1939 Mack BM and 1937 Fruehauf Trailer
In the collection of The Keystone Museum
The Keystone museum and Keith Jones, acquired this restored truck and trailer from the Overland, Kansas headquarters, when YRC was renovating their offices. An exterior wall needed to be removed to permit the trailers to be moved.
In 1929, A.J. Harrell determined that the color of the Swamp Holly Orange would be most visible from the greatest distance. Swamp Holly Orange became the color used on all company tractors.
In 1906, Grover Cleveland “Cleve” Harrell (1884-1942) started what was to become the Yellow Cab Company with a horse-drawn hack and a team of horses in Oklahoma City. After a year, he bought a Model T Ford. In 1918, Harrell painted one of his cars yellow. Although ridiculed by other cab drivers, he was hauling more passengers than anyone else, so he painted all his cars yellow and business boomed. Harrell trademarked the name Yellow Cab in Oklahoma. Later, John Hertz copied the Yellow Cab in Chicago and obtained the national trademark for the use of the name.
When oil was discovered in the Oklahoma City area, mules were needed for work in digging slush pits, so the Harrell brothers bought mules and, in 1929, established the Yellow Transit Freight Lines to serve small manufacturers for whom freight was slow and express rates were prohibitive.
About this time, the Harrell brothers dissolved the partnership. A.J. took control of the freight lines, which he operated for many years. The company remained small until 1952, when an ownership group led by George E. Powell Sr. bought the freight company. During this time, Yellow helped pioneer the concept of consolidating small freight shipments into trailer loads, an idea pioneered by the Fruehauf Trailer Company. Fruehauf’s age old sales pitch involved companies using, what Fruehauf called, “the shuttle system.” They calculated great cost savings to trailer customers when multiple trailers were employed in haulage simultaneously.
In December 2003 Yellow Corp. acquired Roadway Corp. for $1.05 billion, forming Yellow Roadway Corporation or YRC.
The advancement of transportation accelerated the economic growth of all industries in the industrial booming United States. The Fruehauf Trailer Company contributed to the advancement of American industry.
Ruth Ann Fruehauf and Darlene Norman have dedicated hard work, determination and intuition to bringing this project to life. This is the ongoing investigation and reporting of their efforts.
Click on the names above for biographical information on our authors.
We are Social
An organization dedicated to the preservation of the history of Fruehauf Trailer Company and the Fruehauf family legacy.
The society has created historical books and a traveling exhibit rich with Fruehauf memorabilia and archival materials. Our next book, “Fruehauf, the First Name in Transportation” an in-depth analysis of the company’s history will be published soon.
Copyright © 2013 -20 by
Ruth A. Fruehauf and Darlene Norman.
All rights reserved.
The Fruehauf Trailer
PO Box 5008-164
Mariposa, CA 95338