Do you remember, you elder folk, back in the days of old when every family had both a Sears & Roebuck catalog and a Montgomery Ward catalog?  How we pored over them, both parents and children, to see what we  could order  if we but had the money and what could be sent to us by mail!  Sears was my favorite and was the source of my maternity clothes, asphalt kitchen tiles, Melmac dinnerware and even some furniture.

Imagine my surprise when I received via email the following pages from that old Montgomery Ward catalog. The clothing looks familiar and we can remember wearing and buying those things.  Look at those shoes (genuine leather) for $1.99!  Can you imagine paying 9 cents for socks?   Back in those days, about 1936, as a freshman in highschool (should it be freshperson nowadays?) I couldn’t wait to grow up so I would stop growing out of my clothes and could wear my favorite apparel until death  It disturbed me was that I had grown out of my best skirt which was now too short. At the time skirts were worn at half-calf (no women wore pants in the thirties). Those were depression years and we were a family of seven. Most of my clothing was second-hand but I do remember that Mom bought me two NEW dresses and sent me to visit friends in Washington DC when I graduated from grade school.

To get back to hemlines, by the time I graduated from highschool in 1940 skirths were considerably shorter and the one that was too short in l936 was again wearable in 1940. Rayon and acetate were popular materials. Nylon had just been invented and sturdy nylon stockings (with seams, of course) wore forever. That was remedied by making them shearer and shearer until they were easily snagged and needed to be replaced often. It was during the thirties that lingerie which had previously been a peach or flesh color, started to appear in white. Of course I wore a girdle – even at sixteen – everybody did – if only to hold up my stockings! Pantyhose did not appear until the sixties

And here – pages from that old Montgomery Ward catalog!  (We called it, fondly, Monkey Ward.)

We all know that Sears has been around forever and continues going strong.  From what I read Montgomery Ward underwent struggles and bankruptcy.  Imagine my surprise when  I googled Montgomery Ward and came up with an online catalog!  It seems to be under new ownership but has some of the feel of that oldtime catalog.  Some of it is still “coming soon.”   There is an old-fashioned quaintness about it.  The prices, however, on the merchandise they are offering, are quite modern.

Behold the penny postcard (1928) added here because I have it and it’s old and I have no place else to put it.  Penny postcards have risen to 32 cents in a mere eighty years!




If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away – behold, the new has come. — 2 Cor. 5:17

In the 1930’s my family was necessarily frugal. We didn’t throw anything away because “we might need it someday. — MaryEllen on her blog, Grandma’s Musings.