(Frank) And back again. We have way too much fun on this show. We hope that you enjoy it and kind of get into it. We're pretty silly here. (Deb) This is a serious story about merchandising here, Frank, and how we built a consumer class in America, and yet where do you go with this story? Right to the outhouse. (Frank) Yes, we're talking about catalogs folks, you know the Sears catalogs, the Montgomery Ward catalog, and there were probably others. But the Sears catalog actually really made Sears Roebuck and Company. But the thing is that you flip through it and ordered everything you threw it over in the outhouse. (Deb) You wore down the pages until they were real soft. [Laughter] (Deb) But those of us, yes, long before Charmin, those of us of a certain age, we grew up with outhouses. The house I grew up in had indoor plumbing, but my grandparents had an outhouse. Yes, the catalog in the outhouse, yep, there it was. (Frank) Those catalogs, those Sears catalogs were about that thick, and it was nice, thin, slicky paper. (Deb) That would last what? Like, as long as a 12 pack of Charmin, something like that? [Laughter] (Frank) We're writing commercials here now too. Montgomery Wards had one too, but there were other catalogs too. But of course the most famous was Sears. (Deb) Well I think it's so interesting Frank, and I thought about this coming full circle in a lot of things, but people talk about, "Oh, well nobody goes shopping anymore. They buy everything online." It's the same principle. It's the same principle, you sit there in your parlor or there at your kitchen table and you look through the catalog and figure out what you need and it comes to your door. (Frank) You know you could buy a house. You could buy a house in the Sears catalog. It would come in packets and-- (Deb) And I'll bet you a bunch of-- there's nobody in Kansas that hasn't seen one of those houses. They're still standing. They were great kits, and you may not realize it, but there are a lot of them around. A lot of them around. I remember one in Osawatomie. A big Victorian in Osawatomie that was ordered out of a catalog, a gorgeous home. You could get them from dollhouse this big to a mansion, and everything in between. So yes, there was value in the catalog before it went out back. (Frank) Oh my. Okay, I'm going to go take a nap now. Before eBay and Amazon, there was the catalog, and for rural America in the 19th and early 20th Centuries, it was a godsend. Retail establishments were far away for most of rural America. Catalogs brought everything they needed to the comfort of their parlors. They could order anything from a house to a mousetrap. Sears-Roebuck and Montgomery Ward were among those to capitalize on the desires and pocketbooks of a new consumer-driven America. What kinds of items could be found on those pages? Literally everything to set up housekeeping or business, or to dress fashionably, drive or live comfortably. An ornate cast-iron cook stove could be had for $13.95. A Victorian lady's hat, looking something like a bushel-basket full of flowers and ribbons, was a staggering two dollars and 83 cents. Collars for men's shirts were 7 cents. A Sears motor buggy was $395. Banjos, guitars, harmonicas, plates, cups, saucers. Buggy harnesses and thumbtacks. Nails and saws, ribbons and combs. In 1902, the United States Post Office instituted Rural Free Delivery. That meant those packages ordered from catalogs might arrive at the front porch. True to human nature, as people leafed through the catalogs, they saw what was available, what the latest styles were, and even though they had not realized they needed those things, they sure wanted them! Even barns and houses could be ordered by catalog. Scattered throughout Kansas are numerous kit homes purchased from the catalog. Lumber, windows, trim, and fixtures were pre-cut and shipped by rail and then delivered by wagons to building sites. For areas where timber was scarce, the homes were very popular. Prices ranged from a few hundred dollars to more than a thousand depending on the size of the home. When you hear people complain about folks shopping online, perhaps they are simply coming full circle to the way things would have been done more than a century ago.