An Entertaining & Informative Vintage Automobile Internet Magazine

A Walker Electric and Old-Fashioned Horsepower – Delivering Dugan’s Door to Door


It does not seem that long ago that milk, eggs and baked goods were delivered right to our homes every day. The Walker electric truck, above, photographed in 1938 and the wagon below from 1933 were both tried and true ways to get the job done. Walker was the longest lived manufacturer of electric vehicles in the United States, starting up during the type’s heyday in 1906 and hanging on until 1942. The Chicago-based manufacturer made a brief foray into the field of gas-electrics in their early days but had much more success with their Dyna-Motive introduced in 1936.

Using a horse to haul the goods predates the earliest of Walker’s trucks by quite a few years. It was the one and only method of heavy city drayage when David H. Dugan started his business on a pushcart in Brooklyn, New York in 1878. While motor trucks were in widespread use by late thirties, they were probably less sure-footed in the snow than Old Dobbin who might very well have known all the stops on his route by heart. You can find many more photos of commercial vehicles  here on The Old Motor. Robert Yarnall Richie photographs courtesy of SMU Central University Libraries.


8 responses to “A Walker Electric and Old-Fashioned Horsepower – Delivering Dugan’s Door to Door

  1. I remember the Dugan’s trucks well here on Long Island making weekly deliveries. We only got the bread delivered, but as a kid I wished my folks had also bought the baked goods! The bread was delivered still warm as the factory wasn’t to far away. By the fifties Divco trucks were being used. We also had milk (that was in glass bottles left in wooden then metal milk boxes supplied by the company) and beer/soda trucks come around for delivery. Most families had only one car, and that was used to go to work, so home delivery of things like bread, milk etc. was common. I still have a small tin plate Divco truck with the Dugan’s log on the side that was given away to customers.

  2. Here in flyover country. when I was young, the Manor bakery did home delivery. We could hardly wait for all the treats he had. Raisin bread and sweet rolls were some of our favorites.

  3. Nice to see photos of these methods of delivering the goods!
    In the 50’s when we lived in Streatham, S.W. London (on a very
    steep hill) I remember the milkman’s horse falling over in the snow.
    Bread was delivered in an electric van, but my mother cancelled
    this after noticing the delivery guy spit in the gutter on his way to
    our front door…

  4. My dad drove a Dugan’s delivery truck in the mid 60’s. I rode with him during summer vacation delivering baked goods in Westchester County, NY. I had a great time.

  5. We lived in Haverstraw, New York (Rockland County) and I remember the Dugan’s truck delivery. They came to our house for many years, the years I remember are the earlly 50’s thru the 60’s

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *