TKO Graphix is not a trucking or logistics company, but a lot of our customers are. Nancy Jarial, TKO’s Marketing Director, is the editor for the Indy Traffic Club, which has been active in transportation for over 100 years. Last winter, she shared a Traffic Club newsletter promoting their Annual Dinner event from the 1920’s. Some of it seemed quaint, such as the low prices, and cigarettes included on the menu as part of the meal, but much of it was familiar. I believe times change, but people …not so much. It caused me to wonder — what was happening in America and the American trucking industry 100 years ago?

One Hundred Years Ago — 1912

• Unemployment was 4.6%
• Woodrow Wilson was elected President
• The Titanic sank on its maiden voyage
22,000 trucks were produced in the U.S.A.
• The federal government had regulated rail freight rates in the 1800’s, which now applied to trucking
• The Diesel engine Rudolph Diesel Patented in 1894 was being used in trucks
• Loading and shipping goods in large containers was becoming popular
• In two years, truck production would increase tremendously due to their successful use in WWI.
• Gas and diesel fuel was about 10¢ per gallon and by the 1930’s had only increased to 17¢ per gallon
• Yearly average income was $1033, but a pound of bacon was 24¢
• New Mexico and Arizona were admitted as states

The world was different in 1912, but by how much? On the surface, the differences seem wide. A century ago, folks didn’t have the modern conveniences we rely upon today, but people were still people with dreams, hopes, desires, and loved ones. Maybe our ancestors weren’t so different. Now… where can I get that 17¢ per gallon fuel and 24¢ per pound bacon?

For additional trucking historical information, check out The American Truck Historical Society, and if we can help with your truck graphics or vehicle graphics needs, feel free to contact us for a free quote.

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