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Western Auto Supply Co. (Truetone); Kansas City (MO)

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Name: Western Auto Supply Co. (Truetone); Kansas City (MO)    (USA)  
Abbreviation: western-au
Products: Model types
Summary:

Western Auto Supply Co.; Kansas City (MO) was founded in 1909. Not to be confused with "Western Auto Supply of California". Western Auto Supply started to produce radios in Kansas City in 1933 and TV in 1949.

Founded: 1909
History:

Western Auto Supply Co.; - Trade names General, Triangle, Truetone.
There is the big question if we should list the models of Western Auto Supply Co. under the manufacturer or under the brands.

Facts:

The following manufactureres used the brand Truetone: Belmont, Warwick, Wells Gardener and Western Auto Supply Co. In the schematic collections we find Truetone for SAMS and Western for Beitman and Rider. Most later collector books list the models as Truetone. Western used different brands.
Conclusion:
All Western Auto Supply Co. products we list as Western. Where we know that the brand "Truetone" can be read on a given set we use this brand name (or other brand names) in the model name field in front of the other name(s) or number(s). Up to year 2009 we did not mention the brand. Therefore this is not complete (yet) - 1st Feb we have 155 of 511 models with this brand in the name.

History:
In March, 1909, in Kansas City, Missouri, twenty-three year old George Pepperdine (who later founded Pepperdine University in Los Angeles, California) started a company that became known as Western Auto Supply Company. In its hay-day there were stores in nearly every major city throughout the United States employing several thousand people.

By 1914, the then Western Auto Supply Agency had a good sized store at 1426 Grand Avenue in Kansas City, Missouri.

In 1915, the first branch store of Western Auto Supply Agency opened at 1564 Broadway in Denver, Colorado.

By 1920, Western Auto Supply Company had over eleven stores spanning from Los Angeles to Seattle, Washington; Phoenix, Arizona and Dallas, Texas.

In 1923 a four story and basement corporate headquarters was built at the corner of S. Grand Avenue and Eleventh Street in Los Angeles.

In 1939 George made a decision to sell his interests in Western Auto Supply Company. A company out of Minneapolis, the Gamble-Skogmo Company purchased George's controlling shares, freeing him to retire, and serve the needs of others. The company did continue to grow into the nationwide chain later known simply as Western Auto.

At one point, there were over 1,200 company-owned stores nationwide, usually located in metropolitan areas, and more than 600 associate stores (private franchise "dealer" locations), usually located in small cities and towns. The associate store program was the first of its type, pioneering the way for other future modern day franchise operations. The company had five regional distribution centers in the United States, with the one located in North Carolina serving its stores in Puerto Rico.

Truetone was one of the the trade names used for products made by Western Auto Supply, located at 2107 Grand Ave., Kansas City, Missouri. They began in 1933, initially making radios, and later offered a line of television sets starting in 1949. The Truetone name can be seen in electronics products into 1980. Western Auto Supply Co. used also the brand names General and Triangle.


Some models:
Country Year Name 1st Tube Notes
USA  56 Truetone D2866A 12BE6  Clock radio, volume on left side, tuning on right side, ivory color. Same model in bl... 
USA  56 Truetone D2865A 12BE6  Clock radio, volume on left side, tuning on right side, black color. Same model in iv... 
USA  65 DC2632 17EW8   
USA  68 Rambler 12 FM/AM   Truetone Portable AM/FM Radio Model Rambler 12 AM/FM. Telescopic antenna, Carrying Ha... 
USA  33 Truetone TSS    
USA  35 D713 Truetone Ch= 7GM 6K7  Uses chassis Wells-Gardner 7GM. 
USA  39 D713 Ambassador Truetone Ch= 6B 6A7  Same chassis as Continental Admiral 6B. 
USA  41 D1022 Truetone    
USA  38 Truetone Three-Way   Black bakelite with chrome or ivory plaskon with brass. 
USA  35 Truetone Fan Grille    
USA  58 Truetone D2021 Code 2 - Series A 6BA7  Truetone AM-FM Table Top Tube Radio Model D2021 Series A Code2. 
USA  68 Truetone 10 Transistor   Realtone Pocket AM Radio Model Truetone 10 Transistor. Leather Case. Made in Japan. 

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Further details for this radio manufacturer by the members (rmfiorg):

tbn_western_1939_brochure.jpg tbn_western_ambassador_1939.jpg  

  
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