30 May, 2015

The Sears Advert Coincidence

Sears department store

Richard W Sears
By a strange coincidence, three of the men whose names are most closely associated with the early days of Sears, Roebuck and Co [a chain of American department stores] were linked on the same classified page of the Chicago Daily News.

The history of Sears tells of how the company founder, Richard W Sears, met co-founder, Alvah C Roebuck, through an ad he placed for a watchmaker in the April 1, 1887 edition of the News:

Watch-maker wanted - with references who can furnish tools; state age, experience and salary required. Address T39 Daily News.

But it was not until much later that another advert was noticed in exactly the same newspaper column. This one said:

Cutter wanted (Clothing) - experienced hand, Rosenwald & Weil, 168 Market St.

The firm of Rosenwald & Weil was one in which the Chicago manufacturer Julius Rosenwald was a partner. Eight years later in 1895 Rosenwald was to become a partner with Sears in his, by then, thriving mail-order business.

At the time their ads appeared neither man knew the other - or even dreamed they would be in business together. Sears spent eighty cents to meet Roebuck and Rosenwald's ad cost him forty cents. Money well spent!

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