Thursday, June 11, 2015
Teddy, The Firestone Champion Steer
Ask Vance posted this item from the old Memphis Press-Scimitar about Teddy, the 1944 Firestone Grand Champion Steer. I was particularly interested in the van, and what a tire company wanted with champion bulls, so I did a little research. It appears Firestone had a history of buying champion steers going back to 1938. The company would send them on tours to agricultural colleges around the country to show what a champion steer should look like, and what America's 4-H youth could produce. The fact that Firestone produced tractor tires might explain the connection, especially since both food and rubber were strictly rationed during WWII, and tractor tires might have been considered a vital civilian use, so farmers might have been one of the few non-governmental markets left to tire companies. Even if that was not the case, many manufacturers kept advertising throughout the war to keep their name in front of the public, even if the public could not buy the rationed product easily. Unfortunately, I have found little information about the van, other than it (or similar vehicles) transported other champion steers.