The Six-Horse Team – Greenfield Massachusetts (1922)

This postcard relates to the advertising strategy of Wilson & Company, once one of the largest corporations in the US.

The company began as the Swartzchild and Sulzberger slaughterhouse in New York City and expanded to Kansas City in 1893.

The rapid opening of meat-packing operations in other cities during the early 20th century led to financial crisis, and control of the company passed to new owners and consolidation in Chicago in 1916.

Renamed “Wilson & Company”, the firm grew to became (with Armour and Swift) one of the meat-packing companies that exercised a monopoly over the Union Stockyards of Chicago and one of the largest meat-suppliers in the US.

This postcard drawing shows the six-horse Clydesdale team that was used to advertise the company.

Like the Anheuser Busch Company, Wilson & Company projected an image of swift and powerful delivery by horses.

(Interestingly, Wilson Sporting Goods was an offshoot of the original company – my first tennis racket was made by Wilson).

Wilson & Company was swallowed up by a huge holding company in the 1960’s, and the firm no longer exists.

This postcard greeting was sent to Mr. Norman Allen in December of 1922.

Norman lived in Starlight, a village in the very northeast tip of Pennsylvania.

The village was once a depot on the Scranton line of the “New York, Ontario, and Western Railway”.

The reverse of the postcard contains the Christmas and New Year greeting of Norman’s cousin, W. D. Kingsbury.

Mr. Kingsbury lived in Greenfield, a city in northwest Massachusetts – not far from Springfield.

In 1922, mills still operated on the Green River and the Deerfield rivers in Greenfield.

After the holiday greetings, Mr. Kingsbury expresses his admiration for the six-horse team.

He writes, “How is this for a horse hitch”, and adds, “the finest hitch that I ever saw”.

One hopes that Norman and his cousin enjoyed the holiday season of 1922.


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