Montgomery Ward Co.
Brand(s): Airline, Melophonic, Trail Blazer
Second only to Sears, Montgomery Ward Co. entered the radio tube market before 1924, selling tubes under their brand 'Airline'.
Their AX-201-A is clearly made by Supertron, showing their patented use of isolatite plate supports.
Melophonic tubes appear to be Montgomery Ward offerings. Starting about 1926, the 'Melophonic' brand began to be used heavily across the companies line of branded console radios. Before that, the brand was used for phonographs. A careful review of the rather unique term 'melophonic' shows that all references point to Montgomery Ward as the sole seller of this brand. By 1930, the brand was no longer being used.
Perhaps the last 201A store brand from MW, they introduced the 'Trail Blazer' around 1932. These are more common than Melophonic.
Other brands may also have been sold, such as Kwiklite, but were probably just opportunistic inventory buys as companies folded, rather than brands they created for themselves.
Super Airline variants:
Trail Blazer variants:Montgomery Ward's sponsored a nationwide radio program of popular music, called 'Ward's Trail Blazers'. This seems to have started around February of 1925, and ran into 1926. No tube advertising has been found outside their own catalog references.
- Montgomery Wards Catalog, Summer 1927, pg. 421. Copyrighted, Chris Benson, uv199.com.
- Montgomery Wards Catalog, 1929, pg. 445. Copyrighted, Chris Benson, uv199.com.
- The Logansport Pharos-Tribune, Logansport, IN, 28-Feb-1925, pg. 5. From Newspaper.com. Retrieved 30-Nov-2018 *
- eBay Auction listings, March 2019. Edited photos copyrighted, Chris Benson, uv199.com.