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Fageol Motors Co.: 1918

Fageol Motors Co.: 1918

July 1918. "Fageol Motors truck factory front office. Oakland, California." While waiting for your meeting with Mr. Fort, please feel free to browse our wide selection of trade journals. (In this week's Canadian Countryman: "Haying Time Again.") 8x10 glass negative by the Cheney Photo Advertising Co. View full size.


Office manager

Frederick John Wuepper, born 1892 in Michigan, was the office manager for Fageol Motors when he registered for the WW1 draft on June 5, 1917. His business address was 13714 San Pablo Avenue.

Re: Say Cheese!

Not noticing the camera? My very first thought when looking at this photo was actually somewhat the opposite. I'm sure that this exposure took at least a second, maybe even two or three, and I was impressed that the photographer was able to get everyone's attention and have them all comply with "whatever you are doing at this moment, do not move the slightest bit until I tell you!"

BTW, that looks like a Christopher Helin photo on the back wall. How cool would it be to have it show up on Shorpy?! Or maybe it already has...

A hive of activity

All staff (pretending to be) busy except one looking rather sullenly at the camera as if he has been caught out.

Sales manager

Our Mr Fort is James H Fort, born in New York in 1887 to English parents. He is the Sales Manager of Fageol Motors Co. in the 1920 US Census. In the 1930 census, he is a Vice President in the Motor Industry.

Fast forward to 1950

This caught my eye (with links about the history of the company in the text):

Hat indoors

People nowadays wear their stupid hats everywhere, indoors and out, but what's with that guy on the far right?

Say Cheese!

You've got this entire room full of people but only the guy sitting in the back at the far right is noticing the camera. Too bad, too, as the girl at the counter probably didn't have much trouble getting looks from the men.

A question that must be asked

As I survey these purposeful and professional Oakland-area employees, I have to wonder: "What kind of drivers were they?"

Over There

July 1918 and the American Expeditionary Forces led by Gen. John 'Black Jack' Pershing were in Europe. Judging by the service banner, eight Fageol Motors employees had joined up to help fight the good fight as well.

Early voice recorder

Thomas Edison dictaphone in use.

[Almost. The Edison device is an Ediphone; the Dictaphone was made by Columbia. - Dave]


Mr. Wuepper seems a bit young to be manning the Comptometer at such an operation.

(Sorry, couldn't resist.)

Also in the magazine rack

Automotive Industries, first published in 1895, and still around today.

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