Beautifully engraved certificate from the Montgomery Ward & Co. dated 1929. This historic document was printed by the Central Banknote Company and has an ornate border around it with a vignette of anallegorical woman aboth the Spirit of Progress with a stagecoach on the left and a monoplane and train on the right. This item has the signatures of the Company's officers and is over 83 years old.
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.