I have quite an extensive Model "T" library. One of my favorite books is a paperbound brown colored reprint of a catalog of Model "T" Ford accessories offered by Western Auto, somewhere around 1920 I believe. Sorry that I've been about 125 miles away from home for quite some time and don't have the book with me. (I'm sure that many other "T" guys also have this book and will recall the name of it). To my way of thinking, it's one of the best "coffee table books" of all for "T' guys.
It's my understanding (from a preface in this book) that sale of Model "T" parts and accessories was basically the reason the Western Auto Supply Company came into being and eventually consisted of approximately 1200 stores all over the U.S.A. But what is surprising to me is that Google "research" of Western Auto has failed to reveal any reference to Model "T" Fords! Of course it's quite possible that it's there (somewhere) and I just missed it. I suppose research on Western Auto's founder, George Pepperdine, would cover the Model "T" Ford connection but I haven't checked on that yet. Anyway, I just thought it strange that all info I've found on Western Auto has no reference to Ford or the Model "T", even tho' the Model "T" was the main reason for Western Auto's existence as an old, but now defunct nation-wide chain of stores. Maybe "fear" of using the Ford name? FWIW,.....harold
The same is true of Pep Boys, JC Whitney, and any number of smaller auto part stores. All of them mainly sold Model T Ford parts because the majority of all cars on the road from 1909 - perhaps 1935 were Model T Fords. The entire automotive industry was dominated by and for the Model T.
This sign in Glen Chaffin's shop is in the school colors of Pepperdine College, blue and orange. A coincidence? I think not. I never met Mr. Pepperdine, but I used to see him on campus occasionally. His niece, Jackie Pepperdine, was a student there at the time.
Those that are interested in T accessories will find a wealth of information on that subject from those Western Auto Catalouges. I have a 26 Western Auto catalogue and its amazing how much after market stuff was available for 'T's.
This is an aside. I notice in the picture of the hogs heads that the one with the square inspection plate is shorter than the others. Were the driveshafts on the earlier Model T's longer?
I think it's an optical illusion since the older hogs head is further back on the shelf. The earliest T's before february 1911 had a narrower flywheel area of the hogs head and pan, but they were just as long as all the others.
Those cobalt & insignia orange colors were very popular in the 1920s and 1930s. Remember Rexall Drugs and Union 76 until they were bought by Conoco-Phillips? I still think they are very snappy when properly used.
Royce - This is probably one of the few cases where "thread drift" is being contributed to the person (me) who originated the thread! Ha,ha,.....but that's okay as it's all interesting (well, maybe to somebody!)
You mentioned that several firms started out like Western Auto, and one you mentioned was JC Whitney. Well, actually, that one was just a little different. And I'll agree that if not for the Model "T", things might have been different, however, I can speak with a bit of "authority" about JC Whitney as it started out as a place in Chicago where I used to stop in to buy parts (new & used) for my '28 Model A coupe which I drove daily to nearby Chicago Technical College which was about two blocks away from" Warshawsky & Son" on South State Street in Chicago. The history of JC Whitney covers this and is interesting reading, however, the business that Israel Warshawsky started on State Street was an auto salvage yard that grew so rapidly that Warshawsky's son Roy, convinced his father that the business needed an easier name, and he changed it to JC Whitney, and to this day, nobody knows anything about the origin of that particular name; just that the son thought it was easier to say, spell and remember than Warshawsky. I'm just "rambling" now, but I can tell you that it was an "experience" to shop at the huge old frame building(s) with creaky wood floors called Warshawsky's on State Street. You walked in, took a number, and one of many "parts clerks" would wait on you and obtain the part you needed, either from "inventory", or "someplace out in back"! The part you needed might be new, rebuilt, or quite often, dirty, rusty, greasy or some combination thereof, but they'd have it,...one way or another!
Here's a few Western Auto Catalogs from our collection.
I remember Warshawsky catalogs.
Thanks Jay - Boy,...Western Auto sure wasn't afraid to use the Ford name on their catalogs, were they! I guess maybe it's just nowadays that people writing about the history of Western Auto that they're avoiding using the Ford name.
I couldn't help noticing that the 5th catalog down that you posted is a Chicago catalog. And that catalog lists the address of one of their Chicago stores as 1414 S. Wabash. That's just one block from parallel State Street where the Warshawsky & Son store/salvage yard was just a couple blocks south. Strange coincidence! Thanks again Jay,......harold
Yeah,...that's because you're probably about as old as me Ralph. Maybe older!!! Ha,ha,......harold
Here's one more for 1922
Arthur Storz (son of the original "Storz Brewery" founder) owned the Storz Western Auto Store in Omaha (and later a store in Grand Island NE). Arthur says in a 1927 Motor Magazine interview that his interest in auto accessories began with his first car, a Ford.
However, his first Ford was not a Model T, but a 1907 Model K Roadster. I became interested in the Storz family after learning of the Model K, and a news article from 1908 saying the Storz brothers, Arthur and Adolph, were going to pilot the German entry in the Great Race (New York to Paris) as the car left Omaha to continue west.
An interesting story about Mr. Storz and his Western Auto Store follows in the link below, along with the 1908 news article concerning the Great Race. It appears Mr. Storz had a very successful business, and I'm sure as others have mentioned, a majority of his business was the sale of Model T accessories.
Here's two more catalogs.
Hey Harold... those stores including Warshawsky, JC Whitney, and Blue star auto were all interconnected underground via tunnels that the bootleggers stored their wares in. These are not the City of Chicago service tunnels but were actually built for storing parts, and "leased" out for liquid storage as well. I believe a tunnel actually ran over to the hotel "operations base" at 22nd and Michigan. One ran out to 1200 west 22 street to their main warehouse. They mustve gone under the river at Halsted. A six story building where the family still maintains the car collection still stands. I worked at the generating station next door and would see them pull all the cars (many) out on a Sunday for a wash job. Somewhere theres a youtube exploring them with some empty Packard, and Essex shipping boxes on the shelves still... interesting Chicago trivia ws
Sometime back in the early seventies I had a Warshawsky catalog and a J.C. Whitney catalog, and except for the covers they were exactly alike, page for page. I remember noticing then that the addresses were only a few numbers apart.
Here is the youtube video
Just in case you wondered what ran in those tunnels:
Those would be WAY better than old Sears catalogues!
Yeah Howard, THOSE tunnels were the utility tunnels used originally for freight delivery downtown, AND, coal and ash removal from the heating plants in the buildings. They are generally at 36 feet below datum or greater.
The bootlegger tunnels were about basement level with false doors and dead end corridors. The center of activity was the Lexington Hotel at 2199 S. Michigan Ave.
Not many people know about these tunnels, or whats left of them, but the businesses on "car parts row" used them as storerooms for new and used parts. They spread out for maybe 8 blocks in each direction from the hotel. Few pics exist except for the documentary I saw a few years ago. Even Geraldo Riviera found some blocked off doorways when excavating the "vault". Found one empty booze bottle. Now I gotta do some more research! ws
Do any of your catalogs have adds for High compression Heads ? If so could I get a copy of that page ?
Troop - Interesting history for sure! I grew up in the Chicago area and I never knew about any of that! For that matter, my 2 years of college were at Chicago Technical College, located (at that time) at 2000 S. Michigan, which is 2 blocks north of the address you gave for the hotel "operations base" at 22nd & Michigan. Wish I'd know some of that history when I was going to school there in '61 & '62! Thanks for the interesting info,.....harold
Dean, I paged through all the catalog copies I posted photos of above and no high compression heads were to be found.