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 $63.61 in 2012 money, which is about right for a similar
item today if it was available (only on eBay anymore).
Here are some other items from my 1969
Sears Christmas Wish Book.
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
Joe Ott and Comet Model Airplane Kits from the 1944
Ward Christmas Catalog (original)
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 16, 2012