Before there was Yelp, Facebook or Twitter there were formal complaints departments.
The letters in this collection were sent to the complaints department of the St Paul, Minnesota catalog office of Montgomery Ward & Co between 1932 and 1942.
Hilarious, weird, and occasionally heartbreaking, the letters reveal the integral role Montgomery Ward played in the lives of those who wrote them.
Touching on topics that include fashion, relationships, technology, loneliness, debt, and toilet paper, they provide a glimpse at the daily lives and preoccupations of rural Americans from the peak of the Great Depression into the early days of World War II.
Transcribed by Verna Gregg, the correspondent who preserved them, the letters are presented here with introductions by her grandson, Evan Gregg.