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Old 05-11-2010, 09:28 AM
SanDiegoTim SanDiegoTim is offline
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,179
Warshawski & J C Whitney Auto Parts

Beoing a teenager in the 1960's, I was a regular customer at Warchawski's, corner of Archer and State (?). Eventually moving away from Chicago I soon discovered Warchawski's was known elsewhere as J C Whitney. Was this always the case or did the J C Whitney name come about later? Why the two names, anyway? Lastly, I recall most of the "counter guys" as being Asian. How come?
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Old 05-11-2010, 04:31 PM
John Bredin John Bredin is offline
Join Date: Apr 1999
Well, J.C. Whitney's website states quite plainly that they started out as Warshawsky & Co. in Chicago but doesn't seem to indicate when the name changed. Neither does the Wikipedia article on J.C. Whitney.

I'd guess from the fact that the name change occurred sometime after 1947, judging from the timeline on the company website, that it was a Cold-War-era change to seem more American and less Eastern European, like a VonBraun changing his name to Brown during WWI. But that's just my guess.
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Old 05-12-2010, 12:41 PM
Ed Zotti Ed Zotti is offline
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Join Date: Feb 1999
Posts: 1,689
I worked for Warshawsky briefly in the early 70s and the company was known as J.C. Whitney outside Chicago then. The discussion here:

... suggests the J.C. Whitney name dates back to the earliest mail-order days. Though the origin of the name isn't stated, my guess is the Warshawskys thought it sounded less ethnic.
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Old 05-20-2010, 01:35 PM
ardecila ardecila is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
The counter guys were probably Asian because Archer/State was near Chinatown, and plenty of Chinese living in the area were looking for jobs.
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Old 02-12-2011, 12:09 PM
SanDiegoTim SanDiegoTim is offline
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,179
Saturday morning was a kick down there. Cars parked everywhere with their hoods open or up on jacks with their owners installing the parts they just bought.
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Old 09-27-2011, 02:01 AM
tibclaud tibclaud is offline
Join Date: Sep 2011
Sam's Auto Grille & Bumper Exchange

I hope you (particularly SanDiegTim) have some memory of what I'm about to tell you. In 1966, I was twelve years-old and I worked at my grandfathers auto parts store. He was a small competitor of Warshawski. Sam's Auto Grille and Bumper Exchange located at 1832 South Wabash. It was a beat up old building. A different building, also an auto parts store, now stands in its place. I was wondering if anyone has any memory of my grandfather's store so many years ago. If so, if you happen to have pictures of the general area on Wabash from that era, I would really be thrilled to see them. If you had a picture of the store, I would freak.
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