You are right. I don't know that we ever bought anything, just wished. I saw on the history channel some time back that George Sears worked for the railroads that were just coming of age and he got started buying and selling pocket watches to all the station masters along the tracks so they could keep up with the schedules. Plus the railroads were responsible for standardizing the time.AW, I bet that is where the term "Wishbook" came from, us poor folks looking through the Sears and Roebuck catalog.
Then that went on to selling sewing machines to all the ladies that livd in the Midwest along the tracks and his business became one of the first mail order retailers and he took on Roebuck as a partner. I find that type stuff most interesting.