Beautifully engraved certificate from the Montgomery Ward & Co.
issued in 1929. This historic document was printed by the American Banknote Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of an two allegorical women two allegorical children with an insignia of the company name in between them. This item has the signatures of the Company’s Vice - President, O Frith and Assistant Secretary, M. Somer.
Key dates in the history of Montgomery Ward.
1872: Aaron Montgomery Ward founds the first dry-goods mail-order catalogue business. The company's first catalog lists 163 items on a single sheet.
1875: Company coins the phrase "Satisfaction Guaranteed or Your Money Back."
1883: Company's 240-page catalog lists 10,000 items.
1900: Records $8.7 million in sales, but falls behind Sears & Roebuck, which generates $10 million.
1926: First freestanding retail store opens in Plymouth, Ind.
1928: Opens 244 stores. By 1929, it has 531 stores.
1930: Montgomery Ward declines proposal to merge with Sears.
1939: Advertising copywriter Robert L. May develops character and illustrated poem "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" for company executives.
1968: Company merges with Container Corp. of America to form Marcor Inc.
1976: Marcor acquired by Mobil Oil Corp.
1985: Company unveils specialty store strategy and discontinues catalog operations.
1988: Management undertakes successful $3.8 billion leveraged buyout, making Montgomery Ward a privately held company.
1991: Resumes mail-order catalog business.
1994: Montgomery Ward opens first Electric Avenue & More stores, acquires New England retail chain Lechmere.
1997: Company files for Chapter 11 bank-ruptcy.
1999: GE Capital Services purchases Montgomery Ward, brings it out of bankruptcy. Company abandons specialty store design and begins offering moderately priced apparel, electronics and furniture.
2000: Montgomery Ward announces plan to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection - 250 stores in 30 states.