Friday, November 20, 2009

Fred Herr's Christmas present 2008

Last year Fred Herr’s daughter Laura asked him what he had wanted for Christmas as a kid and never received.

On Christmas he opened up a package from her that contained a miniature working steam engine, “just like the one on page 356 of the 1958 Sears Wishbook. And it works!”

Where did Laura get the idea to get her dad a vintage Christmas present? Fred says, “Laura had always wanted an Easy Bake oven. We finally gave her one for her 21st birthday last May.”

Fred found his steam engine in a vintage Sears catalog that is posted online.

About this time last year I published the link to a website called Wishbook Web. It’s home to 32 old Christmas catalogs, beginning with the 1940 Sears Christmas Catalog (136 pages) and going on up to the 1988 Sears Christmas Wishbook (676 pages).

There’s also the 1933 Spiegel Christmas catalog (64 pages), the 1941 Lord & Taylor Christmas catalog (170 pages), the 1967 FAO Schwartz Christmas catalog (156 pages) and the 1976 J.C. Penney Christmas catalog (512 pages). Penney’s announced earlier this week that it will no longer publish its “big book” catalogs, focusing instead on the smaller specialty catalogs. But it will continue to publish its Christmas catalog!

The Christmas catalog website address is here.

You can relive your childhood one Sears Wishbook at a time!


At 10:27 PM, Anonymous Olin Babb said...

To Vince. I know and lived close to Fred Herr and his older brother Alan and sister Rita......a wonderful family with a great Mom and Dad. I still have my steam engine from about 1955 and another toy from about that same year which was much fun....a carbide cannon. Olin Babb,Jr., D-B grad of 1961.


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