Gear Head Tuesday – Neat Old Haulers, Part II

Gear Head

Neat Old Haulers, Part II

Another tip of the hat to “Popcorn” and “Dr. Mc” for supplying the images.

We begin today with an update to last Tuesday’s post:

First,  in the event you missed it in last week’s comments, “Gordon K.” advises us that the Coca-Cola truck “is owned by Jerry Kurtz of Dover, PA. He restored it himself to the high level seen. I think the picture you shared was taken when the truck was on display at the AACA museum in Hershey, PA.

Neat Old Haulers - Coca Cola

Gordon is a member of the Keystone Region of the Studebaker Drivers Club. Each year the Keystone Region raffles a car. For 2017, the prize will be a ’57 Studebaker Golden Hawk. You can get information on ordering tickets HERE . No, it’s not too early to order tickets for the 2017 drawing!

'57 Golden Hawk

Second, In the photo below, I was unable to read enough of the sign on the side of the truck to know what kind of business Castlebank was. “Ol’ Petrol Head” in the U.K. supplied the answer: the sign reads “Dyeworks,” and Castlebank was a cleaning establishment in Glasgow, Scotland.

Neat Old Haulers - Castlebank

Now, more Neat Old Haulers:

Beer Haulers

First up, we have a 1936 Chevrolet pick up full of kegs of beer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Pony Beer

Milwaukee, with its large population of German immigrants became one of the “brewing capitals” of the U.S. Here are three Wisconsin brewers’ trucks:

Blatz beer

Miller Beer

The German affinity for beer, combined with the fact that many German immigrants to the U.S. were also Lutherans is the genesis of this little aside:

Beer is a sin

Baptist Beer

Here is a drawing of a hauler used by Schlitz, another Milwaukee brewer with German roots.

Schlitz beer

Schlitz was once one of the major brewers in the U.S. For many years, it’s slogan was “the Beer that made Milwaukee famous.” The slogan had its origin in the fact that Schlitz beer was hauled from Milwaukee to Chicago to help quench the thirst of Chicagoans who had lost most of their breweries in the great fire of 8 October, 1871. There is a related, but apocryphal, story that the Schlitz slogan came about because Schlitz beer was hauled to Chicago to actually help put out the fire. Given the dry weather Chicago was experiencing at the time of the fire, the need for anything liquid to help extinguish the fire, and Milwaukee’s proximity to Chicago, the apocryphal story has lingered because of its plausibility.

Even though it would have been far ahead of its time, no doubt the sleek fire brigade truck shown below would have been most welcome in Chicago that fateful night in 1871:

Fire Brigade

One of the largest and most famous Canadian brewers is Labatt. Here are some stylish Labatt haulers. The first two images are different views of the same truck. Stylistically, it is very similar to the Schlitz truck shown above.

Neat Old Haulers - Labatt's

Labatt's 3

Neat Old Haulers - Labatt's 2

Another liquid that needs to be delivered is milk and here we see several ways that was done, but we mustn’t cry over it if we spill it:

Adohr Milk

The truck pictured above was owned by Southern California’s Adohr Farms. Here is a snapshot of Adohr, extracted from a 1998 article in the Los Angeles Times:

By the late 1930s, Los Angeles was sprawling outward in every direction, as family cars and new road networks brought cheap land and, therefore, homeownership within reach of an ever-growing number of people.

Supermarkets and other amenities, however, were slow to follow into the new suburbs. Many families still used wooden iceboxes, where milk and butter could not be stored for long.

So enterprising local companies used the same rubber tires that carried commuters to and from the new neighborhoods to bring customers a daily ration of those staples of the good, or any, life: bread, milk–and a little ice cream for dessert.

The Helms man (more about Helms below) and his mobile bakery have vanished, of course. So has the Good Humor man, though similarly melodious trucks still make their rounds in many neighborhoods, where ice cream vendors are a sweet reminder of home to many new immigrants. Few people, however, realize that milkmen in their starched white uniforms still ply their predawn trade in a few of the city’s enclaves.

