Cadillac In The 1930’s

Yes, Jean Harlow.

Today’s post is a story
about how a middle
manager saved the
Cadillac brand during
the Great Depression-
he was named
Nicholas Dreystadt.

You see, Cadillac
had been selling
a lot of cars during
the roaring 20’s;
over 41,000 in 1928
alone.

But after 3 years of
the Depression,
people hadn’t the
money nor the
inclination to buy
new Caddy’s-
they sold only
about 6700 units
in 1933 –
and the GM division
was hemorrhaging
money.

So much so, that
General Motors
had practically decided
to drop the brand, when
a young middle manage
-ment executive crashed
a planning meeting and
suggested he had the
answer to the Cadillac
problem.

Dreystadt was a great
mechanic – so good,
in fact, that he had
been put in charge of
Cadillac service nationwide –
and observations he had
made at dealerships led
him to the conclusion that
the brand had been
shooting itself in the foot
in many ways-

– buying over-priced
service parts from
vendors, using
inefficient dealership
delivery practices,
high production
costs, and especially by
allowing discriminatory
policies.

One of these involved
dealerships refusing
to sell to black people-
it seemed not only
morally wrong to him,
but also very foolish.

He promised, that if
such practices were
eliminated, that the
brand would back to
being profitable in
18 months.

He convinced the
company to go along
with him on the changes –
and in 1934, Cadillac sales
increased 70%.

Dreystadt was made
head of the division,
where he worked
until 1946.

His credo was :
“Quality is design
and tooling, inspection
and service; it is not
inefficiency.”

He ended his career
as head of the
Chevrolet Division,
and died in 1948.

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Blondie Circa 1930’s

I guess just about
everybody’s seen
the comic strip
“Blondie”, featuring
a pretty lady named
Blondie, her husband
Dagwood, and,
of course,
Daisy the Dog.

What many folks
would be surprised
by, I think, is how
different the comic
was back when it first
started in 1930.

Back then,
Blondie
Boopadoop
( yep, her
maiden name )
was a rather wild
free spirited
single flapper ,
living in Joplin,
Missouri, who
was engaged
to a bumbling
dolt and heir to a
fortune in
railroads —

Yes,
Dagwood Bumstead.

Originally, the artist
( Chic Young )
had toyed with several
names for the Blondie
character , including
Beautiful Bab and Dumb
Dora- but decided those
names would limit the
development of the strip
too much.

After several
years of hemming
and hawwing
around-
with Dagwood’s
family trying all
sorts of dirty tricks
to keep
them apart –

including a 28 day
hunger strike on
the part of Dagwood to
protest his family’s
rejection of Blondie…

(which explains
Dagwood’s
propensity
for huge sandwiches….)

– the couple decided
to go ahead and tie
the knot, followed
with disastrous
economic
consequences –

– Dagwood was
disinherited !

The announcement
of their engagement
was part of a
huge promotion
of the strip to
newspaper
syndicators –
with a publicity
mailing in the
form of a cardboard
suitcase, that included
a paper doll of Blondie
in her lingerie, and
cut-out clothes, too.

With only
enough money
to finance their
honeymoon in
Niagara Falls,
the couple
nonetheless
soon got back
on their feet,
and started
living as a
pretty average
middle-class
family –

– even
sleeping in
the same bed !!!

Scandalous !!!

!!! HOY !!!

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.

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On The Stump

driveinstumpThe folks who
were buying automobiles
in the early part of
the 20th century had
several expectations
about how they were planning on using them……

And travel –
going out of town,
out of state, maybe
even out of country
and seeing the world
in their automobile
was certainly one of them.

It was a rough and ready
kinda travel, no doubt
about it – and although
the first routes could
consist of nothing but
dirt and gravel roads,
sometimes no visitormore
than horse trails and
cart tracks- –

rustic type service
businesses were quick
to spring up to bring
fuel, food, and supplies
to these hearty travelers.

Often, these places
were not only
rustic, but unusual –
a place like ” Rex’s
Redwood Log “,
otherwise known as camper
the World Famous
Drive-In Stump
Souvenir Stand
and Hamburger Joint,
in Eureka, California.

It was cut out of a
single redwood log
about 22 feet in diameter.
The place offered cheap
hand-made novelties,pal
badly cooked sandwiches,
and a free bumper sticker
with every purchase.

It was expanded into a
full service restaurant
in the 1940’s…

There was a highway
called the
“Redwood Highway”
(Old U.S. Route 199
in Northern California
and Oregon, and
parts of U.S. Rte 101
in California)
that ran past dozens
of these kinds of cichey tunnel
places centered on the
giant redwoods–

— but if your
particular fetish
was for buildings
cut out of a
single huge redwood
log like Rex’s–

well, there were also:treehouse
gas stations,
churches,
homes,
tree houses
(a natural, I guess)
garages,
lodges,
tunnels,
art galleries,hou
rest rooms,
airplanes,
railroad cars,
inns ,
huge statues of bears,
motorhomes,
playhouses,
and plenty
of tourist traps
made outgarage
of the same
material.

Not to mention,
eventually, anyway,
the world’s largest
tree stumps
and
piles of mulch.

!!! HOY !!!

bathroom

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redwood