Please note

Because of the lack of published trowel and masonry tool histories, the information here is based on other sources that may be less reliable and certainly are incomplete. These include eBay and tools that I purchase myself that are the starting points for my research. I will write what I know as I learn it. If what you read here interests you, please check back often and look for revisions and corrections. Scanned catalogs are either mine or by Rose Antique Tools and used with permission, and are on Google Docs as pdf files. A few are links to other websites. Your photos and information are welcome. Please click on any picture to enlarge it. Comments are welcome, but any with links will be deleted as possible spam.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Montgomery Ward & Co. Lakeside Tools

American retailer Montgomery Ward & Co. used Lakeside Saw & Tool Co. and Lakeside as house brand names for tools, knives, razors, cutlery, and other items. Many of these items did not carry the Montgomery Ward name, and gave the impression that Lakeside was an independent manufacturer. Because there is no published history of the Lakeside brand to set the record straight, that has led to much speculation on internet forums on the maker of Lakeside tools. Lakeside Saw & Tool Co. was incorporated 24 January, 1908, with a token $1,000 of capital stock, and address at 120 Michigan Ave., Chicago. By 1911, its address was 108 W. Chicago Ave. Both locations were Montgomery Ward's buildings. On this evidence, we conclude that Lakeside Saw & Tool Co. was a subsidiary of Montgomery Ward & Co. Other subsidiaries in 1911 were Lakeside Foundry Co. and Lakeside Implement & Vehicle Co.

Certified List of Illinois Corporations, 1911
Lakeside Saw & Tool logo
Researching the history of the Lakeside brand would be easy with access to Ward’s catalogs over the 128 years the company operated. However, only the 1916 and 1920 have been scanned and are available for viewing and download. These are on, and I have edited both down to the pages with tools. Based on these, we can say that the Lakeside brand was well-established by 1916 and was used on their first-quality items. According to a limited-view Google scan of a 1950 Montgomery Ward catalog, another brand had replaced Lakeside by that time. Wards Master Quality tools were higher priced than Lakeside tools.

As with other house brands like Sears Craftsman, Lakeside tools were likely manufactured by various independent companies. These would have contracted with Montgomery Ward to supply items of a specified quality with the Lakeside name etched, stamped, or on a label or decal. Because Ward guaranteed satisfaction with their goods, it was imperative that Ward buy items free of defects. Based on tools that have survived, we know that Lakeside tools were well-finished. Where the tool allowed it, the Lakeside logo is large with impressive script. In the picture above, notice the MW worked into the design, for Montgomery Ward.

In 1916-20, the Lakeside line included a full selection of brick and plasterer's trowels, cement tools, and stone tools.

Montgomery Ward 1916 catalog pages with tools
Montgomery Ward 1916 catalog on

Montgomery Ward 1920 catalog pages with tools
Montgomery Ward 1920 catalog on

Montgomery Ward 1916 catalog, page 904 
Montgomery Ward 1920 catalog, page 907
Ward's Master Quality forged brick trowel

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