Sears AND Roebuck?

When is the last time you remember seeing anything that had  Sears and Roebuck on the name plate?

I have been wracking my brain and trolling Google but am not having much luck.

Even in the 70’s anything from Sears didn’t have the Roebuck name on it that I can remember, it was just Sears.

The reason for my curiosity is yet another Craigslist acquisition.

A Craftsman Bench Top/ Portable Air Compressor that I just went and picked up.

For twenty bucks.



And it still works just fine.

It looks to be pretty original, the old fart selling it was like me, had too much crap and was thinning it out. He said he had owned it for some time but just never used it much.

I’m figuring mid to late 50’s probably. Could be earlier but tracking it down that far isn’t high on my list of things to do right now.

It probably still has the original oil in it.

Of course I had to go buy it, fer cryin’ out loud the little motor is worth twenty bucks.

Since it works I am going to clean it up and set it on a work bench. These little jobbies don’t put out much pressure, maybe 45-50 psi.

They were good for airing up low tires and blowing up inflatable pools and crap. They were also used for blowing off benches and parts I guess.

There was no air tank involved.

No belt guard either.

Back when men were men and sometimes a finger or two became obsolete equipment if you weren’t paying attention.

30 thoughts on “Sears AND Roebuck?

  1. Sears went to shit when they became only Sears. They are actually still ‘Sears, Roebuck and Co.’ but goes under the name ‘Sears’ probably because less words save money or something.

    I mean, a company founded on catalog sales totally ignores the concept of e-commerce?

    An then, to make money, they sell the only division that actually makes money.



    • It went to shit when several things happened: Manufacturing moved out of places like Downers Grove, etc. (2) Moved away from “permanent contract” manufacturing (through Donoho, etc) and moved to piecemeal temporary year to year “run” contracts. (3) Didnt bother with recalls and stopped honoring warranties.

      Yes, this was Sears before they sold craftsman. They put all their energy into the contractor’s service /custom order line stuff, but people didnt jump at it. It became a name only and they bled themselves.


  2. Looked this up while taking a break. In 1980, Sears, Roebuck and Co. announced the formation of a corporate office and plans for major restructuring. This resulted in renaming the retail business the Sears Merchandise Group.


  3. Good one, Beans. Yeah they really screwed up by not embracing eCommerce.

    Phil, I’ve seen similar nameplates on stuff my Dad had from Sears. His electric drill had a plate like that on it.


  4. Sears bought out Roebuck decades ago. I am still a fan of their hand tools
    not because they are better than Proto, Snap-On, or classic Mac Tools.
    The unlimited lifetime warranty sealed the deal. I have never worked at a
    company where a Snap-On or Mac truck came around once a week.
    This decision was based on convenience.

    Even if I misused a tool like using a standard socket with an impact wrench,
    I could stop off at a half dozen Sears stores on the way home and get a
    replacement with no questions asked. Sears hand tools are good enough
    for a professional knuckle-buster, like me but there are some compromises
    I will not make. My impact tools are IR, CP, and Dewalt cordless Proto
    makes the best gasket scraper on the market. My adjustable pliers are
    Channel-loc and all of my pipe wrenches are Ridgid as are my tubing

    As for Mac Tools, all of the stuff they now sell is low-grade Chinee junk!
    I could get better and more durable hand tools at Harbor Freight.


    • It’s obviously been a while since you have had to try and get a Sears store to actually replace a broken tool.
      3 times back in the early 2000’s I had to fight with those assholes.
      Twice trying to get them to replace a 1/4 inch drive ratchet, they tried to hand me a little baggie full of parts and make me rebuild it myself. I finally had to go ballistic both times, get the fucking manager and tell them that the fucker was all in one piece when I bought it and I wasn’t leaving until I got a new one in the same condition, once when I broke my Grandfathers 16 inch Crescent wrench by using a six foot cheater bar. I was already mad at myself but when the older sales guy tried to tell me to fuck off in not so many words it was yet another yelling match with a stupid fucking woman manager.
      I wound up with a brand new 18 incher because they quit making the sixteen inch wrench.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sears is nearly tits up at this point. They sold the rights to Craftsman
        tools to Stanly Black and Decker. You can find them at Lowes and
        Ace Hardware stores and as far as I know, they still come with
        an unlimited lifetime warranty


  5. Search Google Images and ye shall find the info you seek. I can’t count the times that the only info I have about an item is what it is and what it looks like and found what I wanted via image search. Also, download Tineye or Yandex image search. That lets you right click on an image you find on the intertubes and search for other instances of it on the web. Happy Hunting Phil!


