These two fully working Konica Auto S clones from the mid 1960`s are my latest flea market findings ( 20.- each ): Wards am 450 with Hexar 1:2.8/40mm and a Wards am 550 with Hexar 1:1.9/47mm. They have a coupled rangefinder, a dual range CdS meter and a pull-out lens hood. I have noted that Montgomery Wards was a department store chain from Chicago who sold several cameras under their own brand. Do they still exist ?
Yes they do, although not as big as the were 30 years ago. Back in the 60's and 70's there was a montgomery wards store in just about every small town, Through out the late 70's and 80's alot of the smaller outlets became unprofitable because of large chian stores like Walmart and Target, so many were closed down. Now only the large stores in larger citys remain.
When I was a kid my parents did a lot of their Christmas shopping using the "Monkey Ward" catalog. That was how most folks referred to the company. In this area during the 1950s just about any town with 5,000 people had a Wards store and/or and Sears Roebuck store.
So how did a Wards branded camera get to Austria? Maybe an American serviceman?