Wells Fargo 1852, more than just a Bank

Wells Fargo 1852, more than just a Bank

When you think of Wells Fargo Bank, you think of a financial institute, but have you ever thought there might have been more to this company than just banking? Like, the largest transportation company in the world?

On March 18, 1852, Wells Fargo’s Henry Wells and William Fargo, and other investors, met in New York, where they signed articles of association to open a business in San Francisco and Sacramento as Wells Fargo and Company banking to begin on July 18, 1852. Wells Fargo provided financial services to pioneer miners, merchants and ranchers in the West. It wasn’t long after going into business; the company opened other offices in mining camps, towns and cities that were in need of their services. By the end of 1918 there were more than 10,000 offices across the country.

As if banking wasn’t enough for this newly vested company, knowing that America was a growing country, they knew they needed to prepare for the future. As the banking industry was growing in 1858, and offices were beginning to pop up across the country, the one thing still not in place was a source of transportation in order to handle financial transactions by the fastest means possible. At the time, these transactions were moving by steam and sailing ships, railroads, Pony Express, and what all of us have read about, the stagecoach.

Since Wells Fargo and Co. was dependant on carriers to handle their transportation needs during their early beginnings, soon they would develop their own reliable transportation across the continent. It wasn’t long before Wells Fargo became the largest stagecoach transportation company in the world.

In 1858, Wells Fargo, teamed up with other express companies to finance the Overland Mail Company. Named after their president John Butterfield, the Butterfield Line scheduled to run twice-weekly, moving passengers and mail service between St. Louis and San Francisco. The route was long, covering 2,757 miles of open land; Wells Fargo surveyed the route traveling through Fort Worth, El Paso, Tucson, and Los Angeles.

Working hard to keep up with the times and the growing of financial wealth, the Overland Mail Company rolled night and day stopping only to change horses and for their employees, to grab quick meals consisting of coffee, jerky and biscuits. Their travels had them on the road for 25 days, from departure locations in Missouri and California, encountering some pretty tough terrain made up of treeless plains, jagged mountains and scorching deserts. The dedicated employees made sure that the coaches and their contents arrived safely at the destinations.

During this era, these stagecoaches were built high and wide in order to handle the rough, rutted roads of a new country. This classic American vehicle was engineered in Concord, New Hampshire, by carriage builder J. Stephens Abbot and master wheelwright Lewis Downing for Wells Fargo & Co.

strong box

strong box

As any engineer of vehicles, you must take into consideration the terrain, weather conditions and the type of contents to be transported so that you can develop a well built product. These stagecoaches were made of curved frames to give strength to the body and a little extra elbow room for its passengers. Once the body was mastered, a great deal of thought went into the wheels which would carry it for miles and be able to stand up to decades of drenching mountain storms and parching desert heat. What made these coaches unique was not a steel spring suspension that we know today, but leather thoroughbraces made out of bullhide. This arrangement spared the horses from jarring and gave the stagecoach a (sometimes) more gentle rocking motion, leading Mark Twain to call it, “An imposing cradle on wheels” (Roughing It, 1870).

If you think these coaches were light in weight, how about weighing 2,500 pounds? At a cost of $1,100 each, they included leather and damask cloth interiors. Wells Fargo to this day still displays these coaches proudly during parades and in their History Museums across the country.

Wells Fargo & Co. also played another very important part in history; the capturing of Black Bart. The stagecoaches carried the famous Wells Fargo green treasure boxes, securing gold dust, gold bars, gold coins, legal papers and money drafts, which were stored underneath the driver’s seat. These boxes weighed as much as 150 lbs., making them sturdy and secure. They were made out of Ponderosa pine, oak and iron. They were highly sought after by highway bandits.

Not every strong box required an armed guard. Only the real security treasures were accompanied by a Wells Fargo shotgun messenger. These were the kind of men you could depend on. Those brave enough to try to steal these treasure boxes while in route, would find themselves staring down a double barrel shotgun. According to legend, that possibly could have included Wyatt Earp himself.

Black Bart

Black Bart

The Infamous Black Bart, a masked highwayman who was responsible for robbing 27 stagecoaches owned by Wells Fargo and other transportation companies, was finally apprehended by Wells Fargo’s detectives. He served four years in San Quentin Prison and then disappeared forever, without a trace.

So the next time you enter a Wells Fargo bank and see the picture of a stagecoach on their walls, you will have a better understanding of its history; that at one time. it was more than just a bank, it was the biggest transportation company in the world.