In those earlier years, though, milkmen from dozens of dairies–Swan, Supreme, Excelsior, Crown City, Carnation, Driftwood and Alta Dena–blanketed Southern California, trailing puddles of water from blocks of ice that kept their farm-fresh products cold. But it was the giants like Adohr Farms that had hundreds of routes and that people in the new suburbs depended upon the most for special deliveries.

Despite rain, dogs and robbers, Adohr’s clean-cut milkmen delivered fresh dairy products daily to customers, who demonstrated their trust by leaving their kitchen doors unlocked.

In 1916, Merritt Huntley Adamson Sr. and his heiress wife, Rhoda Rindge Adamson, whose parents were the last owners of the vast Spanish land grant in Malibu, founded a state-of-the-art dairy in Tarzana called Adohr Farms; Adohr was Rhoda spelled backward.

A decade later, when Adohr’s famous reddish-golden brown Guernseys were known worldwide for their quality, size and productive capacity, the family opened a subsidiary–Adohr Creamery Co.–on a 20-acre parcel in what was then the country. The new plant processed and distributed the dairy products produced on the Tarzana farm. 

Much of Adohr’s milk was delivered in DIVCO milk trucks. DIVCO is an acronym which stands for Detroit Industrial Vehicles COmpany. Founded in 1926, DIVCO was well known for its pioneering delivery vehicles, especially the home delivery milk trucks. From 1926 until 1986, DIVCO produced multi-stop delivery trucks unlike any others. Only the VW Beetle stayed in production with the same basic model for a longer period of time. DIVCO trucks are popular collectible vehicles today.

DIVCO milk truck

Similar in appearance to the DIVCO is this milchwagen:

White Farm Milk

Below we have a rolling milk bottle – and it proves that more was bottled in Milwaukee than beer!

Luick Milk

The International Harvester Company was at one time a major producer of trucks. They offered pickup trucks, delivery vehicles as well as medium and heavy duty over-the-road trucks. Here is an International truck configured for milk delivery:

International milk truck

Another precious liquid, usually delivered in ground bean form, is coffee, and International was up to this task, too:

International Coffee

Note the lettering on the side, “2 Harrison St., San Francisco, California.” Hills Bros. was founded in San Francisco in 1878, twenty-eight years after Folger’s was founded in San Francisco.  Unlike Folgers,  the Hills Bros. company still operates from San Francisco.

Next up, we have a right hand drive version of the International truck we saw Santa Claus using in last week’s post, a most handsome hauler even today:

International RHD

Bakers need to haul their goods to market, too. Here are some ways that happened:

Snowwhite Bakery

Helms Bakery

Pictured above is a Helms Bakery truck. Helms operated in Southern California from 1931 until 1969. Their baked goods were never sold in stores. “Daily at your Door” was Helms’ motto, their DIVCO-built trucks delivering every week day to homes. Note the “Olympic Bread” sign on the side of the truck. Helms had supplied bread to the 1932 Summer Olympics and capitalized on this in marketing their bread to customers in the Los Angeles basin.

Our friend Jack and his bride Sherry tour the U.S. in a motor home. Jack and Sherry might envy these sleek people haulers, motor home or not, from the past:

Motor Home



… we will now (ahem) wing it for our closing:

Streamliner-wing tail


Add yours →

  1. Gordon F. Kertzel,lll 01/03/2016 — 14:54

    Excellent Presentation, Paul. Thanks so much for the link to the 57 Golden Hawk for our ticket sales. FYI you are absolutely correct about it not being too soon to purchase 2017 tickets—They are going VERY quickly. Ay this time, over 800 have been sold!! Gordon


  2. jack darnell 01/03/2016 — 15:58

    Boy this one was great. I thought I was missing something, ;-0 I figured if I waited.. Also ordered some tickets for the Golden Hawk. I will forget I ordered them, UNTIL I WIN! HAHAHAHA

    THANKS FOR THE entertainment.


  3. jack darnell 01/03/2016 — 15:59

    I also put your name down as a reference so it they call!!!! LOL


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