Sunday, September 23, 2012

Catalog Mania


At the estate sale that I wrote about previously, I brought home very little stuff stuff but mostly magazines and catalogs. The catalogs make me the happiest.


That's nearly six thousand pages of eye candy right there. 

Can you see Pip, the ancient paper eater in the background? She's circling like a hungry shark. 

I can't say that I've ever seen a sale with old catalogs and I never see them in antique stores - so I was stoked out of my mind to see these in the basement. This is from two days of visiting the basement but I wish that I'd just sucked it up and hauled more out of there that first day because there were LOADS more of them. My back said "no" but my heart said "yes" and honestly, I'd worked up the kind of sweat that most people associate with a junkie trying to get a monkey off of their back. That's not the reputation that you want in the estate sale circuit. 

All of the catalogs are from Sears and most are from the 50's and 60's with one being from the 80's.  I've never known anyone to keep catalogs that far back. It kind of blew my mind. My grandmother told me that people never kept catalogs back in her day because they used them for toilet paper in the outhouses! Totally true but I guess that explains where most of the old, old ones went! Straight down the crapper. 

I've been fighting the urge to look through every single one of them and it's really hard. I wish that you all could be here with me to flip through the pages and crow over the contents. I thought I'd share some of the pages with you here. 






Those britches! 








And I can't resist including this one: 


And this little flashback to the 80's. 


Tube tops and sailor caps! 


These catalogs make me super happy to look through but oh my gosh, I have to admit that I mostly just want to find myself a time machine and zoom back to go shopping! Wouldn't it be wild if I filled out one of the order cards, sent it in and a few weeks later, the items actually arrived after being pulled from some kind of magical space-time continuum stockroom somewhere?  Sigh. A gal can dream. 

And these pages do nothing to squelch my constant rant about the lack of color and pattern in home decor these days. I know: Whine. Whine. Whine.

Until next time,
x's and o's,
Eartha


31 comments:

Dana@Mid2Mod said...

I've heard of letting things stack up, but that's crazy. I can't believe they lasted so many decades without someone doing a spring cleaning and thinking maybe it was safe to throw them away...LOL They do provide an honest glimpse into the way we lived back then, because almost everyone I know ordered from the Sears catalog.

Eartha Kitsch said...

You make a great point! And yeah, seriously. I was completely in awe. The estate sale photos showed tons of them but we got there about 30 minutes into the sale and half were gone. And the magazines that she kept...oh wow, you would NOT believe. From how beautiful the house was and the amazing fashions belonging to the lady of the home that were for sale, I can tell that she was really into fashion and design. Maybe that's why she kept them so long.

Uncle Atom said...

Those will be a lot of fun to look through, great find!

hourglass susie said...

My mouth was agape like a slack-jawed yokel looking at those! Oh, the lady with the leopard hat...and the dapper gents. Seriously great find!

Bubble My Licorice said...

what an awesome post :)
I love it!

http://bubblemylicorice.blogspot.com/

cheshirecat666 said...

oh damn,I feel faint,you know me and old 'logs. This is fantastic! I'd be tearing that place apart for the seasonal ones,there's nothing sweeter than a vintage Xmas 'log. sigh

Rae - Say It Aint So said...

a friend of mine bought one from the early fifties on ebay once. oh man, she brought it to bar trivia and the two of us spent 3 horus looking through it, ohing and ahing and lamenting that we couldn't still order from it.

Rita@thissortaoldlife said...

These are so amazing. I love the graphics. Such cool things you could do with them--but I never would because I wouldn't want to tear them apart. My grandma worked the Sears candy counter when I was a little girl (which I thought was the most awesome job EVER), and the Sears catalog was a staple of my childhood. And there probably were old ones in the basement when her house was cleaned out, but I didn't get to be there for that and likely wouldn't have appreciated them then anyway. So glad they were found by someone who will.

Trina44 said...

Great find, I need to buy my husband one of those pants suits.

One Girl said...

Oh my gosh - awesome!!! What a haul. Wow. Tube tops AND sailor hats. And those men's suits - whoa. Just whoa. These would bring hours and hours of entertainment.