Photo reference: Wells Fargo Bank, Inc.


Check Fluids

Things you should ALWAYS do for your Automobile!

Things you should ALWAYS do!

As car owners, we sometimes are not familiar with the dos and the don’ts of our automobiles, have no fear, maybe the following can help.

1. Never take your vehicle for granted, it depends on car owners to care for them, so make sure to do your weekly checks to insure a safe ride. Check your tire pressure, check under the hood for leaks, check your wiper fluid, check your spare tire for proper inflation, check your tire wear and check your oil with the engine off.

2. When fueling your vehicle, make sure to secure the fuel cap after fueling. If it is not secure, the sensor will activate the check engine light since fuel systems need to be a sealed system.

3. Walk around your vehicle at least once a week to insure no damage has occurred without your knowledge. Those shopping cars can end up hitting your car without you knowing causing the paint to chip and possible rust in time. Catching it early can allow you to give it a little touch up. If your fingernails became chipped, a definite touch up is in order.

4. Use the recommended grade of gasoline or diesel recommended by the dealer. Lower octane can cause premature failure of your engine and even power fuel mileage. Read your owner’s manual to determine this.

5. Schedule to have your timing belt replaced on most vehicles at 60,000 miles. Again, your owner’s manual is a great resource for this information. Some vehicles can go as far as 90,000. Failure to do so can cause the belt to break which can bend exhaust or intake valves and in turn means an engine overhaul. A preventable cost.

6. Rotate your tires regularly. This will allow your tires to go its full life expectancy.tire

7. Make sure to have your brake fluid replaced during your regular intervals. Brake fluid will fail after a long extended use causing brakes to lock up or fail. This could be deadly. Check your owner’s manual.

8. Check often to see if your Registration sticker is still on your license plate. Thieves love to steal them to place on their own vehicle in order not to register their car. When replacing the new sticker, ALWAYS remove the old stickers with a razor blade. This will prevent it from being stolen.

9. Check your anti freeze effectiveness monthly to make sure that it has the full protection needed. Anti freeze test stripes are a fast and easy way of doing this. “Caution”, Make sure the vehicle engine is cold. The cooling system creates pressure and can cause severe burns if opened under pressure. First thing in the morning is a great time to perform this check.Prestone anti freeze

10. Check regular to see that your registration and insurance forms are in the vehicle. Getting pulled over is not the time to find out you forgot to replace your insurance card with the new one that arrived days ago. Place them together makes it quick access. Use a plastic bag to keep them safe and dry.

11. Check your lights weekly. Making sure your headlights and brake lights are in good working order. If your brake lights are not activating, being rear ended is a possibility.

Do People Faint When They See Your Paint?

Do People Faint When They See Your Paint?

Caring for your vehicle’s paint is as important as keeping your skin looking young and moisturized. It is one of the single most important lessons to learn about ownership, regardless of the vehicle’s age. Your car’s paint job takes a beating in all types of weather conditions, and without proper care, bringing it back to life is expensive.

Learning the proper care and maintenance of the exterior finish by knowing the correct products to use and when to use them, will add years of life and luster to your car’s paint.

If you think this can be accomplished in a matter of minutes, think again. Washing then applying a good coat of wax or polish, will take a good part of your day. So plan accordingly. Putting this off, only allows the paint to lose its luster.

Here are some guidelines to live by.

1. Begin the process by giving your car a good washing with the proper tools. Start with a paint-safe microfiber washing mit, a clean 5 gallon bucket and specifically designed cleaning products for automotive finishes. I use “Adam’s Polishes,” but other products on the market are “Meguiar’s” and “Mothers®.” These companies offer products that are non-detergent formulas that won’t remove wax, and they are combined with lubrication to prevent scratching and help maintain the shine. After all, you don’t want people to faint when they see your paint.Adams 3 waxes

2. How often have you observed car owners who frequent car washes only to drive away with the water still dripping off of the car’s finish? A rule of thumb is never skip drying. Drying your car after washing helps to prevent water spotting. Did you know that those ugly mineral deposits that have an outline of a drop of water will etch into the car’s paint?

3. It is recommended that you use a 100% cotton detailing cloth or sheepskin chamois on your car. Other types of fabric could scratch your car’s paint surface. If you are into more high-tech material, then go for those super absorbent, lint free drying towels. I recommend using “Adam’s Polishes Great White Microfiber Drying Towels.”