  6. I still have a Sears & Roebuck charge card. Long and narrow. no magnetic strip. Just raised numbers for the machine to emboss it on the credit slip.


  7. No lifetime warranty on their torque wrenches.
    Had bought their biggest bestest one. Way more adjustment than I needed for a couple pieces of equipment I had. Less than 3 years old and used maybe 10 times and the gears stripped. “Sorry we don’t guarantee those”. Oh okay asshole. I’m using Kobalt mostly now but, I’m not working on big equipment any longer.

    Pretty much seems like it’s a disposable world today.
    I was never into yard sales much but I find myself going occasionally and looking for old tools.


  8. “Of course I had to go buy it, fer cryin’ out loud the little motor is worth twenty bucks.”

    Of course you had to.
    A man could go broke saving money that way.
    I was buying up the stock of a discontinued pocket knife that I really like, and was about ten bucks short of “free shipping”. So instead of paying $9 for shipping, I added on a tomahawk for $40. And got “free” shipping. Wooo!

    (Tomahawk’s great, BTW. Took down some saplings in the yard that I’d been meaning to get to for about, oh, two years now. /hangs head in shame)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am always on the prowl for those old motors when I can get them cheap because they are getting harder to find and aren’t cheap most of the time anymore like they used to be. They are handy for a bunch of little projects. Look behind that compressor and you will see what I mean.


  9. The one behind the compressor is a capacitor start single phase motor with a
    manual thermal overload button. They are still around in large numbers new
    and used but they are as you said, “ain’t cheap.” Look for good used ones at
    garage sales and slap in some new bearings, inspect and or clean the centrifugal
    start switch contact points and it should be as good as new.

    PS Check out the pocket electricians reference I sent you. It contains a lot
    of info on single and three-phase motors like full load current for any size
    motor, service factors, frame dimensions, shaft sizes, and lengths, etc. Most
    home use motors have a service factor of 1 and are designed to run below
    the service factor for constant service. A 1.15 service factor motor can run
    at rated current constantly, but you can exceed the rated current by about
    half the remainder (about .75 percent.)

    If you have an ammeter or if you can borrow one, you can troubleshoot like
    a pro and that pocket guide can save your ass if some of the nameplate
    data is worn off. Also, the motor on the compressor is ancient! If it has
    plain bearings (Oilite) check the bearings and shaft conditions. That little
    round hole looking thingy on the ass end suggests Oilite bearings, so use
    any good low viscosity oil and you are good to go.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yeah, all those little pocket info booklets are stashed away in the Kennedy box.
      One of the first things I did after I got home was to pump a little oil in both ends of that motor.
      I do have one that is a GE model that is shorting out somewhere on that centrifugal switch. I had it apart and it worked once and did it again. I have a couple more laying around if I need parts, that is one I cleaned up real good so I want to make it work again. It just shit the bed out of the blue after sitting for about a year. It worked fine the last time I plugged it in.
      I have a really big and really old single phase motor I put on the 1925 table saw that still works good too. Fucker is heavy.
      It surprised me when all at once it seems all these little motors you used to be able to pick up for five bucks at garage sales started going for forty dollars and up. That’s why I am grabbing them when I can find them cheap. They can be handy little suckers.


  10. Phil,
    My dad’s got a “vintage” Sears / Craftsman variable speed drill press. The motor doesn’t like to start up .. don’t know if the brushes are shot or if the starting capacitors need to be replaced …
    Years ago, that damned drill would bore holes through ANYTHING. They don’t build ’em like they used to …


    • More than likely it’s the start capacitor. There shouldn’t be any brushes. With a little care for detail, they are actually not that hard to take the end off of and replace the capacitor. Do what I do and take lots of pictures to make it easy to put back together.
      Either that or scour your local Craigslist. These motors are still out there cheap enough for now.


    • Phil, Forgot to mention how the variable speed system works … there are two stacks of pulleys connected by what looks like an automotive fan best. Stop the drill, move the belt up (or down) the pulleys, and voila !!! As far as swapping out the capacitors on the motor, the drill is down in FL and I’m not … but that’s a different discussion.


  11. Regarding the Sears thing…they dropped the Roebuck handle in 2004 when they re-structured. They became Sears Holdings, which runs it today. The Craftsman hand tools were largely made at the Reed Tool Co factory in Houston. I got my start in the repair business at Sears, Roebuck & Co in Houston in 1974


    • Lol, I had to copy paste and look up that part number to see what you are talking about.
      Very nice!
      I had someone give me one of those little table saws. I cleaned it up and got everything working and then gave it to a buddy of mine.

      Liked by 1 person

Pansies, Trolls and Liberals are urged to flee this place.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s