Chicago: Sears Roebuck & Co., 1898. Single sheet of thin pink paper, printed in black. In upper left, "A705-4-28-98-100M", presumably a printing code. Illustrated with two large wood engravings: a miner panning for gold & a parlor scene depicting a couple listening to the "wonderful talking machine". Each image with a copyright notice of "Feb 1898". 24-3/8" x 18-1/8" Shrink-wrapped onto posterboard. Overall quite nice condition, with a faint horizontal fold line, but little other signs of use. Very Good Plus. Item #48671
A striking advertising poster issued by Sears, Roebuck and Co as ephemeral support for entrepeneurs who had purchased, or were considering purchasing, their entertainment equipment and programs, and then using said equipment to host local entertainments. The bottom of the poster has blank places to fill-in the costs for Adults and children (in cents), and another spot for the location of the entertainment. Apparently concerned about when the projection viewers might be used, they specify 8 PM as the starting point. The poster notes the entertainment will take 120 minutes, and will "Stop at all Principal Stations." The lecture to be illustrated throughout with 50 magnificent views, and will "render a high-class Musical Programme...the reproduction of the voice in either song or speech is so natural and the articulation so distinct that anyone would believe it is a human being...."
A Sears & Roebuck Co advertisement in the Comfort Magazine, 1899, p 222 makes the pitch to potential vendors opposite an article on the Klondike: "DEAR EDITOR If there are any men among your readers who are making less than $200.00 per month and who would like to investigate a clean legitimate no fake opportunity to start in a splendid money making business where nothing is risked and very little cash is required we wish such men would write to us. A number of our customers without any previous experience whatever have gone into the great paying public entertainment business with exhibition outfits which we furnish complete at $15.25 and upwards and now write us that they are making the biggest kind of a success clearing from $50.00 to $200.00 every week. The business is new the field is big and not crowded. The public interest in the wonderful talking machine, stereopticon, and lecture outfits and the sensational moving pictures is greater than ever and you have no idea how easy it is to give one or two entertainments every day and make big money. This month we are making special inside cut prices on such entertainment outfits are sending them anywhere for thorough examination before one cent of money is paid and can save your readers nearly one half the price on an outfit Please print this letter in your paper and anyone interested can cut it out and mail it to us and we will send him free of charge our catalogue of the latest public exhibition outfits and full particulars of his month's big special liberal offer Yours very truly SEARs Roebuck & Co CHICAGO"
The visual appeal of this late 19th C. advertisement is unmistakeable, and perfectly illustrates the impact of mail order catalogues on the retail landscape. Sears Roebuck was the Amazon of their day, shipping goods throughout the country. For anyone studying marketing & late 19th C retail, this a rare survivor from the period.
OCLC records 7 copies held institutionally, just 3 in the United States.