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The Historical Record

photo[66]I love history. And I love cars and trucks. And airplanes. And boats. And tractors. So it’s pretty easy for me to appreciate an antique vehicle given the context of its times.

If you follow me on Twitter (And you should: @jackrobertsccj ) you know I’ve recently raided the CCJ archives and produced several historical photo galleries looking back at the trucking industry over the past century.

CCJ was founded in 1911. So the magazine’s birth coincided with trucking’s. And it seemed like such a shame to have 103 years worth of past issues archived here in the office not being used in any way.

So, the photo galleries were born; three of them so far. Originally, I was going to look back at different decades ending in the number four. It seemed like a logical way to go about things. Hence the first gallery was from 1914, which you can visit here.

Next, I thought I’d go for more flash, and went with Trucking in 1974. That gallery proved to be so popular I tossed my pretend rulebook out the window and went straight to 1977 – perhaps THE pinnacle year for trucking as a cool, pop culture icon.

The ads I chose to spotlight in the galleries get the nod for a variety of reasons. Mostly because they are such perfect time capsules looking back into the past: hairstyles, fashion, sexism all the way up to vehicle styles and technology all can give us a chuckle. Sometimes the stories can be poignant: In 1914 the tank hadn’t been invented yet. But CCJ published an article on new armored trucks serving in European armies. A quick check of the publication date revealed that World War I broke out a month after that story ran. It was a war that many historians cite with ushering in the Modern Age. It was also a war that proved the legitimacy and worth of motorized vehicles in general, and trucks in particular.

More galleries will be coming as the year progresses. They’re just too much fun and there’s just too much good stuff waiting in the archives to keep it all hidden.

If you have a special year, decade or make/model of truck you’d like to see profiled, shoot me a Tweet and let me know. I’ll be glad to see what I can do.

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