SAT Subject US History Practice Question 995: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 995

76. Montgomery Ward and Richard Sears both played a significant role in the history of American commerce in the 19th century by

A. starting chains of "five-and-dime" stores carrying a large variety of items.
B. creating "layaway" plans, where customers would pay a only portion of the list price up front.
C. creating mail-order catalogs, allowing rural people to purchase a wide assortment of goods.
D. selling mass-produced items made in the United States instead of handcrafted items made in England.
E. adding refrigeration to their grocery stores, allowing them to feature a variety of fresh food.

Correct Answer: C

Explanation:

Ward and Sears brought the bounty of industrial America to the rural hinterland with their mail- order catalogs. F. W. Woolworth opened his first of many "five-and-dimes" (A) in 1879. The installment plan (B), in which the consumer puts down a percentage of the cost of a product and agrees to pay the rest in installments, is associated with the 1920s. Several entrepreneurs sold mass-produced American goods (D), starting in the early 19th century, and several added refrigeration to grocery stores (E) in the early 20th century.

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