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Showing posts from February, 2020

The Rise and Fall of Sears

A display area containing various items that can be purchased from the Sears catalog.   It’s no secret that internet shopping on Amazon is causing lackluster sales at department stores like Sears. There was a time, however, when Sears Roebuck and Co. was one of the premier places to shop. At about the turn of the century, Chicago-based Sears Roebuck and Co. shipped most of its items to individuals using the mail system, just like Amazon does these days. The only difference is that people ordered the items from a catalog instead of through the internet. Sears Roebuck and Co. also produced some really neat postcards in the early 1900s to promote working for the company. Some of the postcard images reminded me of television clips of Amazon employees working at distribution centers. The postcards include images and text showing and describing work in the shipping rooms and the in-house catalog printing and order processing departments. Women working in the entry dep

The YMCA in Chicago

People play games and socialize on a rooftop garden at the YMCA at 826 S. Wabash Ave. Published by Curt Teich & Co., Inc. of Chicago. Numerous vintage postcards depict images that reinforce the lyrics “It’s fun to stay at the YMCA” by the band the Village People. The Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) group printed postcards with images of YMCA Chicago facilities that show people dancing, playing games and sleeping in private rooms that are decorated with themes. One postcard in particular shows the Marine Room, which is decorated with an ocean theme. Rates for the Marine Room and other rooms ranged from 75 cents to $2.50 per day in the 1930s. Many YMCA facilities also offered weekly rates to lodgers. The city’s first YMCA building, Farwell Hall, opened in 1867 and is named after its benefactor, John V. Farwell, who was a dry-goods merchant, according to the Encyclopedia of Chicago. The building had a library and a parlor for its members, but lacked dormito