An Entertaining & Informative Vintage Automobile Internet Magazine

Parley Rasmussen Delivers the Mail with a 1935 Ford Wagon

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds” is the unofficial US Mail Creed – but in this case, we think weight and bulk should be added to the saying.

This photo was taken in Brigham City, Utah in 1943 of Parley Rasmussen and his 1935 Ford station wagon he used to deliver the mail and parcels in the area. However, it is not known if he delivered it in bulk to the City or if he had a mail route of his own. We would imagine that during the WWII period the volume of mail was higher than usual due to gasoline rationing preventing people from driving to visit others and drop things off in person.

Share with us you mailman stories and what you find of interest in this Compton Studios photo courtesy of  the Utah State University Libraries.

20 responses to “Parley Rasmussen Delivers the Mail with a 1935 Ford Wagon

  1. That would be a lot of “local” mail. Oddly, I see no windows on the station wagon. I guess the door windows may be down but the cargo area and mail would get wet when it rains.
    That poor overloaded car with gas leaking out must have been strained to its’ limits loaded like this.
    Seeing that pole like object in the wagon suggests this character may be carrying mail as a side line perhaps to a very rural location.
    I wonder if that wagon survives today.

    • Many station wagons of the era came standard with snap-on canvas side curtains, like roadsters. Glass windows were optional on most.

  2. Here’s one reason survival rate for station wagons is so low. As used cars they were used as work-horses until they were junk, then the weather finished them off. Its a wonder any survive.

    • I noticed the fareley new tires too, with the gas overflowing out the full tube I’m sure it’s from full tanks of gas that was also rationed during the war.

  3. I believe what this guy did, was transfer V mail from the post office to an air field. I read, between 1942 and 1945, over a billion V mails were sent to troops overseas. It was considered one of the most important aspects of the war, a letter from home. Since trucks were in short supply, I bet the govt. hired guys like this. It is certainly not a route vehicle.

  4. Looks like a 1929 Chevy in the background on the left. Could be a ‘30, but I think it’s a ‘29. First year of the Stovebolt Six.

  5. What about the boat on the roof? Maybe he had to make a stream crossing? Or do a little fishing after work for dinner.

  6. My “wartime” mail story. My father was raised on the family’s cattle ranch in an out of the way area nearly a two hour drive from Elko Nevada. When he began high school early during the war, the nearest high school was in Elko. So, his family rented a room at a boarding house in town so he could attend high school. Every Monday morning, well before sunup, he would catch a ride with the local mail truck heading into town. Attend classes, and stay at the boarding house through the week. Then Friday afternoon, after classes, he would catch the mail truck and get a ride home for the weekend where he got to do a lot of chores again for two days.
    After a year or two, his grandparents that owned the ranch decided to sell it and moved into town, No more mail truck rides.

    People pitched in during the war. Even the mail delivering a young man to school to get an education.

    My observation of the cars in the photograph is that the ’35 Ford at eight years old has had a rough life, while the ’29 Chevrolet at almost fifteen years age has been well cared for and still looks pretty nice. And I am fairly certain it is a ’29. The hub cap appears to be the wood wheel type (even though the wheel itself cannot be seen), and the tire size appears to be the taller and skinnier looking ’29 size. I am also fairly certain I can see the one year only trim panel between the front frame horns. (Although I have been

  7. As a twenty-six year plus postal worker I’d have to guess that Parley is either a contracted transporter or a regular postal employee with a run between a post office and a railroad station. It is also possible that he picked up mail at the train station and distributed it to more than one post office.

  8. The 16″ wheels don’t help the squat, over-loaded look of this woody wagon, do they? 1935 was the last year for those wire wheels, at least in that earlier era.

  9. When the above photo was taken in 1943, Parley Rasmussen was either 25 or 26 years-old; even at that young an age he already looks tired and weather-worn, doesn’t he? Parley was born in 1917 and passed away in 1990, a relatively young age, at least it seems so from ‘this’ vantage point. I would venture a guess that Parley never had the thought that his 1935 Ford woody wagon would one day be considered of interest to aficionados of old cars or gave a 2nd thought to the abuse his vehicle suffered in the course of his commercial endeavors with the U.S. Mail.

    • You’ve got the wrong Parley. This is Parley Hans Rasmussen of Brigham City. He was 37. On December 4th of the following year, he ran off the road in Sardine Canyon and crashed, breaking his left leg. By the time he was rescued he had suffered severe exposure. He died in the hospital 12 days later of pneumonia. He was 38.

      • Wow, Lee; thank you. I stand corrected. I wouldn’t have imagined that there were two Parley Rasmussen’s living at about the same time in the area around Salt Lake City. The two Rasmussen’s were only 11 years apart in age so it’s doubtful – even given the Salt Lake area – that they were father and son. By any chance do you know if Parley was driving the 1935 Ford pictured at the head of this thread when he crashed in Sardine Canyon which led to his eventual demise?

Leave a Reply

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