Step Back in Time features news items from The Daily Star 25 and 50 years ago.
25 years ago
Jan. 18, 1988
About 20 truck enthusiasts gathered in Davenport Sunday to swap stories and discuss refurbishing efforts and abandoned truck sightings.
“It’s just a large hobby,” quipped one of the members of the local chapter of the American Truck Historical Society.
Robert Hunt of Hansen Road in Davenport, a member of the society, now owns the truck he worked on 20 years ago. The 1947 Reo farm truck from Fremont Center sits at Hunt’s house alongside an antique fire truck covered for the winter.
He and other members of the society’s local chapter shared ideas on learning new information about the origin and development of the trucking industry. They discussed refurbishing efforts and noted abandoned truck sightings, as well as locations of antique truck parts and artifacts.
The American Truck Historical Society has over 8,000 members across the nation and in other countries. The organization, which is based in Birmingham, Ala., preserves the history of trucks, the trucking industry and its pioneers.
Regional Vice President for the society, Thomas Evans, said he finds the first forms of transcontinental trucking most interesting. He said the first commercial shipment across the United States was a load of soap.
The president of the local chapter, Bob Messersmith, owns about 20 trucks the size of tractor-trailers and seven fire trucks. The oldest one he has is a 1929 American-La France which originally carried fire ladders.
“We’re trying to promote the image of trucking,” said Messersmith. He said many trucks are better preserved than automobiles because they have been used to make a living.
50 years ago
Jan. 18, 1963
ALBANY (AP) — No early break is in sight from the numbing cold that moved into the state and sent temperatures plunging to 34 below zero Wednesday.