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THE HISTORY OF TRUETONE RADIOS


In the early 1930s, Western Auto Supply of Kansas City began marketing "Truetone" brand radios.
Also in the 30s, the Los Angeles offshoot of Western Auto Supply company began marketing "Western Air Patrol" radios.
All types of wood and bakelite radios were offered from large wood floor consoles to portables to very small table radios.
Models for every pocketbook were made, from expensive, high tube-count radios to inexpensive 4-tube radios intended for the youth.
Truetone tube radios were sold into the late 1950s and their radio sales continued into the transistor era.

Western Auto never made radios themselves but bought radios made by manufacturing wholesalers.
Over the years, Truetone radios were made by various manufacturers that made radios for many other retailers.
Manufacturers included Belmont, Detrola, Warwick, Wells Gardner and Continental Radio & TV
who also sold radios to big name distributors such as Admiral, Airline and others.
Radios with identical cabinets are commonly found with different decals, names on dials, or names embossed into the cabinets.
These names included Admiral, Airline, Air King, Belmont, Coronado, Delco, Detrola, Freshman Masterpiece,
Good Year, Goldentone, Grantline, Mantola, Sky Rover, Truetone, Warwick, Whelco and Western Royal models.
(see the Admiral, Belmont, Coronado, and Western Royal radios in the collection for examples of cabinet crossovers.)
Some outlets used the manufacturers name like Belmont and Detrola on the sets.
Radio makers are identified by W.G. & Co (Wells Gardner), BRC (Belmont Radio Corp.), C.R.&T.C.(Continental Radio & TV),
W.M.Co. (Warwick Manufacturing Co.) on the cabinet, label or chassis license tags.
A Google search for "radio trade name directory" will direct you to an incomplete list of trade names and manufacturers,
that can be helpful in indentifying your radio and tracking down schematics.

From 1942 to 1945, radio manufacturing was halted, mandated by the government.
All factory manufacturing resources were to concentrate on helping the WWII war effort and needs.
When WWII ended, radio manufacturing resumed and in 1946, bakelite radio models that were first released in the early '40s
were issued again as the same radio molds were brought back out of storage.
Although the same radio cabinets were used, some chassis updates were applied and new model numbers were assigned.
This was especially the case in most of the Belmont-made bakelite models.
The Truetone "Coronet" models D1015 (1941) and D2611 (1946) are a good example of this.
(see BELMONT Radio History for much more information on one of Western Auto Supply's biggest suppliers)


Click on the Truetone collection below to see much more information on each radio and close up photos.


Remler Radio collection

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See many more beautiful radios inside Classic Radio Gallery!