Frontal Mail Exposure: The Sears Catalog Controversy of 1975

By | November 26, 2018

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The Sears catalog was a familiar household tome for decades, but the 1975 edition contained something extra, according to sharp-eyed sleuths. On the page displaying men's underwear, page 602, a suspicious shadow, or object, seemed to show a man's exposed private area. His package, unwrapped. His junk.

The world was, in a way, smaller then. Everyone had the same points of reference. The Sears catalog was everywhere -- if you spotted something in it (on, say, page 602) and called up your cousin halfway across the country, that cousin had the same Sears catalog and could look up the same image. And there would be laughing, at long-distance rates, which weren't cheap!

What's The Big Deal With The Sears Catalog?

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The fall/winter Sears catalog from 1957. (Photo by Annie Wells/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

In the late 1800s, the Sears, Roebuck And Company retailer began selling its wares to consumers. Richard Warren Sears, along with his partner, Alvah Curtis Roebuck, founded this historic retail business. Being savvy businessmen already, they decided to step up their game and form a mail order business together. Consumers were just delighted and look forward to receiving their catalogs in the mail twice each year. The catalogs were filled with anything and everything needed to run a household, clothing and work uniforms and much, more! If you couldn’t find it in the Sears, Roebuck And Company catalog, chances are you probably didn’t need it.