Thread on wooden spools! Yes, I suppose they are more expensive to make, than the plastic ones of today. But unlike the spools of today, we always kept our empty wooden spools, ALWAYS! We would put them to good use as bases for doll furniture or strung together with yarn to make fanciful necklaces or even doll limbs. Whatever the intended use of the empty wooden spool they were saved with the expectant potential of being re-made into something wonderful and fun.
And while I'm on a retro subject, here's a finished object that I started yesterday. He's a crochet variation on the retro sock monkey theme. There are a LOT of sock monkey inspired patterns out there and I love them all but this one is by Linda Cyr & can be found here.