Cylindrical packaging made of grey cardboard with two leather straps riveted to side. No cap. Black text reads Montgomery Ward & Co, Michigan Ave. and Madison St., Chicago, Originators of the Mail Order Business and sellers of everything that anyone wears or uses, we sell to out-of-town people only. Black image of Montgomery Ward and Co. building on one side.
Montgomery Ward and Co./.../Chicago/Originators of the Mail Order Business/.../WE SELL TO OUT-OF-TOWN PEOPLE ONLY
This mailing tube was used to mail Montgomery Ward and Company's catalog around 1900, according the Montgomery Ward and Company's corporate archives. It was donated to the Chicago History Museum in 2001 by the company.
This mailing tube is an example of the advertising and product innovation that typified the Chicago-based Montgomery Ward Company and of Chicago's pioneering role in the mail-order industry. Founded in 1872 by Aaron Montgomery Ward and George Thorne, the company was the first to sell exclusively through mail-order and promised "satisfaction guaranteed or your money back." Chicago's convenient location at the center of the nation's rail network helped the company offer low prices and delivery to rural customers. By 1899, Wards occupied an entire block in downtown Chicago, and by 1900, it employed 1,400 workers and had distributed a 1,000-page catalog making available a wide range of products including products mainly manufactured in Chicago.