A Look Back In Time ... the Wish Book

by Helen Allen
Volume 10 No. 8 - March 1984

Let's take a look back in time at some of our favorite DG patterns via old Montgomery Ward & Company catalogues. Now we know why they are referred to as "Wish Books."

Am Sweetheart The Fall & Winter 1930-31 catalogue shows a green Luncheon set for six in Cubist. Unnamed in the ad, the "so correct" colored glass set is offered in Emerald Green or Rose, 25 pieces for $2.89. That includes butter dish, salt & pepper.

In the Fall & Winter 1934-35 catalogue, we find two popular patterns, both unnamed then: Madrid, a whole dinner set (with 9"' plates) in Topaz or clear for $1.95. American Sweetheart 15-piece luncheon set in Rose Tint for 95 cents. Notice they picture a 9" lunch or 10" dinner plate and 8" salad plates, but call them "cake plates" and "fruit dishes."

Miss America Two years later, the 1936-37 catalogue gave us Miss America in pink or crystal. This time it is offered in sets for four ($1.39) or for six ($1.98) or open stock with lots of pieces listed. Too bad the butter dish, candy dish, coasters large bowl or goblets were not listed.

The next year, the 1937-38 Fall & Winter catalogue brought its customers "topaz or rose" Sharon. Again, sets for four, six, or eight were offered, as well as open stock. Even cream soups at 4½ cents and a candy jar for, 13 cents were listed. The covered sugar was available only in open stock; an open sugar was in the sets. The 18-piece starter set cost 97 cents then - book price today is $207.50 for pink and $187 for amber.

I thought it interesting that the patterns offered by Montgomery Ward & Company through the 30's were made by different glass companies. Cubist was made by Jeannette, American Sweetheart by Macbeth-Evans, Madrid and Sharon by Federal, and Miss America by Hocking.

I hope you enjoyed our peek into the Ward's catalogues of the 1930's, The prices that appear so ludicrously cheap to us today were more than some could dig up during those bleak years.

Perfume set Misc glass
Madrid Sharon