4. Your paint is still looking dull! If this is the stage your vehicle’s paint is in, then you have one problem with three solutions. When your paint becomes dull, it is due to oxidization. The cure is either giving the paint a good polishing, using a cleaner, or applying rubbing compound. All three are effective depending on the stage your car’s paint is in. Since polishing is non aggressive, it will remove the least amount of paint per application. On the other hand, rubbing compounds remove the most, and cleaners land somewhere in the middle. I would recommend applying a good polish and if this does not do the trick, then move on to a more aggressive approach; a cleaner or rubbing compound. “Adam’s Polishes,” offer a variety of products from detail spray, to easy to use waxes, that will bring your paint from drab to fab.

5. The final step. Giving your car a good waxing is the most important phase in protecting your car’s paint. Waxing is a MUST if you used a polish or cleaner, and if your car lives outside in the elements. Waxing should be done a few times a year to help keep the luster. In between waxing, apply “Quick Detail,” or “Wax as U Dry.” Both are excellent products to keep your car’s paint alive.

Here are a few tips,

· Always wash your car in the cool of the day or in a shaded area.

· Wet your car prior to washing to help remove dirt and other contaminants that can scratch your car if you begin washing with a sponge,

· Work in sections so the car wash soap doesn’t dry before you have time to rinse it off.

· Dry your car as soon as possible and use a water spray wax.

· Be sure to wipe the door jams so that dirt and dust doesn’t have a chance to work its way into the interior.

Automobile TV Commericals of Yester Year.

Do you have passion for Automobiles of yester year? If you like the 1958 Chevrolet, here is a commerical when the 1958 Impala was first introduced to include other vehicles of that year. Did you know that General Motors hooked up with United Motors? They produced parts for GM in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Watch how they manufactured batteries, Delco Remy parts dealers. Do you know what motoramic Chevrolet means? Watch the introduction of the 1955 Chevy Bel Air and much more. Below is the history of United Motors.


United Motors Division

Billy Durant incorporated United Motors in 1916 to consolidate his acquisitions of several small automotive component and accessory manufacturing companies: Hyatt Roller Bearing Company(antifriction roller bearings), New Departure Manufacturing Company (ball bearings), Remy Electric Company (electrical starting, lighting, and ignition equipment), Dayton Engineering Laboratories Company, known as DELCO (electrical equipment), and the Penman Rim Corporation.

Durant appointed Alfred Sloan, who had been president of Hyatt, as president of United Motors. Sloan subsequentley led the aquisitions of Harrison Radiator and Klaxon Horn, and organized United Motors Service to sell and service the entire line of products nationwide.

United Motors was originally independent of General Motors, selling to all manufacturers until 1918, when the company was acquired by General Motors. United Motors continued to operate essentially as it had before, but was now a division of GM, with all of its production devoted to GM’s brands. Alfred Sloan continued as the division manager, which carried with it a GM vice-president title and a position on the GM board.

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Two-Wheeled Tragedies are Preventable

Bike share the roadTwo-Wheeled Tragedies are Preventable

The weather in our region has been unseasonably comfortable in these winter months. Although many of us love the warmer days of winter, for our drought the feelings are not exactly positive. In these winter days with the temperatures above normal, more people are out there on the roadways bicycling for exercise, for recreation, to run errands, to commute to work or to just plain conserve energy.

The U. S. Census Bureau showed that from 2000-2012 the number of Americans traveling to work by bicycle increased from 488,000 to approximately 786,000. Riding a bicycle is not just for kids anymore. Riding your bike offers health, financial and environmental benefits.

Unfortunately, cyclists and drivers make many mistakes that cause crashes. When a crash happens involving a motorist and cyclist, who is more likely to be injured or killed?

Let’s look at statistics: in 2012, bicyclists accounted for 2 percent of all traffic fatalities and 2 percent of all crash related injuries. The U. S. Census Bureau states that these types of crashes occur between the hours of 4 p.m. and midnight, with 48% in rural areas, and 69% in urban environments. Nine out of ten of those killed are male riders. Here is a sobering number: one in four bicyclists (24%) that died in these crashes had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher, which is the illegal alcohol level in all states.

