Recollections of Things I Forgot to Remember!

by Joanie Ingraham

When I put the 1934 Montgomery Ward catalog items in this column, it brought to mind two more catalogs owned by Jim Houdek, Montello. Jim likes to pick up Montello related items at flea markets, etc. He found two toy catalogs distributed by the Smart’s Store in Montello.
For the next few weeks, I will be putting in items from those store catalogs hoping they bring back memories of Christmases past for some of us. And, maybe open the eyes of some of our younger readers as to the prices of things, although I would add that back in the day, 25¢ or 50¢ was hard to come by.

If I got a nickel to buy an ice cream cone or soda that was all mine — meaning that I didn’t have to share, that was heaven. We lived on a farm, so there was always plenty to do and to eat. There was just not a lot to be had for frivolities.

I hope you enjoy. Jim thought the catalogs were perhaps from 1930’s. That is possible, but when we here at the office looked at them, the guess was more toward 1925-28. While doing the scanning, I had the feeling that it could be even earlier.

The candlestick phone, doll-version pictured on the right, was common from 1890-1930. Doing a little research, the excavating for the M.M. Smart Store began in 1908. If anyone can pinpoint the date of these catalogs, let me hear from you.

 

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