Archives On The Air 58: Win A Trip To The Chicago World's Fair—Montgomery Ward Records

Sep 5, 2018

Cover of catalog advertising Montgomery Ward World's Fair trip contest, 1933. Box 44, Montgomery Ward records.
Credit American Heritage Center

The 1933 Chicago World’s Fair had many exciting features, like the Graf Zeppelin, a gondola that took visitors across the fair.

Department and catalog store Montgomery Ward gave out 200 trips for children to visit the 1933 World’s Fair.

The Denver district winners of the Montgomery Ward World's Fair trip contest, 1933. Box 44, Montgomery Ward records.
Credit American Heritage Center

To win, kids were given Montgomery Ward order forms for family and friends. When people placed orders with the form, the kids got points. The 12 contestants with the most points in their region were given the all-expenses paid trip to the World’s Fair.

The children who got enough points to win the trip convinced their families and friends to spend between 165 and 4,500 dollars, which in today’s money would be 3 thousand to 87 thousand dollars.

The contest was a success for Montgomery Ward, which made one million dollars from the promotion, or 19 million dollars after inflation.

Montgomery Ward’s catalogs and other records can be found at UW’s American Heritage Center.