Whilst perusing the June 1934 edition of Radio-Craft magazine, I found
betwixt the pages this business card from the Lake Chevrolet Company, of Devils
Lake, North Dakota. As you can tell by the old panel truck on it, the year it was
printed was probably sometime around 1934. While this business card does not have
the value of a 1900s era blue chip stock certificate I keep hoping to find, it does
have historic and nostalgic value - at least to me as an appreciator of the people
and institutions that built America.
The handwriting on the back of the card says, "Delivery 577. Cab box chassey[sic]," and "Let me know at least 3 weeks ahead." Although
you cannot tell from the flat scan, there is a fold line that runs along the top
of the green "Chevrolet Motor Trucks" line, with the outline of the truck trimmed
out so the truck sticks up when the card is folded and set on a surface for display.
A little research indicates that this is a 1932 Chevrolet Panel Truck. A couple
features that distinguish it from the model years before and after it are the vertical
vent fins on the side of the engine compartment, and the way the bottom rear of
the container area curves inward toward the front.
Panel Truck retrieved from
Sexton's flickr web page.
Lake Chevrolet Company is now called Lake Motor Company and is located at 123 Fifth St. Northeast,
Devils Lake, ND, 58301. According to their 'About Us' page, the family
that founded the company has been in business since 1923! A president of a certain
country might say to them something like, "you didn't build that," but my guess
is there might be some disagreement amongst all the kin who took risks, put in long
hours, and employed many other people along the way in the last 92 years.
A brief search for the salesman, Mr. Casper L. Wesley, did not turn up anything
positive. I found one census record of someone with that name born in 1889 in Wisconsin,
but no history on him. It is unlikely that there might have been two Casper L. Wesley
in America back in the day, so maybe he sought his fortune as a car salesman in
North Dakota. Unlike many of the vintage magazines I buy, this one, unfortunately,
did not have the original mailing label on the cover to identify the owner.
I have never been to Devils Lake, but Melanie was there for two weeks when she
was in the West Virginia Air National Guard (she was an administration
specialist in the publications office) and the 167th Air Lift Wing flew to
there. Ironically, one of her old WVANG comrades, Mr. Steve Schwarz, who retired
as a MSgt., just a couple days ago sent her a couple photos he had taken waaaaay
back around 1981. This one was at the home base in Martinsburg, WV.
Posted on May 20, 2015