Saturday, 14 April 2012


If you've ever wanted to get a glimpse into every day life during the turn of the century, the 1908 Sears, Roebuck Catalogue is one of the best sources, in my opinion. Everything a person from that period  needed or wanted was in there.

The Gloria Magic Lantern Outfit
While looking through the catalogue, I came across the GLORIA MAGIC LANTERN OUTFIT. This is a projector which burns 'regular kerosene'. All MAGIC LANTERN outfits come with MAGIC LANTERN, slides, advertising posters and admission tickets to sell. According to the description "The Young People not only derive great pleasure from giving MAGIC LANTERN EXHIBITIONS, but the business training which they gain ...., putting up advertising posters, selling tickets, etc., gives them the ideas of the rudiments of money making ...."

"...perfect ventilation is secured by the ample air spaces at the bottom of the lantern and the tall Russia iron chimney."  " an exceptionally fine instrument for parlor exhibitions."

The Home Magic Lantern Outfit
Depending on the size of the "outfit" you can produce pictures from 3-6 ft in diameter and the cost is from $4.98 to $6.85.

The HOME MAGIC LANTERN OUTFIT produces pictures from 1-3 ft in diameter and costs from 48cents - $1.89 complete.

I love this catalogue! It's absolutely fascinating!


  1. I've never heard of Magic Lanterns! I used to LOVE looking through the Sears catalogues when I was young. And we used to make paper dolls from the models in there. Lots of clothes to cut out, too!

    1. I had never heard of them either. I had to read through to figure it out.
      That's a good idea, making paper dolls from the catalogue. I'll remember that for my granddaughter. Thanks for the idea. and thanks for stopping by. :)

  2. I remember when Wendy's used to have old ads on their tabletops. I loved looking at those, even as a kid. At a workshop I attended recently, the author said old ads were one of the best sources of research. You can find what sort of clothes people were wearing, what movies they were seeing, what food they were making, how their houses were furnished, etc.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z

    1. I totally agree. You can really picture every day life. One section in this catalogue that was extremely interesting was the "Department of Family Remedies", which featured a Formaldehyde and Menthol Inhaler, Kissing Salt and Blackberry Cordial which was "the simplest and most effective remedy for all derangements or the stomach and bowels."

      Thanks for visiting. :)

  3. I love looking at old ads too. They are a real piece of social history.