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History of the manufacturer  

von Frantzius, Peter; Chicago, IL

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Name: von Frantzius, Peter; Chicago, IL    (USA)  
Abbreviation: vonfrantzi
Products: Brand

Peter von Frantzius
608 Diversey Parkway Chicago, Illinois (1927)

Gun and sporting goods retailer with a radio sales division. Offered RCA radios and tubes as well as Crosley radios and many radio parts.


Peter von Frantzius was born in 1896. His parents were German immigrants and settled in Chicago. The father became quite rich from stock market speculation and died in 1917 leaving his brokerage facing bankruptcy. Peter von Frantzius started his career with mail order sales of guns from his parents home. This proved a successful venture and he opened a shop at 608 Diversey Parkway in Chicago. He was not mentioned in his fathers will.

By 1924 Peter had built up a very successful business selling all manner of sports goods including guns. He is understood to have been a supplier of guns to the Chicago underworld and was given the name "The Armorer of Gangland" by the press. Page 82 of the 1929 Sports Manual (his catalogue) shows the newly developed Thompson Automatic gun ("Tommy Gun") and some of these were positively linked to the St Valentines Day Massacre.

He died on April 6th, 1968.

The 1924 catalogue consisted of 95 pages and was crammed full of listings of all types of guns and accessories. It also offered knives, other sporting equipment, binoculars, home movie projectors, roulette wheels and radios. A separate company division was created for sqales of radios and a full range of RCA Radiola and Crosley sets were offered. A list of forty three radio and parts manufacturing companies was also shown and equipment was available from these - apparently on request in some instances. Radio cabinets, tuning condensers and batteries were listed on page 95 of the catalogue. Also listed were five Radiotron tubes, as were available at the time. A P. V. F. 301-A tube and box, dating from early 1925, have been located but the manufacturer of this is unknown. The 1928 catalogue does not show any radio items.

This manufacturer was suggested by Fin Stewart.


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

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