Perusing through some old Christmas Wish Book issues printed by the likes of
Sears, Ward, JC Penny, Spiegel, etc., turned up quite a few model airplane types.
Joe Ott and Comets stick and tissues kits were available as were Cleveland as static
display models. Many fuel-powered, ready-to-fly models that pre-dated the Cox line
used the Wen Mac .049 engines with much-heralded "Rotomatic," "Cyclomatic,"
and "Flexomatic" starters, which were variations on the simple spring type starter
used by Cox. One particularly interesting item is the "Remote Control Unit" that
appeared in the 1958 Wards catalog for control line airplanes. It allowed the pilot
to operate controls from outside the flying circle. I'm guessing no beginner ever
got one of those to work - it was unlikely enough that he would be successful holding
the handle from inside the circle.
Use the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics'
inflation calculator to see what items cost in today's dollars. That $7.98 Marine
Corsair from the 1958 Ward catalog would cost $76.17 in 2021 money, which is probably
less than what a similar item would cost today if it was available (only on eBay
Here are some other items from my
1969 Sears Christmas
Marine Corsair, Air Force Turbojet, and Navy Cutlass Control
Line Model Airplanes from the 1958 Sears Christmas Wish Book. (original)
Boeing P-26 Peashooter, Kingcobra, SNJ-3 Control Line Airplanes
form 1966 JCPenny Christmas Wish Book (original)
Cleveland Accurate Scale Models from 1944 Wards Christmas Catalog
Joe Ott and Comet Model Airplane Kits from the 1944 Ward Christmas
Many of these images were retrieved from the
WishBookWeb.com website. The owner has
graciously scanned and posted many years of the entire Christmas catalogs of Sears
Roebuck, JCPenny, Spiegel, [Montgomery] Ward, and Lord & Taylor. I have purchased
ones of my own, but many of these go much further back in time. Please visit the
WishBookWeb.com website to wax nostalgic
over toys, radios, guns (yes, guns) bicycles, and other items from your childhood.
Posted September 11, 2021
(updated from original post on 9/16/2012)