First, Second and Third John (Good, Better and Best)

Throughout their history, Sears has offered their merchandise in three grades – good, better and best. This was true for their plumbing supplies, too. The 1930 plumbing supplies catalog shows three radically different levels of bathroom fixtures for three different budgets.

The bottom of the line was an “economical” sink and a claw-foot tub with an equally “affordable” potty.

Take a look at the wide variety of bathroom fixtures offered in the 1930 Sears and Roebuck plumbing supplies catalog.


The Delmar, Avalon and Clifton (also names of their Sears Homes) were the three grades of bathroom fixtures. The prices reflect their "good, better best" grade.

At the bottom of the pricing barrel was the Clifton.

At the bottom of the pricing barrel was the Clifton. Pretty primitive, and who knows what filthy germs could be lurking under that claw-foot tub!

Next was the

Next was the Clifton, priced at $67, or a mere $7 per month. Same toilet and same wooden seat, but better tub and bigger sink.

Now were talking.

Now we're talking. Yes, it's more than three times the price of the budget outfit, but who doesn't love purple and yellow with dark green floors!

To learn more about Sears Homes, click here.

To buy Rose’s book, click here.

*   *   *