From the archives

Montgomery Ward Manifesto

The 1941 Montgomery Ward catalog reads like a menswear manifesto from the heyday of heritage clothing. I usually repost images of Ward product offerings. But this time, I’m lingering on the soothing, info dense pages at the back of the catalog. Here, I’m imaginging myself as a skitterish, 1941 shopper, short on cash, scanning the …

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Archival Pencil Sharpeners

Shopping from 1949 In our household, we still use pencils for annotating books and recipes, for list making and doodling. We love having a manual pencil sharpener that accommodates the various sized pencils in our collection – from the plumpish Ticonderoga Laddie to my sleek German graphite pencils. Our favorite is the Boston Champion – …

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From the archives

Shopping from the 1930s: Montgomery Ward

Exemplary outerwear I’ve been on an ebay shopping spree for Montgomery Ward catalogs (the Archival bible). I’ve secured a few new Fall editions from the 1940s which I’ll be reprinting here–in bits–in the next few months. Copies of the 1930s catalogs are more tricky to source. Inspired by Spokesniffer and Reference Library, I’m capturing auction …

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Shopping from 1958: Montgomery Ward Denim

I’m ambiguous about premium denim. I love brands like Rising Sun, Mister Freedom and Sugar Cane that manufacture jeans using historical patterns, vintage sewing equipment and top quality raw denim. I’m also attracted to denim’s labor intensive care requirements (akin to our own waxed fabrics). But truth be told, I hesitate to pay more than …

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Shopping From The Present

Archival Shocker: Heritage Footwear for Women

Work and safety footwear from 1949 Wolverine 1000 Mile boot for women Full disclosure:Wolverine sent me women’s shoes and boots from the Wolverine 1000 Mile Collection for review.Since I primarily shop from defunct companies or out of print catalogs, this was a happy turn of events.Even without testing, I can highly endorse the Wolverine 1000 …

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Shopping from Arthur Miller: Work Jackets

by Lesli Larson Sara Krulwich/The New York Times Readers of the online edition of the New York Times might have missed this 1950’s era work jacket worn by Liev Shrieber’s longshoreman character in the current revival of Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge. The thumbnail image that accompanies the online review occupies a full …

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Shopping From the Past

Heritage Collections for Women?

Blueprint for future use From the Montgomery Ward 1949-1950 catalog Aside from a few collections and reports to the contrary, the heritage clothing revival has yet to make its way to the female consumer. Sometimes I think I’m the only woman admiring all the beautiful, Americana inspired sportswear, footwear and accessories featured on blogs like …

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Archival Commerce: All Wool Sweaters

More from the Montgomery Ward 1949-1950 catalog: Montgomery Ward Catalog, Fall & Winter 1949-1950 See catalog blank in Army Twills post below to place an order. At some point, I hope to put some of these past images into future production (through Centralia Knitting Mills?). Which sweater would be your top candidate for modern revival? …

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Archival Field Trip: Oak Street Vintage

Friends E. and D. have been insisting that I visit Oak Street Vintage, a nicely curated second hand clothing and curios shop in Eugene, Oregon. I was advised to check out the Heath tea service and some of the shop’s West German ceramics (ignoring its secondary collection of 1970s era plastics). I brought my camera …

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