Pep Boys - June 9, 2014

Veteran visitors of the American Treasure Tour will almost certainly agree that our collection is ... different.  Across the board.  While it is dominated by the automatic musical machines and the classic cars, there are certainly many hundreds - most certainly thousands - of other pieces here that will trigger long-forgotten memories.  There are also artifacts here for businesses that continue to remain popular.

Today, we would like to talk a little bit about the Pep Boys.  A large statue of Manny, Moe and Jack welcomes tram riders as they enter the antique car room.  Established in 1921 by four friends - Emanuel "Manny" Rosenfeld, Maurice "Moe" Strauss, Graham "Jack" Jackson and Moe Radavitz (with Radavitz bowing out two years later) - Pep Auto Supplies named themselves after Pep Valve grinding compound.  The moniker "Pep Boys" was given to them by a local policeman, who directed night-time drivers to go to "the boys at Pep" to buy oil wicks for their cars when their headlights were out.  So began a Philadelphia-based institution that has expanded into 35 states and the territory of Puerto Rico.  

QUESTION:  In what year was the first non-founding family member of the Pep Boys promoted to the position of company president?

a)  1946

b)  1959

c)  1986

d)  2013

Answer Below

HISTORY TODAY:

On this day in 1732, Britisher James Oglethorpe received a charter from King George to start his own colony in North America.  That colony, named Georgia after the king, would be regarded as a buffer between Spanish Florida and the British Carolinas.  It would also be the only American colony to rebel against British rule in 1776 whose proprietor (or creator) would be alive to see it become independent.

The Cold War dominated the 1950s.  For some, this was an opportunity to exploit American fears to further their own private ambitions.  One such person was Joseph McCarthy, a Wisconsin-based Senator.  McCarthy's name became forever associated with Communist witch hunts, accusing people of ties to the enemy.  Regardless of the legitimacy of these claims, many careers were ruined.  On this day in 1954, McCarthy's ambitions turned against the U.S. Army.  A big mistake.  Finally, he had gone too far, and in a special hearing his reputation was effectively destroyed.

BIRTHDAYS:

Born in England in 1768, Samuel Slater was apprenticed to a mill owner during the Industrial Revolution at a time when British business owners were extremely secretive with the technology behind their mills.  Slater memorized their mills, then recreated British mills in the young United States, effectively starting a new, different type of revolution in America. Condemned as a traitor to England, he was hailed as a hero to Americans.  

A talent entered the world today in 1891 whose influence on music is still strongly felt.  His name was Cole Porter.  Born in Peru, Indiana to wealthy parents, Porter spent many years travelling the world and enjoying himself.  He wrote his first hit musical at the age of 36, called Paris, and never looked back.  Many of the songs he wrote over the next few decades remain popular today:  "Night and Day," "You're the Top," "I Get a Kick Out of You," and too many more to list here.  Happy birthday, Cole.  And thanks for the music!

QUOTE:  All the world loves a clown. - Cole Porter

Answer:  c)  1986.  In 1946, Pep Boys went public, and Manny became the first corporate president. He died in 1959, and the next year Moe took over.  When Mitch Liebovitz replaced him in 1986, he became the first non-founding president.