Sears & Others
 

Sears and Other Mail-Order Catalogs


 

 




Sears catalog #136 - 1918


Sears catalog #137 - 1918
Little Wonder



Sears catalog #137 - 1918
Bubble Books



Sears catalog #138 - 1919


Sears catalog #139 - 1919


Sears catalog #140 - 1920


Sears catalog #141 - 1920


Sears catalog #142 - 1921


Sears catalog #143 - 1921

Little Wonder records and, later, Bubble Books were advertised in several national and local mail-order catalogs as a way to expand the public's awareness and purchase options.- I have seen these listed in catalogs from Sears, Roebuck and Co., Montgomery Ward & Co., and The Charles Williams Store Inc., and these are shown below.- If you know of other catalogs that contain listings for Little Wonder records or Bubble Books, please contact me.


Sears, Roebuck and Co.


Sears, Roebuck and Co. mail-order catalogs featured Little Wonder records for sale from 1915 through 1921, and Bubble Books in 1918.- Scans of the entries from all of these catalogs are shown on this page.

Sears catalog #130 - 1915


Sears catalog #131 - 1915
Between 1915 and 1919 the record listing expanded -- from a quarter-page in early 1915 to a third-page in later 1915, a half-page in early 1916, and finally to a full-page in late 1917 through 1919.- In early 1920, paralleling the fortunes of the Little Wonder Company, the listings were reduced to a half-page and, by late 1921, the listings were where they started, at a quarter-page.- No listings appear from 1922 on.

The headings of the listings proclaim the records' sound quality and their popularity.- In some instances, the record listings name the performers and in the case of "Medleys" name the songs included.-

Sears catalog #132 - 1916


Sears catalog #133 - 1916
Some of this information was used to prepare the Little Wonder discography, since performers and medley songs are not printed on the label.- In both 1919 catalogs, new selections were grouped into a separate section where the records were described and touted.

The first record listing (from early 1915) contains several entries that do not correspond with the information from the records themselves (such as record numbers and titles), suggesting that the catalog was printed before the records were available.

Sears catalog #134 - 1917


Sears catalog #135 - 1917
Later catalogs corrected these earlier errors although these occasionally made others (such as record #504 listed with the wrong title in the late 1918 catalog).

Record albums that could hold the Little Wonder records (which were sold without sleeves) were advertised in most of these Sears catalogs as well.- I have collected many albums in many different colors that look like those featured in these catalogs, but I have no way of knowing whether these were purchased from Sears.

Sears(?) Record Albums
(note two different binding techniques)


Sears Shipping Boxes
The records were shipped by Sears in boxes of just the right size to hold a dozen.


Montgomery Ward and Co.

Montgomery Ward sold both Little Wonder records and Bubble Books, although not in the same catalogs.- Note that prices for the Bubble Books started at 95¢ in 1919, climbed to $1.42 by 1921, and then fell to 98¢ by 1922.

1915 Montgomery Ward catalog
1915 - #84, p. 495
(Note the album shown was
not for sale in this catalog
but was available later
that year)
1915 Montgomery Ward sale catalog
1915 - Mid-Summer Sale, p. 2
(Note that both Little Wonder
piano rolls and records are
for sale here and that the
album looks like one that
has been found)
1919 Montgomery Ward catalog
1919 - #91, p. 513
(Note the title for the
ninth book is erroneously
listed as "Topsy Turvy")

1920 Montgomery Ward catalog
1920 - #92, p. 384
(Note the title for the
ninth book is erroneously
listed as "Topsy Turvy")
1920 Montgomery Ward catalog
1920 - #93, p. 567
1921 Montgomery Ward catalog
1921 - #94, p. 347

1921 Montgomery Ward catalog
1921 - #95, p. 531
1922 Montgomery Ward catalog
1922 - #97, p. 422
(Note that "Tippy Toe"
is spelled incorrectly)

The Charles William Stores

The Charles William Stores, located in New York City, carried Little Wonder records from 1916 through 1920.- In 1918, a catalog dedicated to Little Wonder records was created, but it is not known how this catalog was distributed.- The later 1920 and 1921 catalogs also included Bubble Books.- If you know something about the history of this store, which no longer exists, please contact me.

1916 The Charles William Stores
1915 - #9, p. 896
(Note the heading
does not mention
Little Wonder records)
1916 The Charles William Stores
1916 - #11, p. 730
1917 The Charles William Stores
1917 - #15, p. 786

1917 The Charles William Stores
1917 - #17 (?), p. 731
1918 The Charles William Stores
1918 - #19, p. 619
(Click
picture
to page
through
catalogue)
Catalogue (16 pages), 1918
5" x 7" (when folded)

1918 The Charles William Stores
1918 - #21, p. 678

1918 The Charles William Stores
1918 - #21, p. 681
1919 The Charles William Stores
1919 - #23, p. 511
1919 The Charles William Stores
1919 - #25, p.630 (?)
(Note the discount for
buying a dozen records and
Little Wonder albums for sale)

1920 The Charles William Stores
1920 - #27, p. 529
1920 The Charles William Stores
1920 - #29, p. 647
1920 The Charles William Stores
1920 - #29, p. 649

1920 The Charles William Stores
1921 - #31, p. 487
 


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