The roots of The Walter E. Smithe Furniture Company go back to 1945. With World War II coming to a close, my grandfather, Walter E. Smithe, Sr., sensed the potentially great demand for household products. Forming a partnership with Bill Shanahan, Grandpa Smithe started "Tone Appliances and Furniture" on the northwest side of Chicago.
Soon after opening, the two entrepreneurs decided that it made good business sense to put their own names on the front door. It was not long until "Smithe and Shanahan" became a well-known name on Belmont Avenue. Shortly after, Bill Shanahan decided that he did not want to expand the business, and he sold his share of the business to my great uncle, Charles Smithe.
The fifties were a time of growth in our company's size and the diversity of the products we sold. Household appliances, furniture, and a hot new item, television, kept the cash register ringing. The fledgling company expanded into kitchen cabinets and furniture.
During the busy sixties, my father, Walter E. Smithe Jr., joined the company after working in the computer industry with the Army, General Electric and IBM. He pioneered the concept of custom order upholstery in Chicagoland, a specialty where Walter E. Smithe continues to define the cutting edge.
In the late seventies, I joined the company. We phased out of the appliance business and into the furniture end. In the early eighties, my father and I were joined by my brothers Tim and Mark. Our company also now includes the fourth generation of the Smithe family – my daughters Maureen and Meghan.
Today we are proud to be Chicagoland’s furniture and design source. We look to stay current with the ever-changing trends of our industry, and provide products that are both stylish and great quality. Our talented designers play a key role in representing us, and creating the look you will love for years to come.
Walter E. Smithe III
Walter E. Smithe, Chicago's Furniture Store Since 1945!