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Arthur Swanson’s Frederickson Tire Company, Oklahoma City

Arthur V. Swanson’s Frederickson Tire Company, a Firestone dealer was located at the intersection of NW 9th Ave. and North Hudson St. in Oklahoma City, OK. The lead image and the enlargeable version on it (below) appears to have been taken in pre-WWII days. The lower photo dating to March 7, 1948, was shot after a remodeling when the dogs were added to the roof, and tire re-capped operations appear to have ended. The building has not survived.

Please share with us what you find of interest in this image courtesy of the Oklahoma Historical Society.

We want to take this opportunity to wish all of our readers a Happy New Year. We will return on January 2, 2020, with a new feature.

  • Unless a reader spots a postwar car in this image we assume it was taken before WWII or just after it.

  • After remodeling, the image dates to March 7, 1948.

  • March of 1948, the “Fisk Airborne Tire” on display in the showroom.

38 responses to “Arthur Swanson’s Frederickson Tire Company, Oklahoma City

  1. Looks like a fair amount of work didn’t survive into 1948; recapping, “Bear” alignments, tire inspections (was that a wartime thing to keep drivers honest about the need to “re-tire”?).

    But I don’t understand the dachshund approach.
    Happy New Year David and thanks for your well-appreciated efforts!!

    • Tires were rationed during WW2 (from January 5, 1942 to December 31, 1945) because they were ~75% of the pre-war use of rubber and the Japanese occupation of Malaya and the Dutch East Indies reduced the new rubber supply by ~90%. New tires could only be sold to ambulances, public service vehicles (fire, police, mail, medical), educators and students, miners and construction workers, and public transportation. Everyone else had to buy used/recapped tires.

      To buy tires, a vehicle had to be inspected and an application submitted to the local rationing board. If approved, a certificate was issued that had to be used in the month it was issued. If a new tire was bought, the seller would receive the old tire and had to sell it within five days to receive a new tire to replace the one they had sold.

      If someone owned multiple private vehicles, no replacement tires would be permitted until all their vehicles needed replacements, and then only one vehicle would get replacements.

      • Steve,

        During October 11 & 12, 1941, Firestone’s waterfront plant in Fall River, Massachusetts had a great fire that destroyed 15,850 tons of stored rubber imported from Firestone’s plantations in Liberia. Firestone’s Liberian rubber plantations started to be productive in the mid-1930s. The Firestone plant in Fall River is long closed, but Firestone still imports latex from Liberia to Fall River, which is stored waiting to be transshipped by both rail & truck.


  2. These Firestone stores sold a lot more than tires. I read, you could get everything from bicycles to appliances, even outboard motors. I believe they fell out of favor after the war, and concentrated solely on tires. I can’t find anything on the dogs. The truck on the right side of 2nd pic, is a late 30’s IH D series, no doubt the company truck.
    To all my old stalwart friends that visit here, have a safe New Years, and be careful on the roads. I’m not sure who is driving Americas semi’s these days.

    • Same to you, Howard. Now that long haul drivers are bossed as close as factory workers, treated poorly by shippers and receivers, they wonder why turnover is close to a 100% and they got to hire anybody they can get. Glad to be retired. Thank you for your posts; your knowledge of trucks is like an encyclopedia .

  3. More wonderful images to round out my 2019!! David, a very safe & happy New Year to you & your staff! I look forward to more amazing images in the year to come!

  4. In the lead image, it looks like the coupe on the end, with the tire leaning against the fender, may have slipped off its jack.

    Happy New Year, David, and thanks again for investing the time in this blog. It’s fun, and I learn a lot.

  5. David,

    Wishing you, your family and followers of your web-site good heath in the New Year !!

    In the 2nd expandable picture, parked in front of the door with “1000” above it, are two, two-tone, 1941 BUICK Special cars; a Coupé and a Sedan. Both cars are in need of new tires !!


    • Good eye spotting those two Buicks in need of a new tire, one would imagine that they had hobbled over to the tire store to get them. What do you think is the car parked next to the first Buick? I’m thinking it might be a 1942 Ford or thereabouts.

      • p.s. In the lead picture there is a mid to late 1930’s sedan parked in front of the same glass door that actually has its right front tire taken off waiting no doubt for a replacement tire!

      • MP,

        Good spotting the ’42 FORD in the 2nd expandable photograph. The car looks like a Super DeLuxe Sedan Coupé. Parked across the street from this vehicle [on far left of the photograph] is a 1938 CHEVROLET.

        In the lead picture, the car parked to the left of the pair of the ’41 BUICK cars looks like a GM coupé, but am unable to ascertain marque.

        Wishing good health in the New Year !!


        • MP,

          Didn’t have a drop last night !! Made an error.

          In the lead picture, parked in front of the door with “1000” above it, is a 1941 CHEVROLET Special DeLuxe Coupé, with a tire removed.


          • Thanks for the info, I thought that it was probably a Chevy but it looks to be a few years older than 1941 as that was about when the photo was taken. Happy New Year Too You! -AML

  6. Probably the most drastic change in cars happened at this time, 1930 to 1940. Styling doesn’t even resemble each other in just 10 years, unlike now. Happy and safe New Year to all.

  7. I wonder if the remodeling is actually March 7, 1943? The latest car I see looks like a 1942 Ford. The newspaper article I found in the Miami [Oklahoma] Daily News Record of May 5, 1943, seems like it might confirm an earlier date.

    “OKLAHOMA City, May 5 – The Frederickson Tire company here has been found guilty of violating a War Production board order and fined $1,500, a judgement entered today in federal district court records showed.’

    “Federal Judge Bower Broaddus assessed the fine after holding the company guilty of violation of a WPB conservation order by remodeling its building at a cost of $15,000.”

  8. The company closed down in 2015 after 106 years in business. Founded in 1909, it was family run until 2002, when Mary Helen Swanson sold it to long-time employee Mike Crouse. The full story is at the attached link. Replace the two instances of the word “dot” with a period to view the article.

    www dot moderntiredealer dot com/news/410649/swanson-s-tire-closes-after-106-years

  9. 41 Caddy under the big stylized F on the corner in the first photo is the only car wearing whitewalls.
    Happy New Year to all, and Thank You all, both for the site and the comments each day- truly look forward to every post

  10. I sure miss the Bear Alignment Co. bear.He used to be everywhere.Some businesses that were Bear dealers before the company went out of business still display the Bear signs to this day because everyone loves the Bear.

  11. Last photo-the Fisk tire baby- there was a gas station on Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn that had a great, very large, three dimensional statue of the same image, candle and all, perched on its roof. Can’t recall the cross street, but was in the neighborhood of Pratt Institute which was a few blocks away on Willoughby. I was surprised it survived till at least the 80s when I lived there.

  12. Thank you David for this great automotive history resource, a Happy and Prosperous New Year to you and yours.

    I haven’t thought of the Firestone store we had in a nearby town for years. It was a store front on main street which sold all manner of household good, appliances, lawn furniture, bicycles, toys, radios, tv’s etc. They did have a tire sales operation out at the rear of the store out of a single bay garage where the new tires were mounted and balanced. The folks who owned it aged out and retired in the late 1970’s, iirc.

    The light-colored Packard coupe stands out in the first photo on the far left.

  13. In the third photo: The original painting of the boy in pajamas holding a candle with the “time to retire” legend was Norman Rockwell. The tire tread was updated over the years and it appears the artwork was slightly changed too. This image was also stamped into the sidewall of the actual tire. Rockwell also did other ads such as Dixon Ticonderoga pencils.

  14. Second image: Who let the dogs out? Who? Who? Who let the dogs out? Woof! Woof! Woof! Woof! (It just sort of had to be sung!) Wishing everyone a “doggone” great new year!

  15. One of my favorite posters hangs in my bedroom, “Time To Retire,” showing the pajamed lad with the candle. The model for the artwork was from Boulder, Colorado, where I live. I, too, am curious about the significance of the daschunds. Were they tied in to some kind of “long-lasting” claim?

  16. Happy New Year, David, and thanks very much for brightening the lives of so many of us old gaffers and preserving automotive photographic history. Your daily contributions and the comments of readers are very much appreciated.

    Many Thanks for all your postings. It is always a pleasure logging onto your site and reading as well as learning what you and others have written about old automobiles.

  18. The Firestone Tire Building in Sacramento, California, survives to this day. The building in Sacramento is of the same design with the covered corner service area. The Sacramento building has more ornamentation on the exterior walls. The Firestone company left the building a number of years ago and now it is a restaurant.

  19. I remember a friend in Portland, OR in 1948 had a bicycle his folks purchased from the local Firestone store on West Burnside Street . I think the store is still there. OK guys, what was the brand name of the Firestone bikes?

  20. I have always seen the word spelled “alignment” but on the building it is spelled “alinement” Was there a change in the spelling of this word since that time or was the word misspelled on the building?

    • Alinement was a mildly popular alternate spelling of alignment from ~1890 to 1950 (with rare use after that – some of the Apollo transcripts use the alinement spelling). Bear used alinement on their products, so the spelling on the building is to aline with Bear’s use of the word.

  21. I seem to remember K Mart handling “Fisk Tires” at there stores (in Canada at least) in the 60’s and 70’s. I personally had never heard of them before or since…

  22. There’s a white painted “STOP” block embedded in the middle of the foreground road. I imagine there’s also a sign just out of camera range on the right, but I’ve never seen a marker like that. I’m not sure of the logic there unless it was to drum up business at Swanson’s when your paper thin baloney tire thumps over it.

  23. Doing a little Googling I found that the Swanson property fetched 2.25 million when Mr. Crouse sold it to some developers. The most recent Google maps image from 2019 shows that the building is still standing at 1000 North Hudson street but the new owners have managed to make a once interesting looking building into a little strip mall that’s a giant yawn. Progress!!!

    Happy New Year to everyone!

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