Kitsch and Curious said...

I am SO jealous of those catalogues! I am constantly looking for them on ebay, but over here, they sell for SERIOUS money, so I can never get them. I do have a Montgomery Ward one from 1974, and a very small British one from the 1950s, and I LOVE them. Have loads of fun looking through yours!!

Sounnds like you've been finding some great estate sales lately!

Lakota [Faith Hope and Charity Shopping] said...

Oh my, these are absolute GOLD! I get so excited over ads in vintage magazines and these are ALL ADS!
x

Laura said...

Oh, you were way ahead of me on the girdles; great minds think alike. I'm fascinated by how women managed to wear these and high heels and not be, well, highly cranky all. the. time.

Robert Dulaney said...

god! i love old sears catalogs! so much. every now and then i consider calling the number to order a few things. i wonder if anyone would answer?

Georgia said...

I love the 'traditional' jumpsuit modelled by a Burt Reynolds(?) lookalike and his pal! I've often wondered what would happen if you sent off the old order forms in catalogues and magazines too. I know just what you mean!

Anonymous said...

Eartha, I am pleased as punch to hear of this treasure trove coming your way. Who knew that the pain of mandatory remodeling would be soothed in such a superb way? Thanks much for sharing with us. I am amazed they had such cool shoes. And those kitchen colors! And men's suits and all! I hope your able to sleep. I'd be red-eyed paging through them through the night. -Kristine

Sheri Godwin said...

That little, blue jumper with the checked shirt is so gorgeous! Why can't we still have such great choices today? Thanks for sharing!

lynxymama said...

i may cry

moviemag46 said...

I have quite a few them myself, and while I do love them, they are a BITCH to store :-)

bittersweetsusie said...

Those are AWESOME. We saved The Sears Wish Books from most of my childhood - especially after they stopped sending them. They are pretty beat up from love. We would POUR over those pages and circle and star all the things we wanted SANTA to bring. Its so funny to look back now. I never got that DAMN rock tumbler. I did get an Easy Bake Oven for my 24th birthday. Suck It Santa.

Jackie Jardine said...

Oh you've struck vintage gold!!

<3 Jackie @ Let's Go Thrifting!

Sparkleneely said...

Oh... My... The... Harlequin... Pants... And... Yellow... Top... Can't... Breathe...

Sara In AZ said...

You have no idea how freakin' jealous of you I am right now!!!! Those are amazing!!!!! I'd probably be gone for days looking through those things!

SUZY8-TRACK said...

So cool, like finding a time capsule! I miss the days of catalogs with lovely photography and bright colors. I remember as a kid, my parents getting the big Sears Christmas catalog, and me pouring through it, wanting all the toys!

Pat said...

Oooh, the harlequin pedal pushers with the short top - stick a fork in it! And the kitchen plastics, just great.

sherree said...

Thanks for sharing! So much fun :-)

Lynn said...

I'm getting light headed! You will have loads of fun flipping through those!

"now in coral and chartreuse!" Oh, the Marvalon.....

frecklewonder said...

I was smiling all the way through - you are such a great story teller and you always make me laugh with your spot on descriptions!!! I have become such a weird vintage paper junky over the past couple years - magazines, pamphletes, cards, tags, I am a crazy person. And then I saw those harlequin britches and I seriously fell apart.
Dead, on the floor.

jaymie said...

awesome score!

Amanda Z. said...

Gasp! I collect old catalogs. If you can call 3 or 4 a collection since they are hard to find (and they can be spendy). Being a graphic designer I also obsess over the layouts and fonts. LOVE! You are now their guardian so take good care of them!

Mellyfrance said...

I am right there with you Eartha, I love, love, love those old catalogs too. I ordered some from eBay and read them slowly over my morning coffee, they make me happy too. Wish we could order some of that stuff too, sometimes I get excited and think I can have some of those wonderful vintage items and then wake from my catalog haze and realize that it is 2012 and not 1963! Currently on the hunt for 1966 Sears catalogs. Happy hunting, you have way better estate sales than we do in Cali, so jealous.