The Swing Shift Shuffle is a radio program of swing, big band, jazz, boogie woogie and other popular music from the 1930's and 40's that airs every Wednesday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. (US Central Time) on WEVL 89.9 FM in Memphis, Tennessee, with a live webcast at In addition to the radio show, this blog is dedicated to all aspects of the Swing Era, including art, automobiles, cartoons, comics, history, movies, music, news, science, technology, and anything else that happened during that time. It also includes announcements about events in the Memphis/Mid-South area related to the Swing Era, such as classic movies, concerts, dances, lectures, etc. If you see something that fits the description, send it to me at If you would like more information about the radio show, just go to the Radio Show FAQ page.

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. 

No comments: