof Closet: $10.75

Acme Folding Bathtub with Spontaneous Heater: $22.00-$27.50

Should that lavatory setup be above one's budgetary limits or have the whiff of snobbery, there is always the odorless commode. This is also useful in sick rooms when one's relatives suffer from scarlet fever, pluerisy, dyspepsia, or other assorted early 20th century ills.

Challenge Odorless Commode and Slop Bucket Combined: $1.40

Once your guests have taken their leave in their Ford Model A or buggy and mule, you can retire to the washroom or the middle of the kitchen to scrub the napkins and tablecloths and doilies in your Fulton Washer, wringing out the suds and water with the Genuine Curtis Wringer. The joy of it will put you off having guests again and cause you to think of inventing paper products.

Fulton Washer: $4.44

Curtis Wringer with Five Year Guarantee: $3.25

You may want a nap, but the baby is crying in his sleeper cart, not at all impressed with the sateen parasol that cost an arm and a leg to add on. But, it keeps you awake and reminds you that you have another Sears Roebuck delivery at the depot: Uncle Verle's marble marker, which came in record time as he had ordered it the year before to be sure the inscription was kind.

SleeperCart: $10.35

Royal Blue Vermon Marble headstone: $6.99

GRAND TOTAL: $ 88.29

And thus, Sears Roebuck is at your side. From cradle to grave and every year in between.

Next Post: Special Guest Interview with James Robert Daniels, author of The Comanche Kid and Jane Fury

 The Good Time Girls officially releases April 4th!

I think you’ll love Pip and Ruby’s escapades, and will love to hear what you think.

K.T. Blakemore grew up in the United States West and never left. THE GOOD TIME GIRLS is the first in the Wild-Willed Women of the West Series, featuring women who take no prisoners and succeed through sheer grit, determination, and a parcel of luck.

Her award-winning historical suspense and young adult historical fiction, written under the pen name Kim Taylor Blakemore, has been awarded a Silver Falchion Award, Tucson Festival of Book Literary Award, and a WILLA Award for Best YA Fiction.

In addition to writing, she runs the Novelitics ranch, which provides developmental editing and workshops to novelists. She teaches editing and craft workshops to writing groups around the United States and Canada.

She has hung her hat in California, Colorado, and currently the Pacific Northwest. The rain does not deter her research whether it be train timetables from 1905 or the best way to catch a loose horse. 

Subscribe to her newsletter for an exclusive excerpt of THE GOOD TIME GIRLS *and* a free gift of "How to Survive Cactus", a Good Time Girls short. 

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