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American Civ II: Locating Women and developments at the 1893 Columbian Exposition
Transcript of American Civ II: Locating Women and developments at the 1893 Columbian Exposition
Civil War Move from Home Care to Purchased Remedies Commercial Developments Increased Buying Power - Richard Sears was an railway agent in Minnesota with entrepeneurial savvy and spirit
- 1886 :The watches that changed America
"The mail-order business is very nearly indigenous to America.
Nowhere else in the world has the catalogue house assumed the unique status it enjoys in the United States, where Sears, Roebuck [became] a household name as well as the country's largest purveyor of general merchandise" - Emmet & Jeuck, 9 Sears, Roebuck, & Co. Montgomery Ward Rural customers want "city" goods 1893: The Columbian Exposition in Chicago "A thousand trains a day left or entered Chicago" "Many of these trains brought single young women who had never even seen a city but now hoped to make on of the biggest and toughest their home" What about those
who remained on the farm? What's going on? The thrill of the newfangled product! Which Brings us to one of GTown's favorite keywords.... DIVERSITY! Those stockyards of olfactory overwhelm are staffed by immigrants from a veritable hodgepodge of backgrounds - but we'll save specific exploration of them for another day because right now, we care about the same thing
that was on their minds Getting the latest and greatest things for sale! But WHERE were they sold? And HOW were they advertised? AND .... Sears, Roebuck Company Incorporated: cheapest supply house on earth... consumers guide. 1897
"Wish Books' Sold virtually everything the average American could think of or desire—and by mail.
This was a revolution, and Ward's fired the first shot.
To buy spittoons, books of gospel hymns, hat pins, rifles, wagons, violins, birdcages, or portable bathtubs, purchases that used to require many separate trips to specialist merchants, suddenly all the American shopper had to do was lick a stamp.
It is a true record of an era. Imagine a book with everything
you ever wanted,
"1895 ...Proved to be an excellent time to help manage a burgeoning mail-order company. Much growth had occurred in the business world, which made the current and future growth of Sears, Roebuck possible. Two inventions were crucial: the Railroad, which enabled the mail-order house to ship its goods, and the telegraph, which allowed the company to order the products that its customers wanted. It was important that the mail-order store was located in Chicago, one of the major rail hubs in the country." - Peter Ascoli, "Julius Rosenwald, the Man Who built Sears, Roebuck and Advanced the Cause of black education in the American South Technological
Developments - Railroad
- Telegraph CHICAGO Race Issues "Sears and Ward seemed the ultimate expression of advanced civilization" - William Cronon "The main customers of the mail-order houses were famers. City dwellers had department stores where they could shop. But the farmers, who comprised the majority of the U.S. population in this period [1895-1907] had no shopping outlet other than the general store, where the selection was meager and prices were high. The mail-order companies could take advantage of economies of scale to bring the prices of goods down substantially" - Ascoli Both Sears, Roebuck and Montgomery Ward
could offer their customers a
dazzling and ever-increasing array of goods. Rosenwald brought into venture by his
brother-in-law Aaron Nussbaum, who
explored a partnership with Sears after
amassing a fortune as a concessionaire
at the 1893 Exposition (Worthy 24) By 1886, the Ward catalogue had grown to 280 pages
and listed over 10,000 items - Worthy, 26 "Historians of aesthetics and design have long drawn attention to the revolution in the popular perception of manufactured goods created by the Great [London]
Exhibition of 1851 and afterwards.
The Parisian Bon Marche as 'dazzling and sensuous ... a permanent fair' The Bon Marche acknowledged its debt to the expositions by becoming a regular exhibitor, even participating in the international fairs of Chicago and London" - Lancaster, 17 The retail giant's 1895 catalogue showcases some 25,000 items, from the necessities of life (flour, shirts) to products whose time has passed (ear trumpets. In the words of Marvin Gaye... "Wish Book" WHAT were these manufactured goods? HOW were they sold? The first catalog in August 1872 consisted of an 8 by 12 in. single-sheet price list, showing 163 articles for sale with ordering instructions. "Satisfaction guaranteed or your money back" 1896 - first serious competition arises when Richard Warren Sears introduced his first general catalog. Farmers selling crops for cash
In 1891 the wholesale price of a barrel of flour was reported to be $3.47. Price at retail was at least $7, a 100 percent increase.
Farmers formed protest movements, such as the Grange, to do battle against high prices and the "middleman." Sears, Roebuck and Co. and other mail-order companies were the answer to farmers' prayers. They offered a happy alternative to the high-priced rural stores.
He knew farmers,
understood their needs and desires. Earliest catalogs featured only watches and jewelry
By 1895 - a 532-page catalog with many other items. This book offered shoes, women's garments and millinery, wagons, fishing tackle, stoves, furniture, china, musical instruments, saddles, firearms, buggies, bicycles, baby carriages and glassware, in addition to watches and jewelry. Under Sears leadership, sales in 1893 topped $400,000. Two years later they exceeded $750,000. 1905 - Recruit your friends and get rewards!
Richard Sears' inventive scheme to put his wish books
into the hands of thousands of potential new customers. "For heaven's sake, quit sending me sewing machines. Every time I go to the station I find another one there. You have shipped me five already." 1925 - First Sears retail store opens in catalog center on Chicago's west side. "Our mail order methods meet many wants,"
- 1895 Montgomery Ward & Co. catalogue. Aaron Montgomery Ward was inspired to start a revolutionary dry goods mail-order store after working as a traveling salesman with rural customers, who were victimized by monopolists Convenience, Value, Quality
innovative and unprecedented company policy introduced by Ward in 1875 Later Innovations Technical Issues "Shop at Sears and Save." ANGRY AGRICULTURISTS SO SMall EXAMPLE!