White Tower

In the 1920s, John E. Saxe, his son, Thomas E. Saxe, and an associate, Daniel J. O’Connell, examined White Castle outlets in Minneapolis and concluded that fast food was an excellent idea and that White Castle had the right approach. In 1926, they opened their first White Tower restaurant near Marquette University in Milwaukee. It was a clone of White Castle. Like White Castle, White Tower located its outlets at subway, trolley, and bus stops frequented by workers going to or from large factories. It specialized in 5-cent hamburgers, which were almost the same as White Castle’s, but it also sold ham sandwiches, doughnuts, pies, and beverages. The buildings were similar. White Tower’s slogan, “Take Home a Bagful,” was a take-off on White Castle’s “Buy ‘em by the Sack.” Like
White Castle restaurants, White Tower outlets were white in color to assure customers of the purity and cleanliness of their restaurants. Unlike White Castle, White Tower franchisee! its operation and the chain expanded steadily throughout the Midwest. In the late 1920s, White Tower was one of the largest hamburger chains in America. In 1929, White Castle sued White Tower for trademark infringement and court ruled in favor of White Castle. White Tower was ordered to change its name and all resemblances to White Castle in its architecture and slogans. White Tower maintained its name by paying White Castle a large sum of money. After World War II, the chain began to falter as urban areas decayed and the suburbs began siphoning off the middle class. By 1979, White Tower had only 80 outlets, all of which were owned by Tombrock Corporation. White Tower slowly disappeared thereafter.

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