Montgomery Ward, 1941
From 1941 – a nice, straightforward page. The photo at upper left shows exactly the types of people America expected to see delivering the mail or keeping the neighborhood safe – here they all are, in thrall to a shoe.
Aimed at “you men who walk or stand all day,” these shoes indeed look seriously engineered. Also, heavy. But well priced — none over $5.
And let us not leave out the armed forces – they are pictured as well, with “military-style Service Bluchers.” Blucher (apparently named for a German general and NOT Frau Blucher of “Young Frankenstein”) is one of those shoe terms I’ve never needed to use, and in fact had to look up on Wikipedia. It refers to a shoe with open lacing and a vamp made of a single piece of leather. Now all I have to to do is look up “vamp.”
This 1941 Montgomery Ward catalog is some sort of apotheosis of general merchandise catalogs – the layout, design, and contents are all brilliant and broadranging. And so we’re going to walk through more pages. And we’ll do it wearing Barbour leather stormwelts made on a Munson last. Step to it!