The Merchandise Building we call the “works,” because it is here that the largest army of our employes is busy from early morning until late at night in filling the orders front~rc ustomers. ThIs building is the largest ever erlleted for housing merchandise, being eleven hundred feet long by three hundred and fifty-five feet in width, nine stories high and basement. Within these walls be found every conceivable sort of merchandise, requiring a catalogue containing twelve hundred pag almost nine by twelve inches in size, together with. innumerable special catalogues to properly list, illustrate, describe and price the articles in which we deal, so that the customer may intently state his wants. Over eight million dollars’ worth of merchandise is constantly carried in stock, and this enormous business structure with its vast bindery and its perfected organization is the concrete product of the building progress of the world and the sum of human endeavor in providing mechanlcai equipment. and appliances to facilitate the filling of orders and their prompt dispatch by mail, by express and by freight to every quarter of the globe. In a building so large it is not surprising that many unusual problems came up for solution frill. day to day, but all these difficulties have been solved, and this great structure, this teeming hive of industry, is well lighted, perfectly ventilated. systematically arranged, thoroughly heated, and in every way a model institution.
As a foundation under the walls of the Merchandise Building we have fifteen hundred and six caissons, four feet or more in diameter, and from twenty to sixty feet deep. In building these caissons we used sixty-five thousand cubic yards of concrete. In all the buildings, which are of brick and terra cotta construction, we consumed twenty-eight million brick, twenty-five thousand barrels of lime, one hundred and thirty thousand barrels of cement, fifteen million feet of lumber and twelve million eight hundred thousand pounds of steel and iron. These colossal figures are almost beyond comprehension, involving as they do such enormous quantities of materials as never before have been used in the construction of a home for any business concern in the world. Perhaps in your own city you have a brick merchandise building, or several of them, forty feet wide, eighty feet deep, two stories high with a basement underneath. Our Merchandise Building alone, which is almost a quarter of a mile long, a block wide, and nine stories high, is equivalent to three hundred and eight such buildings. Some idea of lumber we used in the construction of these buildings may be conveyed when we say that the average forest will produce not more than five thousand feet of hardwood lumber to the acre, and it would require the timber from three thousand acres to yield the quantity of lumber we used in our buildings.
From Sears 1907 Fall Catalog
Sears in 1916
A few glimpses of our Catalog Exposition where our merchandise is on display to our visitors.