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Montgomery Ward Co.



First seen:
Last seen:

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. 

  

Airline variants:

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AX-201-A
1
Tube
{v1} Globe (s-14), "Airline" "AX-201-A" "62-5299", tall isolantite base, ink-stamped, tipless, foil envelope label [unique isolantite design made by Supertron]


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GX-201-A
2
Tube
{v2} Globe (s-14), "Airline" "GX-201-A" "62-5311", short marbled engraved bakelite base, tipless, clear/silvered envelope glass

Airline GX-201-A var2
Airline GX-201-A var2
     
      
 
       

{v2} "Airline" "GX-201-A" "62-5311". Note the reuse of the 62-5311 part number. This seems to have been differentiated by one being 'Super' and having a gold envelope



Super Airline variants:


A
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GX-201-A
1
Tube
{v1} Globe (s-14), "Super Airline" "GX-201-A" "62-5311", short marbled engraved bakelite base, tipless, Gold envelope glass


Super Airline GX-201-A
Super Airline GX-201-A
Super Airline GX-201-A stem detail
 
 
Super Airline GX-201-A base view

{v3} "Super Airline" "GX-201-A" with gold envelope.



Airline Isolantite drawing
Airline 201A


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. 



T B
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A A
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201-A
1
Tube
{v1} Globe, "TRAILBLAZER" "201-A", short engraved bakelite base, tipless, nickel pins, silvered envelope glass

Trailblazer 201-A var.1    
Trailblazer 201-A var1
     
      
 
       

{v1} "Trail Blazer" "201-A". This tube was Wards catalog no. 9201, marked AX-201-A on the box, and 201-A on the base.[4]






Bibliography references:
  1. Montgomery Wards Catalog, Summer 1927, pg. 421.  Copyrighted, Chris Benson, uv199.com.
  2. Montgomery Wards Catalog, 1929, pg. 445.  Copyrighted, Chris Benson, uv199.com.
  3. The Logansport Pharos-Tribune, Logansport, IN, 28-Feb-1925, pg. 5. From Newspaper.com. Retrieved 30-Nov-2018 * 
  4. eBay Auction listings, March 2019. Edited photos copyrighted, Chris Benson, uv199.com.




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