Wednesday, September 11, 2013

1933 Pocket Schedule

This pocket schedule invited fans to follow their Brewers in the 1933 season. It is a single piece of goldenrod cardstock with two-color print in a dramatic black and red.

In 1933, Brewer highlights could be found on WTMJ. The Milwaukee Journal's station would lose them to WISN (no later than 1937), and they in turn would be replaced by WEMP as the home for Brewers play-by-play by 1948. WEMP would retain the rights through 1952, the Brewers' final season.

On the back, an ad for motor oil:

Wadham's Oil Company was a an oil and gasoline company based in the Cream City in the early 20th Century.

In 1916, gas stations as we now know them were in their infancy. The first drive-up gas station in the United States had opened just three years earlier in Pittsburgh. Wadham's recognized an opportunity and decided to enter that new market, realizing that it could sell its product directly to the public through a series of roadside filling stations.

Their first station opened the following year, and by 1930 Wadham's had over one hundred custom-built stations throughout metro Milwaukee. As this 1934 ad tells us, every fourth car in Milwaukee filled up at a Wadham's pump:

The Wadham's service stations themselves were an early exercise in buildings-as-branding. Designed by Milwaukee architect Alexander C. Eschweiler, the stations were decorated in the Japonist style, topped with red stamped-metal and tile pagoda roofs. The buildings themselves served as advertisements for the stations, selling a sense of Eastern romance and adventure to passing motorists.

Wadham's was purchased Vacuum Oil Company in 1930, which was then acquired by Socony, which later became known as Mobil. Many of the distinctive Wadham's buildings are still found around the city, repurposed and preserved to various degrees.

Wadham's stations were decorated in a trademark red, black and gold color scheme, which might account for the printing on this card.

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