Montgomery Ward

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The Montgomery Ward department store chain is reputed to be the first department store to operate by mail order. The company was founded in Chicago in 1872 by Aaron Montgomery Ward[1]. Like other department stores of the 1950s through 1990s such as Sears and Kmart, they sold a variety of photographic equipment such as light meters, flashbulbs, film, lenses, and complete cameras under their own house brand. Their house brand was Wards until around 1970, at which time they began selling these items branded with their full name, Montgomery Ward.

Montgomery Ward carried a variety of very high-end photographic equipment in addition to their medium-range and low-end offerings. Generally, Montgomery Ward sold fewer cameras using their own house brand than their competitors, but sold a wider range of cameras and other photographic equipment using original manufacturers' labeling.

The company was not consistent in its camera branding. For example, their 1948 photographic catalog shows no cameras with Montgomery Ward branding, and lists the Argoflex E under its original manufacturer's name (prior to WWII, this camera was sold as the "Wardflex"). In the 1950s they again sold a new TLR camera with the "Wardflex" branding, this time re-badging a camera made in Japan.

Cameras

  • Adams 351
  • Adams 352
  • Baby Thornward #2
  • Long Focus Thornward - 4x5
  • Majestic
  • Montgomery Model B - 4x5
  • MW
  • Premium
  • Rolfix (made by Franka)
  • Thornward Dandy - 4x5

Wards

35mm Rangefinder

35mm Viewfinder

SLR

  • Wards SLR 500
  • Wards SLR 600
  • Wards SLR 700 (Konica FP)

TLR

110 cameras

  • Montgomery Ward 688

126 cameras

  • Wards Autoflash 100
  • Wards Autoflash 300 (Keystone)
  • Wards cp301 (Konica EE-Matic 260)
  • Wards cp302
  • Wards x 42c

127 Cameras

Box

Notes

Links

About Us page at Montgomery Ward company site

Companies of Chicago (Illinois)
Adams & Westlake | American Advertising and Research Co. | Bernard | Burke & James | Busch | Calumet | Candid | Chicago Aerial | Chicago Camera Co. | Chicago Ferrotype Company | Deardorff | De Vry | Drucker | Galter | Geiss | Herold | Imperial | Kemper | Lennor Engineering Co. | Metropolitan Industries | Monarch | Montgomery Ward | Pho-Tak | QRS Company | Rolls | Sans & Streiffe | Sears | Seymour | Spartus | The Camera Man | United States Camera Co. | Western Camera Manufacturing Co. | Yale | Zar | Zenith
Chicago in depth: The Chicago Cluster‎, a bakelite trust?