Sears, the iconic American retailer, has had its fair share of ups and downs in recent times. With dwindling sales, they have announced the closure of more stores. It’s disheartening to witness the decline of companies that once defined America.
General Electric, Ford, GMC, and Sears are struggling to compete with the economic giants of the 21st century – Amazon, Google, and Apple. These companies, with their focus on self-driving cars and innovative technologies, pose a formidable challenge.
However, even if Sears as we know it ceases to exist, its legacy will endure. Sears played a significant role in shaping America throughout the 1900s, particularly with their innovative mail-order business. They offered a wide range of products, from appliances to home goods, and yes, even houses. In the early 1900s, Sears sold houses through their catalogs, providing blueprints and shipping the pieces to customers all over the country. It was then up to the buyers to assemble their dream homes, piece by piece. Nowadays, with the rising popularity of tiny houses and DIY enthusiasts, this concept sounds more appealing than ever.
One Reddit user, RealHotSauceBoss, recently shared the story of his grandfather’s Sears catalog home from 1916. Back then, this man purchased the house for just over $1000, a steal compared to today’s prices. Sears offered various models, and once you had a plot of land, the house would be shipped to you. The house the Reddit user’s grandfather bought was called Model No. 137, and it cost about $1200 in 1916 (equivalent to around $27,000 in today’s money, accounting for inflation).
Remarkably, despite being a mail-order home, this Sears house has withstood the test of time. The Reddit user mentioned that while the exterior needed some work due to the untreated wood, the house itself remained structurally sound.
To preserve the interior, they had to build a new exterior shell using HardiePlank material and install storm windows over the original ones. The roof had to be completely replaced due to wear and leakage. Surprisingly, even the century-old basement remains in excellent condition. The project has been an exciting and rewarding endeavor for the Reddit user and their family.
Looking ahead to the year 2118, we can’t help but wonder what people in the future will marvel at from our time. Will it be our smartphones and computers? Or will it be something more fundamental to our lives that we often take for granted? Only time will tell.