Monday, August 31, 2015

Montgomery Ward Catalog - RIP

Ahh, Montgomery Ward (or "Monkey" Wards as it was affectionately known) was a staple of Americana for decades before sliding silently into the night.  MW was the first mail order retailer -publishing their first catalog in 1874 (yes, you read that correctly.)  However, they were soon joined, and eventually, eclipsed by Sears.  And like Sears, MW focused on the rural market, bypassing the large cities at first.

But like all good things, time and technology passed them by. (1) (2) They published their last catalog in 1985 and went out of business in December 2000. (3)  However, that's not going to stop us from taking a look back at their groovy fashions!!

Colleen, Kathy, and Karen certainly did their best to keep MW a float! (4)

God, I miss the minis!! (5)

Some fetching lasses from the MW 61 SS catalog!  Hats were still in style for young ladies. (6)

MW sold everything through their catalog.  For a short time, you could even purchase an entire home!

Sun lamps from MW.  Hmmmm, what could POSSIBILITY go wrong?!?

Ahhh, the good life from MW: redwood outdoor furniture, bamboo fishing poles, and straw hats!!

Or for those indoor types, there was only one word in MW grooviness - Wicker!!

Back to Juniors section, this time from 1971.  Kay, Karen, and Wendy looked very elegant.

Karen and Kay stepping out in style!

Let's not forget the guys in our MW look back!  I think that if anyone actually wore these outfits to school.......well, I'd hate to be that guy!!

The Tunic Suit never took off (thank goodness!)  Maybe this signaled the beginning of the end for MW!!

We can't end on that note, no,no, no!
Kathy , Colleen, and Karen.  That's so much better. "It's a Different Kind of World for Juniors." And now it's a different kind of world without the Big Book catalogs.  Sighhh, and I'm not sure it is for the better.


(1) MW had a wild, turbulent history which I decided not to detail.  During the 70s, the company was already fighting for its life.  In 1976, it was purchased by Mobil (yes, the oil company) which was a financial disaster for both sides.

(2) As an interesting side note, MW coined the phrase "Satisfaction Guaranteed or your Money back."  They introduced that phrase in 1875.

(3) Actually Wards still exists, but only as an online retailer (Wards.Com) which is not connected to the original company except in name only. In 2004, the Wards trademark and other intellectual property rights were bought by a company called DMSI which was later acquired by Swiss Colony.

(4) Pic is courtesy of Blue Senshi - Thanks!

(5) Pic is courtesy of JJ's Playhouse - Thanks!

(6) Re-blogged from NoPatternRequired.Com (as if you couldn't tell with their name plastered across the front.)

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