Hillcrest Books, Catalogue of Old Catalogues and Paper Collectibles

Catalogue of Old Cataloguestm

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Aldens/Chicago Mail Order Co.

Aldens had a fascinating history. We relate some of it on our Web site. They were founded in 1899 as Chicago Mail Order Millinery.  Millinery was dropped from the name in 1906, and the name was finally changed to Aldens.  The name Aldens came about from a men’s suit line. “Henry Alden” was represented as the men’s fashion buyer and later, his wife “Jane Alden” the buyer or stylist for the women’s line. However, they were both phantoms, the products of advertising schemes. The Aldens became so popular that the name of the company was changed to Aldens. The Schandig family actually owned the company. A Schandig son called us several years ago on a trip through our area. He was looking for a particular Aldens catalogue from the late 1930’s-early 1940’s with a picture of his father. Unfortunately, we did not have the catalogue. Mr. Schnadig, the son, retired to El Paso, Texas and passed away in 2003.

Aldens and the Schandig family acquired The Boston Store ca1946, Gamble-Skogmo merged with Aldens ca1964, catalogue became Gamble Aldens, and then name changed back to Aldens by late 1970’s. Wickes Corporation of California acquired them in 1980. Wickes filed for bankruptcy in 1982 and Aldens was closed. And…..so ended another American institution.

General Catalogues, Sale Catalogues, Christmas Catalogues

In date order

  Sale Catalogues

01093- Catalogue- CHICAGO MAIL ORDER, Chicago, IL, Flyer 'Y', Summer 1932. Sale Catalogue. The major mail order houses made a practice of binding a few copies of each catalogue in hard covers for executives and key people so that the piece would stand up to frequent use. The title of catalogue and person’s name was stamped in gold on black leatherette boards. This is just such an item. (Although this copy does not have them, in some cases, sales statistic forms facing each page were also bound in.) Well preserved, colorful contents of ladies' clothing. An important item for any collection! Excellent condition. 6-3/4" x 9-3/4" x 56pp. $125.00

07447-M0811EASL- Catalogue- ALDENS, Chicago, Ill. Value sale catalogue, 1979 to July 31, 1980. “91 YEARS [OF SERVING OVER 4 MILLION AMERICAN FAMILIES”. 12-digit printing calculator, clothing and shoes, camping, luggage, cameras, typewriters, watches, clocks, furniture, household textiles, china, vacuum cleaner, sewing machine, tools, radios, tape players, etc. 8-1/8”x 10-3/4”x 50pp. $18.00

Christmas Catalogues

07452-M0811EASL- Catalogue- ALDENS, Chicago, Ill. Christmas 1981. "America’s Most Convenient Shopping Mall". They claim 47,000 items to choose from. Very nice and colorful Christmas catalogue similar to Sears. Gifts of all kinds for the entire family. Lots of toys, jewelry, watches, fashions, sporting goods, tools, household goods, wood burning stoves, cameras, musical instruments, radios, and a hundred and one other items! This is the next to last Christmas catalogue Aldens published before they went out of business. Excellent condition. 8"x 11"x 402pp. $65.00 Pictures

01888- Catalogue- ALDENS, Chicago, IL, Christmas 1982. Beautiful and colorful "milestone" catalogue about the size of a Sears Xmas catalogue. The cover is mortise-cut in five diamond shapes to reveal candid shots of family around Christmas tree enjoying their presents. Fashions, toys, games, wide range of gifts for entire family. Founded in 1899 as Chicago Mail Order Millinery ("millinery" dropped from name in 1906), this was Alden's last year in business. Wicks Lumber Co. had acquired them earlier, pulled all the liquid assets out and folded 'em up. Sad but true. Near mint. 8" x 10-3/4" x 586 pp. $65.00

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