Been lookin' at a 1927 Sears Roebuck catalog and have found some interesting and fun things. For example, a "30 x 3 1/2 Regular Clincher tire" sold for $5.95. "Extra Heavy Oversize Red Tubes" were $2.95 to $3.75 depending on size. A Peerless 18 month battery, $8.35. De Luxe Hydrometer Jar Outfit, .83 cents. A Reliance radiator, guaranteed for 18 months was $8.69, Triumph Circulating water pump (for a T) is .98 cents. A Delux steering wheel for a T, $1.62, a spark coil, each at $1.15. Champion X spark plugs at .55 cents each. A new set of wooden floor boards for Model T, 1915/1925 complete, .60 cents. Heavy duty luggage carrier for the running board, $1.25. Guess I could spend a lot of time lookin' since there is so much there. Fun to look at but I guess I'm glad I'm here today rather than back then. ( I spelled delux 2 ways in the post because that's how it was in the catalog.)
When you consider how long you had to work for your dollars in 1927, those prices lose their allure.
At one time you could order you entire house from a Sears Roebuck catalog. I had the good fortune to remodel a Sears purchased home in the mid 1990's. As I tore the old home apart an elderly gentlemen came over and stated that he and his brother hauled that house from the rail station with their horse drawn wagons during the 20's. He said everything was included, bath tub, water heater, stove, etc. Well, we were amazed to find that every stud was stamped with a number and installed in order. We removed the old side arm water heater and cast iron tub as well as several old cast iron sinks and metal kitchen cabinets. There were lead water pipes and drains. I guess what amazed us most of all that everything although outdated still functioned from 1920 until 1997.
I forgot to add that my crew was very glad to get to the next job. All the studs were full size rough cut and we picked out splinters for weeks. Any additions to the walls or floor joists had to be shimmed out to match the old rough cut lumber. There was the old knob and tube wiring that had to be completely removed also.
I have a Coil with a Sears price tag on it of $2.67.
I heard San Marino in the L.A. area required knob and tube wiring until at most 30 years ago. It is very safe. We still have knob and tube in our T era house, along with all the modren shortcuts, save for aluminum wiring.
Dennis, you mention that you could order an entire house from Sears. On page 1081 in the catalog there are house kits for sale. One that I like is called The Puritan. It has 7 rooms and a bath and the entire kit is $2,504. Or you can make payments of $40.00 per month. On page 1064 I found a "Champion Two-Horse Standard Farm Wagon" for only $87.50. The one horse wagon is $59.75. You could spend lots of time lookin' through the catalog, especially in the outhouse.
The Sears catalog kept most of rural America in butt wipe back in the day.
I overhauled my first model T engine in 1949. Montgomery Ward was still selling lost of parts including short blocks.
Steve hit the nail on the head.
My Grampa worked in Seattle in 1927. As a 27 year-old man he had bought a house in Tacoma, because he and Gramma could not afford a house in Seattle. He drove his Model T (1924 coupe)from Tacoma to Seattle and back everyday. He tried and tried to sell his house in Tacoma, but nobody had any money. Finally, in 1929, reluctantly, he defaulted on the loan for the house and found a little house to rent in West Seattle on Harbor Avenue near the coal and firewood business he created. They rented the little house for the next eight years until he could afford to buy his $3,000 house "up on the hill" that they moved into when my mom was ten. She had two little brothers by then, too.
Times were tough back then.
When I first got my Model T, my grandmother was aghast! "Why on earth would you want a Model T?!?" I think she only rode in it once.
We will celebrate Mom's 87th birthday at the end of the month. Mom now lives in a condo in West Seattle that is on the site where that little rental house once stood. Her address is the same now as it was 80 years ago.
I'll take today's prices and today's wages, thank you.
: ^ )
John, I have been trying to research bodies sold by Sears for model T's. I have a wooden body that appears to have been a mother-in-law type roadsters or a tourabout. Is there anything like that in the 27 catalog. I have been looking in the catalogs from the teens and ha e not found anything yet.