JC WHITNEY

JC WHITNEY

  • 225 N Michigan Ave
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • 60601

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Description

Chicago 1915. Henry Ford's Model T had been in mass production for only seven years, when a Lithuanian immigrant named Israel Warshawsky decided to climb on the running board of the emerging automotive industry. As cars began to break down, Israel saw an opportunity to mine replacement parts from derelict automobiles. He bought a piece of property on the city's south side at State Street and Archer Avenue and opened a scrap metal yard, The Warshawsky Company.Industrial growth generated by World War I put the salvage business into high gear. Soon, the demand for auto parts outstripped the supply of derelict cars. Israel began buying up failed auto manufacturers and added new parts to his inventory. To welcome more customers, Israel added a retail store.The Warshawsky Company grew right through the Great Depression, when few people could afford new cars or even new parts. By 1934, the company had a larger store and a successful wholesale catalog distributed exclusively through Chicago-area gas stations and mechanics. It also had a new employee with bright, new ideas: Israel's son, Roy Warshawsky.

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