A total of 677 pedalcyclists were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2011. The 14-and-younger age group accounted for 9% of those fatalities, and males accounted for 69% of the fatalities among pedalcyclists age 14 and younger.
All crashes and deaths involving vehicular traffic sharing the road with bicyclists can be prevented by simply following the rules of the road.

• In Nevada motorists must maintain a 3 foot distance from a bicyclist on the roadway.
• Avoid drinking and driving or riding. It is against the law for bicyclists in many states.

Safety on our roadways is everyone’s responsibility, so please know the laws and share the road safely. It could be a matter of life and safety


Every Boy’s Dream; A Classic Restoration

Tom's 56 chevyEvery boy’s dream is to one day own the coolest car among all his friends showing it off proudly as he cruises the boulevard in hopes of finding that one special girl to ride next to him. The second coolest thing is to have performed all the repairs yourself. Tom Drake found himself doing just that, not in hopes of finding the girl, but learning how to work on cars for restoration and then resell them to the highest bidder.

In 1967, when Tom was 17, he first laid eyes on a 1951 Pontiac, only because he was in dire need of transportation. This Pontiac was unrestored, all original, and the perfect car for Tom’s needs. After Tom entered High School his love for cars grew, so he enrolled in the school’s auto shop class and there he really started to become consumed with the love of fixing and restoring cars. During his years between High School and Junior College, Tom owned some pretty impressive classics by today’s standards. He had a 1951 Woody, (look out Beach Boys), a 1956 Chevy two door, (who doesn’t love a 55, 56 or 57 Chevy these days?), and a 1959 Chevy. Tom would spend hours tinkering with these cars, get them in great operating condition, and then offer them for sale, making a small profit for all his efforts.

The last vehicle Tom would own before being drafted and heading off to Vietnam in 1968, was a 1965 Ford Mustang. The Vietnam War was not one which those who proudly fought for this Country would come back in the same frame of mind. Tom Drake was one of the fortunate ones who managed to survive and return to the States, serving out the rest of his duty until he left the Service in 1979. During that time in the Service, Tom developed a love for motorcycles. He began purchasing bikes, restoring them, and then selling them at a profit. Even though this passion only lasted a few years, he did manage to even build a chopper to add to his list of accomplishments.

In 1983 Tom purchased a 1964 or 65 T-Bird, but it was only in his garage a short time after he fell in love with a 1954 Willy’s Aeroace. Again, not keeping it for long, he sold the Willy’s to the first eager buyer.
Tom did manage to marry the love of his life, Sherry Jacknowitz, who was a very close friend of mine in High School in Petaluma, California. They have been married since 1984 and together they make a great team. Sherry often helps Tom work on his “projects,” as Sherry calls them, when he is in need of a third hand or for someone to help lift or hold something in place. Sherry doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty, but she knows that Tom prefers to work alone in his own little world of restorations.photo2

Tom does encourage Sherry to learn how to do preventative maintenance on her own vehicle, which is a must for all women or young girls who need to take charge of their vehicles repairs.

After settling in with a new wife and starting a life together, it took Tom a little while to jump back in to restorations. In 1990 he purchased a 1953 Ford and a partially restored 1965 Ranchero. By now Tom was also into building homes for his family to own and occupy, only to sell and start again. This became a full time job for Tom building and selling homes and each home was more beautiful than the last. Since Tom’s love for restoration of automobiles was more than a side hobby, a shop for all his projects was a necessity so that was added to the build. Every mechanic needs his or her own shop.

In the year 2000, Tom had the urge for a 1970 Mustang; working his talent and turning it into a beauty. Then once again, Tom’s passion for restoring motorcycles resurfaced and he spent the next 10 years bringing some of these beauties back to life, but also enjoying them on trips to places like the Sturgis motorcycle rally. This gave Tom and Sherry time to enjoy the sights and each other.

Tom at present has 7 autos, 2 motorcycles and 3 trailers. Two of the seven vehicles are still being worked on. When asked why he loves to spend so much time working on these babies, Tom answered, “I like to see the old cars back on the road again. I don’t keep them long, I just get them up and running so that I can sell them to others who have always wanted one. I used the profit to help move on to the next project.” Tom prides himself on mastering just about every detail and repair that goes into restoring a classic, from paint, to upholstery, and fabrication. He loves the challenge and is not afraid to ask for help from other backyard mechanics or professionals in the trade.

So, if you feel the need to dive in and give restorations a try, go for it, because the only one that can stop you is you yourself. After all Every Boy’s Dream is A classic restoration.