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Treasury Truck: 1925

Treasury Truck: 1925

Washington, D.C., circa 1925. "Graham Bros. truck at Treasury -- Gen. Serp Corn." Which is how some overworked archivist at the Library of Congress has transcribed the label on this glass plate. National Photo Co. View full size.


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

Without Ostentation

Washington Post, May 10, 1925.

Rank First in Sales in 1½-Ton Trucks

Official figures from Detroit for the first quarter of 1925 show that Graham Bros. rank first in the world in the production and sale of 1½-ton trucks. In the 1-ton and 1½-ton truck fields combined they were surpassed in volume only by Ford.

“The information may be surprising to the general public,” said Raphael Semmes, local Dodge Bros. dealer, “but not to us nor to those who are familiar with the performance of Graham Bros. trucks and with their rapid ascendancy in the industry during the last three years. Their advance has been without ostentation. There has been no blare of trumpets, no exaggerated claim. It has been a steady, wholesome growth, based entirely upon the trucks' performance.”

Less than three years ago Graham Brothers were in twentieth position. Now they are manufacturing trucks at the rate of over 100 a day, marketing their entire output through Dodge Brothers dealers. …

Graham Brothers , Dodge, & Chrysler

Graham Brothers was not bought by Dodge until October 6, 1925, but even after that date the large trucks were still labeled as Graham Brothers (look at the hub caps). The underslung rear spare tire carrier indicates that this truck was built after June 23, 1925. Firsts for these models included all steel construction, crank operated windows, automatic windshield wipers, and a tray for manuals, books, etc. above the windshield.

The Treasury Department truck cost about $1600 in 1925. Adjusted for inflation the cost today would be about $21,500 (MSRP of a base 2013 Dodge Ram pickup is about $23,500). The 1 1/2 ton truck had a wheelbase of 158 inches which allowed a full 12 feet X 5 feet of storage space in the bed.

The stake sides are properly engaged. The rear-most section of stakes is warped/not square. Notice how the posts for this section are leaning to the right, and that there is a gap between the center section and the rear section of stakes (with a wider gap at the top than the bottom).

The design of the sides is such that the center section can be lifted out while leaving the other side pieces in place. This permits loading and unloading from the side of the vehicle which was a common practice in the day - especially in narrow alleyways.

As for the driver, you might be a little disgruntled too if everyone was telling you where to go every day.

Rag top commercial truck?

There are not many folks alive today that can say they remember that!! And how about the spare RIM in the tube or tire, but at least the guy has a rim to ride on should one of his rims crack!

Wanna Buy a Truck?

My guess is that this is the new Dodge Brothers version of the Graham, and this photo was basically an ad to sell Graham trucks, possibly sent out in the form of a press release.
"Ray, Joseph and Robert Graham were born into an Indian farm family. They got their start in the auto industry by converting Ford cars into one-ton express or stake trucks using a rear axle of their own design. They soon graduated to the manufacture of truck bodies for passenger car chassis and were offering their own line of trucks by 1920. Their success attracted the Dodge Brothers who were looking to enter the truck market. Through a deal signed in 1921, the Grahams built trucks solely wîth Dodge engines and drive trains, for sale exclusively through the Dodge dealer network.--

Source - AACA Museum

Impressive and unimpressive

It looks good, but, no spare tire - just a rim? Also, look at that wimpy driveshaft, but then I'll bet it's solid, rather than tubular. A lot of wood there, especially the risers for the stake bed, atop the frame. No rust worries, just rot worries. And, you'd be disgruntled, too, if you had to drive a truck with a non-synchro gearbox.


Then as now, your tax dollars at work -- brand-new and super shiny, looking like a $50K restoration from an automotive reality show on cable. (Even the leaf springs are perky!) A real treat, complete with an authentic accessory -- a disgruntled and uninterested government contractor behind the wheel.

Good enough for government work?

Not much to talk about here except that the driver did a poor job of affixing the stake sides (see left rear; the hooks are not properly engaged).

General Shorpy

That truck is calling out to be reassigned to the General Shorpy Committee! Is there a sign painter in the house?

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