Replacing Old Dobbin With a Delivery Truck

The advent of cars radically changed personal and professional transportation for Nebraskans. The 1911 Nebraska State Journal cheered this revolution with an article about all the good that would come from it.

The advent of the horseless carriage revolutionized personal transportation for Nebraskans. The elimination of living, breathing horsepower similarly transformed the delivery business. A 1911 Nebraska State Journal article hailed the delivery truck as the great wave of the future, and listed numerous advantages over old dobbin.

A number of firms have now abandoned the horse as a factor in the delivery business and have now purchased auto delivery vehicles. The auto truck, to transport heavier material, has come into use. It is the belief of merchants and automobile men that the number will constantly increase. “Charles E. Stone gave some interesting figures to show how great would be the saving by the general adoption of trucks in place of horses.

A horse delivery wagon on the streets has an overall length of about 18 feet and occupies 90 square feet of area. To stable this outfit requires about 144 square feet. On the other hand, the motor wagon of like carrying capacity will average an overall length of about 10 feet or 60 square feet of area, whether on the street or in the stable, a saving of one-third on the street and 60 per cent in the stable, where high rental is considered.

In New York over 140,000 horses are used in daily trucking. Were this army of quadrupeds harnessed tandem fashion to a vehicle the first animal would be entering the city of Worcester, Mass., or Scranton, Pa., before the wheels of the vehicle to which they were harnessed started to turn out of New York City.

Probably the majority of these horses could be entirely dispensed with by a substitution of the motor vehicle. What such an elimination of the horse and its co-partner, the fly, would mean to the health of the community is almost beyond record, and the enormous saving to the taxpayer only the political powers can tell.

While these figures show a very decided saving for the motor as against the horse, we must consider the fact that with increased speed the motor vehicle is capable of more miles per day of travel, and as conservative estimates show that it is doing two-and-a-half times the work of the horse, there would be a saving of street space of no less than 73 percent. The same amount of work could be done with only about one-quarter of the street congestion, and four times the present volume of traffic could be accommodated.

Become a Member!

Our members make history happen.

Join Now

You May Also Enjoy

Recent Archeological Work at Ft. Atkinson

Recent Archeological Work at Ft. Atkinson

Willie Nelson FarmAid Concert

Willie Nelson FarmAid Concert

Marker Monday: Nehawka Flint Quarries

Marker Monday: Nehawka Flint Quarries

About History Nebraska
History Nebraska was founded in 1878 as the Nebraska State Historical Society by citizens who recognized Nebraska was going through great changes and they sought to record the stories of both indigenous and immigrant peoples. It was designated a state institution and began receiving funds from the legislature in 1883. Legislation in 1994 changed History Nebraska from a state institution to a state agency. The division is headed by Interim Director and CEO Jill Dolberg. They are assisted by an administrative staff responsible for financial and personnel functions, museum store services, security, and facilities maintenance for History Nebraska.
Explore Nebraska
Discover the real places and people of our past at these History Nebraska sites.

Upcoming Events

View our new and upcoming events to see how you can get involved.

Become a Member

The work we do to discover, preserve, and share Nebraska's history wouldn't be possible without the support of History Nebraska members.

Latest Hall of Fame Inductee

The Nebraska Hall of Fame was established in 1961 to officially recognize prominent Nebraskans.

Become a Member

The work we do to discover, preserve, and share Nebraska's history wouldn't be possible without the support of History Nebraska members.
Nebraska Collections

History Nebraska's mission is to collect, preserve, and open our shared history to all Nebraskans.

Our YouTube Video Collection

Get a closer look at Nebraska's history through your own eyes, with our extensive video collections.

Additional Research Resources

History Nebraska Research and Reference Services help connect you to the material we collect and preserve.

Support History Nebraska
Make a cash donation to help us acquire, preserve, and interpret Nebraska’s history. Gifts to History Nebraska help leave a legacy and may help your taxes, too! Support the work of History Nebraska by donating to the History Nebraska Foundation today.

Volunteers are the heroes of History Nebraska. So much history, so little time! Your work helps us share access to Nebraska’s stories at our museums and sites, the reference room, and online.