Montgomery Ward, 1972
Between the 1965 movie Bond movie “Thunderball” and the underwater exploits of Jaques Cousteau splashed across countless National Geographic magazines and TV specials, scuba diving became something of a popular sport by the early 1970s. In 1972 Montgomery Ward devoted a page to selling dive gear. Because of course they did. On their hundredth anniversary, they didn’t want to miss a trick in the 1200 plus pages. (Which makes this yet another catalog so thick that there was no way we could get pages to lie completely flat on the scanner, unfortunately.)
So from Monkey Wards you could order wet suits ($53 or $75), scuba tanks ($109), regulators, (47 and $59) and even – gasp – the villainous-looking spear gun ($24). Or kid’s snorkeling outfit for just over 4 bucks.
For those who wanted less strenuous, above-water sports, there were several pages of fishing gear, including the game-changing Lowrance Fish Finder/ depth locator. Plus a meat smoker and a folding chair for when you get back on dry land with your speared marlin or that crappie you reeled in.