I know that making fun of 1970s fashion is an easy thing to do, and I certainly enjoy a good bell-bottom or earth tone joke as much as the next guy. But one thing that gets overlooked in '70s jokes is how primitive the home exercise equipment of that time looks compared to now. To illustrate, here are three pages from the Fall 1977 Sears catalog that showcase home workout equipment made up of approximately 86.3% pipes and belts. Let's get physical!
In Sears Catalog Goodness I pull one page from a vintage Sears catalog to highlight neat, interesting, or just plain funny images and products sold by one of America’s greatest retailers once upon a time. You knew I couldn't go the whole Halloween season without sharing some vintage costumes from Sears, right? Well I'm not about to disappoint you on that front, so here is a page from the Fall 1958 catalog featuring the biggest heroes and stars of the day -- Zorro, Superman, Lassie, Woody Woodpecker, Casper the Friendly Ghost, Bugs Bunny, and "Pop-Eye the Sailor Man." The name characters on this page are great, of course, but my eye is drawn toward the costume that probably dates this assortment more than any other -- Satellite Joe, the "man of tomorrow." If that doesn't screa
In Sears Catalog Goodness I pull one page from a vintage Sears catalog to highlight neat, interesting, or just plain funny images and products sold by one of America's greatest retailers once upon a time. From the 1957 Sears Christmas catalog we have what look like Halloween costumes but are absolutely not. If you were a kid in the 1950s then I don't have to tell you how large the whole Western genre loomed in American pop culture. In particular, two of its biggest stars were Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, whose career began in the 1930s and spanned decades. Given that, it was not at all strange for boys and girls to dress like cowboys and cowgirls just because. It didn't even need to be Halloween. I suppose the closest thing we have to that now is when little girls dress like...
Some of the best old Kodachrome slides you can come across are of parking lots. They give you the chance to see a nice cross-section of cars, sure, but they also offer a hint as to the economic condition of the area. A bunch of rusted old junkers paints a very different picture than a lot full of shiny, newer models. This is a great selection of pre and post-war models, including at least two Woodie station wagons. And as an even bigger bonus, you can see a Sears storefront, from a time when they reigned as one of the great retail operations in America. Good times, my friends, good times. If anyone can identify any of the cars in this picture, please leave a comment.
These are exciting times at The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, my friends. In addition to a great new project in the works (hint: it involves old postcards), the updates to the main site have been coming fast and furious. I uploaded a bunch of new scans to my classic Sears catalog area, for the 1958 Spring/Summer edition. And if you love vintage saddles shoes and children's wear, then you will love these scans. New stuff starts on this page. Elsewhere, I've added a bunch of new game programs in my American Football League cover gallery, as well as added some higher-res versions of existing ones. There are too many for me to list here, but I can share a few of the cooler ones with you here. This is from the very first matchup between the New York Jets and New York Giants. It...
So I'm bopping along, looking through 40-year-old Sears catalogs, as I am wont to do, when something catches my eye. No, not hideous fashion or vintage toys, although I certainly find plenty of that. I'm talking about a something altogether different. Tucked away on page 543 of the 1969 Fall/Winter catalog is an item that you might miss if you focused on the rather, um, interesting vintage baby car seats. See if you can find what I'm think of on this "Travel Time" page... Did you see it? Nope, not the car seats. It's item #6, listed as the "Steel Travel Platform," and it is a lovely relic from the golden age of Mid-Century Baby Travel. (more…)
And it's back to the Sears catalog I go, this time to bring you a host of vintage NFL merchandise from the past. Let's take a look! I don't know if I had this bedding set (from 1973) exactly, but I had one very much like it. I had matching curtains too. Man do I miss them. Dig that funky New York Jets wordmark! Both of these images are from the Fall 1975 catalog. My eye is immediately drawn to the old Los Angeles Rams and Houston Oilers logos. (more…)
I wasn't planning on rolling out any of my Halloween-related posts until October, but this was so bizarre I just had to share it now. In searching old Sears catalogs for Halloween costumes -- as is my wont -- I came across these insane items. Let me just present them, and then we can chat. The first is a "Negro Makeup Outfit" from the Fall 1912 catalog: And up next is a group of costumes from the Fall 1920 catalog. It has classic Negro masks like Sporty Mose (sorry, collar and tie not included), Old Uncle Joe, and Aunt Dinah (a Negress outfit not complete without this mask!). Oh, and if you really want to go hog wild you can get one of the full body suits -- there’s the Ridiculous Yellow Kid, the Japanese Lady, and the Negro Minstrel Suit (suitable for hometown shows, no less).
1973 Sears Air Conditioning Brochure, “How to Buy Central Air Conditioning.” See if you can spot Ron Burgundy on the front!