Stereo views of major Chicago institution

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A Trip Through Sears, Roebuck, and Company. Chicago: Sears, Roebuck [1910]

This collection of fifty stereograph views shows what was for almost seventy years the world headquarters of Sears, Roebuck and Company. This enormous complex was located on forty acres in the North Lawndale neighborhood on the south side of Chicago. Not only did it function as administrative headquarters for the firm, but it was the central point for receiving and distributing orders from its catalogues. The catalogues themselves were printed and bound here, in fact the type used for the catalogues was cast in an onsite foundry. It had a watchmaking shop, a clothes making operation, a vast network of pneumatic tubes, gigantic phone switchboards, employee cafeterias (segregated by sex), a more formal restaurant for higher ranking staff, an employee hospital, a large garden with fountains and a decorative “Greek” pergola, a training school for skills such as stenography, and a library. The versos of the stereograph cards are packed with detailed facts and figures regarding the complex and its operations.