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Dixie Sales Company Rubber Tire Hospital – 1910 to 2001

Today’s lead image is a view of the Dixie Sales Company’s new second garage which opened in March of 1921 at 109 South Davie Street in Greensboro, North Carolina. It was one of several locations the operation was located at during in its formative years that began in 1910.

Dixie Sales was stated by Joseph Leahy, who began working in the tire business with hard rubber tires during the bicycle boom of the 1890s. After becoming weary of the of the long and harsh winters in Schenectady, New York, Leahy moved to Greensboro and started his own tire repair and vulcanizing business there in 1910 at 214 West Market Street.

Soon needing more room for expansion and new equipment in 1912 Leahy moved the business to 212 North Elm St. in Greensboro on the second floor above a Model “T” Ford dealership. Two years later while in a third location at 300 North Elm Street Leahy sold the Dixie Sales Company to Frank Snyder and his son-in-law Jack Starmer from Ohio, who were both interested in moving south and getting into the tire business.

The new owners and their families began running the operation on March 2, 1914 and were quite successful. The photos (below) show several new Dixie Sales buildings and locations opened up until 1921 where we leave the story. The Snyder and Starmer families continued to operate the business for eighty-seven years until 2001 when it was sold to the Barrett Marketing Group of New Brunswick, Canada that now sells outdoor power equipment under the name of Gardner Dixie Sales.

You can learn the rest of the post-1921 operations of the Tire Company found via Keith Sparks at the History of Dixie Tire by Keith Starmer.

  • New “Rubber Tire Hospital” opened at 115 West Market Street by Jack Starmer and Frank Synder on February 23, 1916.

  • Dixie Sales also opened a new battery and automotive electrical service at 115 West Market Street in 1916.

  • A new Dixie drive through tire and filling station operation opened at 300 North Elm Street in 1918.

  • A second Dixie Sales location opened at 109 South Davie Street in March of 1921 when the Company added new equipment for retreading truck tires. This is a sectional view of the lead image.

10 responses to “Dixie Sales Company Rubber Tire Hospital – 1910 to 2001

  1. Wonderful images and history. I am researching a similar company in St. Paul Mn. from the same era. I also really like the sign above the garage door “safety first, sound sparton “. I bet they sold those horns!

  2. 2nd pic, I’d say that Paige was a new car if that picture was taken in the teens. The drive through gas pumps caught my eye. They were made by a company called Bowser, Chief Sentry model, seen here before, and came out in 1921 and was a hand crank deal.

  3. For those interested in trivial things Bowser’ s full name was Sylvanus Freelove Bowser. His pumps were so popular that in many parts of the world pumps were commonly called “Bowsers”.

    • Good eye on the Chandler! And I am pleased to see that I am not the only one still referring to those as “light”s.

  4. Cannot see many details of the Paige, not even whether it is a touring, roadster, or custom delivery or service truck? However, I am fairly sure that it is either a 1913 or ’14 model. If the photo was indeed taken February 1916, that would make the Paige roughly two to three years old at the time.
    All of the pictures are a wonderful look at an incredible time in our history, as we progressed quickly from a largely agrarian culture to a technologically dependent society.

    Thank you again David G!

  5. In that lead photo I hear the photographer saying “Could you fellows in the middle crouch down so we can see the battery display in the window? Yep, that’s it. Thanks.”

  6. My father had a 1915 Paige in his collection. Radiator shape, shape and placement of headlamps, windshield frame and crowned fenders all appear to be identical to that car. Also note that it is not a brass trimmed car, but uses the newly trendy (in 1914-15) nickeled and painted style. The top of the radiator cap has black Bakelite molded around the brass casting, great for easier opening on a hot day and another nod to the new trim scheme. Paige also used a hubcap to cover the crank hole. You can see it behind the accessory bumper on the pictured car.

  7. looks like a 3rd series Packard twin-six with its ten spoke front wheels and distinctive hub cap nosing up to the right hand side of the Vulcanising department in the new 1918 drive through tire department.

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