Here's what people were buying in 1918, and how much they were spending in 2018 dollars

Photo of Chris Quinn

A hundred years ago the Sears, Roebuck And Co. catalog was pretty much the Amazon/Walmat/Best Buy/mall/how we shop today of its day.

Instead of opening a browser or app, in 1918 you opened a Sears catalog.

Granted there were a few department stores in the largest U.S. cities then, but for the most part people had to find the nearest open street market or general store. And you bought what they had and hoped they had what you wanted.

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Sears' first catalog was published in 1888 and changed the way Americans shopped forever. By 1918 the popularity of mail order shopping skyrocketed Sears to prominence.

Because it sold practically everything - except for fresh food - if you were shopping a hundred years ago, it likely was by mail order.  And Sears was who was delivering.

Looking at popular items of today we tried to correlate them to similar items found in a Sears catalog from 1918.

And while an Xbox was out of the question, an Erector Set was not. And surprisingly, the hit to your wallet would have been about the same.

Click through the gallery to see how much today's products would have cost in 1918, and vice versa.