Workbasket has an ad for a 1908 Sears and Roebuck Catalogue – “sure to become a collector’s item”. It probably is a collector’s item but the 1980 version is also a collector’s item now. I found a 1980 Sears catalog available on Amazon for $74.90
As much fun as it would be to buy it and page through it I didn't think it was worth $75. Instead, I found an easy to peruse HTML version of the 1980 JCPenny catalog here. It was fun to page through the 578 pages. It has toys, clothing, shoes, costumes, bedding, tools, dishes, kitchen items, games, computers, audio equipment, instruments, bikes, sports equipment, books, craft items, chemistry sets, guns, lamps, fireplaces, pretty much everything you could want to buy in 1980.
Here are my highlights with links:
You could buy a 625 watt microwave on sale for 391.95 - $100 off! There are disco balls and lava lamps.
An Atari Home Computer System – the computer was $1080 and the disk drive was $699.95.
There is also an Atari Video Game System – for only $144.95
I think we had a set of pots like this:
The Fisher-Price Toys start on page 415. They have the house, the Action Garage, the Farm, The Fire Station, the Circus Train and the School Bus.
A great section on Star Wars – The Empire Strikes Back starts on page 438. What kid didn’t want a radio controlled Jawa Sand Crawler?
There wasn’t just Star Wars; Star Trek has a page of toys, plus there is Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, Marvel Super Heroes and ChiPs.
Don’t forget the classics; Lite Brite, Spirograph, Etch-a-Sketch and ThingMaker II Creepy Crawlers are there too.
They did sell Latch Hook Kits and other art sets. Keep paging through after that page and there are string art kits, a Needlework Chest, a tiny pottery kit, candle making kit and Doodle-Loom kits. There is an ad for Doodle-Loom in the Workbasket magazine too:
The clothing was interesting and the expressions on the models faces are fun. This is from the Junior Girls section:
I hope you have fun going back to 1980 via the JC Penny catalog!
Next week I'll have an update on the Angel. I'm about half way done and I think it will be cute when done!
I'm from Minnesota and have been crocheting since 2003. I inherited a box full of Workbasket Magazines from my mother-in-law and became obsessed with the vintage patterns. I'm a member of Crochet Twin Cities, the local Crochet Guild.