Tandy Corporation

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Tandy Corporation was a family-owned leather goods company based in Fort Worth, Texas. Tandy was founded in 1919 as a leather supply store, and acquired RadioShack in 1963. The Tandy name was dropped in May 2000, when RadioShack Corporation was made the official name.



Tandy began in 1919 when two friends, Norton Hinckley and Dave L. Tandy, decided to start the Hinckley-Tandy Leather Company, which sold leather shoe parts to shoe repair shops in the Fort Worth area. Tandy's son, Charles D. Tandy, turned it into a leathercraft company when shoe rationing in World War II almost killed the business, and later expanded into selling leather and tools to make such products as wallets. After a struggle over the company, which saw the Hinckley name dropped, Tandy made another change in 1963, when it bought the ailing RadioShack. It later sold off all non-electronic business. The leather business continued, and eventually combined with The Leather Factory in 2000 to become Tandy Leather Factory.[1]


Tandy was one of the companies (along with Commodore International, Atari, and Apple) that started the personal computer revolution, with their TRS-80 (1977) and TRS-80 Color Computer ("CoCo") (1980) line of home computers. Later Tandy adopted the IBM PC architecture. Tandy's IBM PC compatibles, the Tandy 1000 and Tandy 2000, were cheaper than the IBM PC and yet featured built-in, and better, sound and graphics. These machines could produce 16-color video and operated two dynamic sine/square/sawtooth sound channels: a non-dynamic sound channel and a dynamic white/pink/brown noise channel. It was only when VGA-standard graphics cards and Sound Blaster sound cards became common in the early 1990s that the Tandy's advanced features became noncompetitive and thus obsolete. Tandy also produced short lived Tandy 1100FD and Tandy 1100HD notebooks. Released in 1989 the 1100 Series was based on the popular NEC V20 processor clocked at 10 MHz. Tandy also produced software for its computers running DOS, in the form of Tandy Deskmate.[2] Tandy even produced a line of floppy disks. Tandy continued producing IBM PC compatibles until the end of the Intel 486 era. Tandy produced an interactive, multimedia CD-ROM player called the Tandy Video Information System (VIS). Like the Tandy computers, it was based on the IBM PC architecture and used a version of Microsoft Windows.

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