Sears Once Offered Mail-Order Tombstones

Sears Once Offered Mail-Order Tombstones:

Before Sears, the super-sized department store chain, began dominating suburban landscapes and fluorescent malls across the country, it existed solely as a mail-order catalog that initially specialized in jewelry and watches, but quickly grew to include almost everything in the universe. In 1895, only three years after first incorporating as a business, the catalog boasted 532 pages. Among the things for sale in this encyclopedia of goods were bicycles, groceries, sewing machines, medicinal cocaine, and electric radiators. But perhaps the most surprising product in this groundbreaking “Consumers’ Bible” was a practical but rather morbid one: affordable tombstones.

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