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Scott
04-17-2017, 10:28 AM
Does anyone know if Studebaker had contracts with the post office before the Zip Van? In the horse drawn age did Studebaker provide vehicles to the P.O.? Do we have pictures of other mail vehicles? I remember the rural route Larks (which we haven't talked about it in a while). Did they come from the factory with special markings? I suppose those were sold to individuals and not the post office. Am I wrong?

rockne10
04-17-2017, 01:26 PM
It would be difficult to believe the majority of the horse drawn vehicles were not Studebakers. In 1900 Studebaker was the largest vehicle manufacturer in the world!
And we know of at least one Rockne in 1933.63542

8E45E
04-17-2017, 01:38 PM
Do we have pictures of other mail vehicles? I remember the rural route Larks (which we haven't talked about it in a while). Did they come from the factory with special markings? I suppose those were sold to individuals and not the post office. Am I wrong?

I was hoping this individual would have posted photos of his '51 & '52: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?90995-Rural-Mail-Studebakers

Craig

Scott
04-17-2017, 01:43 PM
It would be difficult to believe the majority of the horse drawn vehicles were not Studebakers. In 1900 Studebaker was the largest vehicle manufacturer in the world!
And we know of at least one Rockne in 1933.63542
I sure wish my mail was delivered in one of those today! I'd be waiting by the mailbox a lot.

Skip Lackie
04-18-2017, 07:53 AM
Does anyone know if Studebaker had contracts with the post office before the Zip Van? In the horse drawn age did Studebaker provide vehicles to the P.O.? Do we have pictures of other mail vehicles? I remember the rural route Larks (which we haven't talked about it in a while). Did they come from the factory with special markings? I suppose those were sold to individuals and not the post office. Am I wrong?

Am no expert, but I believe that most rural route Larks were actually privately owned by the carrier, and not by the PO. So marking would be at the option of the owner.

Sdude
04-18-2017, 05:20 PM
Am no expert, but I believe that most rural route Larks were actually privately owned by the carrier, and not by the PO. So marking would be at the option of the owner.

You are correct. Rural Carriers used to be required to supply their own vehicle and were reimbursed via equipment maintenance allowance.

studeclunker
04-18-2017, 07:36 PM
It is for this reason I truly wish there were more Pack-Rats in the Studebaker family. Those records didn't survive the old company. Just about all the larger carriage builders offered mail buggies. Another part of the issue is that the USPS didn't offer nation-wide rural delivery till the early twentieth century. 1902 was when Congress funded this service, however they didn't fund the transportation part. The independent carrier had to provide their own transport. Previously, if one lived on a farm, they had to go into the local Post Office and request their mail. I do know that Studebaker did offer specially marked USPS delivery vehicles of a variety of types in 1905 as they are displayed in the commercial catalogue of that year. However, only the larger wagons for inter-city and inner-city delivery were ordered by USPS themselves. Numbers, again, are not available as there are no production records surviving (to my limited knowledge).
Here are a few pictures of mail carrier vehicles many of which just might be Studebakers:
http://www.bcyesteryear.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/Story400/1-%20Mail%20Wagon%201910.jpghttp://freepages.history.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~butlercounty/oxfordpostaldelivery.jpghttp://farm5.static.flickr.com/4149/5051775285_96711313e7.jpghttp://www.plainfieldlibrary.info/OnlineExhibits/ONTHEMOVE/Images/geise2.jpghttp://www.rolfealumni.com/images/mail%20carrier-horse-sleigh-early%201900s.jpghttps://static1.squarespace.com/static/54d23339e4b05e3af8143898/t/562c2f7fe4b022641daa1d96/1445736323624/https://www.uvm.edu/landscape/dating/mail_service/mail_wagon_files/image001.jpghttps://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/82/a9/10/82a910470e547dc7edc5a3da23e321bc.jpg
1870
I'm sorry about some of these being so large. Our forum no longer allows adjustment of picture size.
As you can see, there are a wide variety of types to the vehicles used. Some are obviously adapted buggies and others look to have been commercially produced. The last two Vermont carriers are interesting as they were both obviously home-made. The last picture is of a simple Storm-Front buggy that has had no modification at all.

According to some historians, the Post Office actually started limited rural service as early as 1870. However, this wasn't at all consistent throughout the country.

8E45E
04-18-2017, 07:43 PM
I'm sorry about some of these being so large.

Thanks for the excellent photos.

No reason to apologize. You will NEVER hear me complain about photos being to large, especially as all of us get older!!

Craig

LarkTruck
04-18-2017, 08:04 PM
You are correct. Rural Carriers used to be required to supply their own vehicle and were reimbursed via equipment maintenance allowance.

Jon, we Rural Carriers who are in lower level offices are STILL required to do so.
Jim

Scott
04-18-2017, 09:59 PM
Wow, Ron! I love those pictures! Just to make it more challenging, did Studebaker offer special harnesses or livery to the USPS? Maybe with specially designed hardware with USPS on it?

Sdude
04-19-2017, 08:11 PM
Jon, we Rural Carriers who are in lower level offices are STILL required to do so.
Jim

Not surprised. I have been retired for almost 11 years now and I know things are changing but not everywhere. Some of the carriers that worked for me didn't want to give up the EMA. I had a route that was about 120 miles a day. That was a lot of money. It was hard to hire subs though as they were only guaranteed 1 day per week and had to be on call for six days and provide a vehicle for a job that would tear it up. It's no wonder I was always hiring RR subs. Glad to see the company putting postal vehicles out there.

studeclunker
04-19-2017, 09:37 PM
Wow, Ron! I love those pictures! Just to make it more challenging, did Studebaker offer special harnesses or livery to the USPS? Maybe with specially designed hardware with USPS on it?

Scott, whilst I'm sure Studebaker provided harness to USPS I'm also pretty sure they didn't do any special hardware or embossing. Studebaker provided vehicles and harness to the US Army, Navy, and Marines without any special hardware or embossing that I know of. Usually the Military would stamp the leather with, 'Property of U.S... (Army, Navy, Marines, etc...) or Department of Defense. I know of several people who have WWI vintage vehicles and harness who still use the harness. That in and of itself is an amazing thing as the leather in those harness sets now are well over a hundred years old. Then again, Queenie uses harness that old and older all the time. It's amazing how long cow hide will last when properly cared for. But I degress... The military surplus harness I have seen has all been Studebaker and none of it was embossed or stamped by Studebaker. It has always been marked by the branch of Service that purchased it. Studebaker would provide any variety or style of harness required. However, I am not aware of any special castings of buckles or hardware for the military. Not to say it wasn't done, just that I'm not aware of it. Then again, military hardware, harness, and vehicles are not my specialty. I could ask my friend in Oregon who specializes in the military stuff. Most especially mule harness (which the Army had a LOT of). The Army LOVED mules... and so does he.

As to Livery, you do know this term refers to the clothing worn by the driver and his assistants? So, yes, USPS employees wear and have worn livery of sorts. However Studebaker didn't provide any Haberdashery services that I know of.

LarkTruck
04-20-2017, 09:57 AM
Not surprised. I have been retired for almost 11 years now and I know things are changing but not everywhere. Some of the carriers that worked for me didn't want to give up the EMA. I had a route that was about 120 miles a day. That was a lot of money. It was hard to hire subs though as they were only guaranteed 1 day per week and had to be on call for six days and provide a vehicle for a job that would tear it up. It's no wonder I was always hiring RR subs. Glad to see the company putting postal vehicles out there.

Jon,
You can be glad you are out! The Sub situation has not gotten any better, and now with Amazon deliveries, the Parcels are HUGE! Groceries, Dog Food, Toilet Paper and Diapers!!! Not to mention the Subs now have to work rotating Sundays to deliver Amazon. The good Subs we do have are quitting over that deal! And new applicants are not beating the door down to get in! As for providing a vehicle, after the "Cash For Clunkers" fiasco, trying to find a LHD with column shifter is almost impossible. The 80's era RHD Jeep Cherokees are drying up. I have a 1995 with 295K, and a 2000 with 150K. Hope I can make them last another 7-1/2 years!!!! Buying a new 4 door RHD Wrangler for 40k just to drive in the ditch all day is out of the question!
Sorry to take this thread off track!!!
Jim

Guido
04-20-2017, 11:59 AM
Back on topic, I went to high school with a guy whose dad was a mail carrier and used a Rural Router. As I recall, it went underwater in Hurricane Camille in 1969 and was later owned by Sam Miller and Frank Drumheller.

Scott
04-20-2017, 06:50 PM
I knew about the definition of livery, but I obviously confused it with something else. I'm not sure what term I'm thinking of. I was referring to working hardware and special paint and that sort of thing.