Last Week’s Quiz

Published by: David Sneed, Wheels That Won The West® Archives, LLC
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Okay. How’d you do in last week’s quiz on wagon company catch phrases?  Folks often have favorites when it comes to specific brands so some of the taglines may have been more familiar and, therefore, easier to match than others.  It’s also worth noting that some of the mottos used by different firms did occasionally change.  Take a look below and compare your answers with the brands most commonly associated with each of the slogans and songs… 

·        The Monarch of the Road – Mitchell Wagons

·        King of All – Weber Wagons (also used by the Lion Buggy Company of Cincinnati, Ohio)

·        Good Timber & Bone Dry – Winona Wagons

·        The Pride of St. Louis – Linstroth Wagons

·        The Wagon of Quality – Birdsell Wagons

·        Light Running & Durable – Moline Wagons

·        We Tower Above All – Luedinghaus/Espenschied Wagons

·        Best Material.  Best Made.  Best Finished on Earth. – Ionia Wagons

·        No Wagon is as Good – Milburn Wagons

·        The Farmer’s Favorite – Coquillard & Studebaker Wagons

·        A-Very Good Wagon – Avery Wagons

·        The Wooden Shoe Line – Buerkens Wagons

·        The Old Reliable – used by Pekin, Springfield, Schuttler, & Olds Wagons

·        The Only Original and Genuine – Fish Bros. Wagons (Racine)

·        Wait for the Wagon (song) – Studebaker Wagons & Jackson Wagons

A few other taglines include Hickman-Ebbert Wagon Company’s “Best At The Price & Always The Same” as well as Hackney Wagon’s “For Style, Durability, and Light Running – No Wagon Surpasses.”  Sometimes these sayings were accompanied with visual supports such as elephants in wagons (Jackson &Moline), rabbits pulling wagons (Harrison), oversized loads demonstrating strength (Owensboro, Newton, Fish Bros. and many more), axles cut away under loads (Winona), a peacock with fanned feathers (Linstroth), and a running greyhound (Moline).

The primary point we can take from these images is that sales successes of individual brands not only required aquality, relevant product with a strong distribution system, but also asignificant commitment to marketing and advertising.  Each part of this mix was – and is – crucial to any national and international business achievement.  Likewise, each has proven to be undaunted by the passage of time.  How relevant were the lessons learned in America’s first transportation industry? Well, they were substantial enough that many of the fundamentals are still practiced today.  In fact, the next time you see the dealer name affixed to the car in front of you, remember that the origins of that simple advertisement began with the wood-wheeled wagon makers.  As the old saying goes, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”  

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