The Craftsman's Autocar Delivery Truck

 “Our Autocar carries Craftsman furniture to every part of the District. It handles both city and suburban deliveries excellently and gives us faultless service.”

With those words, on March 21, 1916 in a Washington Times advertisement, Gustav Stickley proclaimed his pleasure with the utility of the Autocar delivery truck used to deliver furniture to patrons of his Washington, D.C. store.

 In the case of Stickley’s delivery truck, history has opened her archives and painted a very clear picture. Here’s what we have discovered about The Craftsman’s Autocar Delivery truck:

  • The truck’s cost: From the Winterthur collection of Stickley business records we know that on April 17, 1913 a purchase of $2,240.00 was made from the Autocar Sales Co. for the Washington Store.

  • The truck’s characteristics: From the Schedule of Personal Property (for fiscal year 1914-1915), filed with The District of Columbia’s Office of the Assessor we learned that The Craftsman store had one 1913 Autocar, gasoline powered, 2 cylinder, 30 horsepower vehicle valued at $1,000.00.

  • The License number: From the April 13, 1913 Sunday Star we know that the District issued license 16443 to Gustav Stickley, Jr. of 1512 H Street, NW.

  • Where it was serviced: From the list of Stickley’s “unsecured creditor claims” filed in the bankruptcy suite there is an outstanding amount of $14.40 owed to the Autocar Sales & Services Co. of Baltimore for Truck repairs performed in 1914-1915.

  • Who & possible, Where it was stored: From the “unsecured creditor claims” list we also know Stickley owed $65.64 to Chas. E. Klopper of 1112 18th Street, NW for truck storage.

We’ve also discovered, that despite having a delivery truck, it likely was not the only means by which The Craftsman store delivered purchases. From the list of unsecured creditor claims we also learn that the store utilized the delivery services of the District Transfer Co. and Kriegs Express. 

The various documents cited in this post can be viewed here.