A half century ago, before the arrival of mega-toy emporiums Toys "R" Us and FAO Schwarz, the Sears, Roebuck and Co. Christmas catalog fed the fledgling consumer fantasies of American children. Hefty in size. Usually an image of jolly red-suited Santa Claus on the glossy cover. And filled with all kinds of toys. It was central to the pre-Christmas ritual. Between the arrival of the catalog in the mail and Christmas morning, children pored over the pages, suspended in the dizzy fantasy that everything -- toy trucks, dolls, train sets, pogo sticks, playhouses, and bicycles --... More >>>
At the Roosevelt tea (at top, from left): Sara Lee Creech, Maxeda von Hesse, Roosevelt, and statesman Bernard Baruch. At bottom is a letter of support for the doll from Zora Neale Hurston.