Great Dane Trailer Company records
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Great Dane Trailer Company records

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Great Dane Trailer Co. (Ga.)
Title: Great Dane Trailer Company records
Dates: 1911-2011
Extent: 7.8 cubic feet (7 boxes, 1 scrapbook)
Identification: MS 2445

Biographical/Historical Note

Great Dane Trailer was founded in 1900 as the Savannah Blowpipe Company, producing sheet metal blowpipe systems. With growth throughout the Southeast, the company was incorporated as the Steel Products Company in 1931, where it began manufacturing trailers in response to the expansion of highway systems in the US. These trailers, referred to as 'Great Danes' by their original creator, William Lowndes, soon were made of lightweight, high tensile steel that set the bar for trailer manufacturing. This was only the beginning for the company, as it continued into the forties on the cutting edge of technology trailer products. In 1958 it changed its name officially to Great Dane Trailers, Inc. and focused solely on trailer production. It closed its original manufacturing plant in Savannah, GA in 2009; however it continues expanding with manufacturing facilities and offices throughout the country.

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains items from the Great Dane Trailer Company dating from 1911-2011, including: photographs, photo albums, negatives, slides, CDs and floppy discs, stationery, printing negatives, newsletters, company brochures, product brochures, company advertisements, press releases, awards, invitations, professional correspondence, announcements, magazines, newspaper clippings and articles, conference schedules, blueprints, design sketchbook, sales day book, and decal stickers.


This collection is arranged into 7 boxes and 1 scrapbook:

Box 1: Photographs of people, various trucks and events. Miscellaneous newspaper clippings and company postcards. Includes slides, negatives, aerial photographs, photo album, and CD-ROM. Dates range from: 1951-2009.

Box 2: Logo print negatives, stationery negatives, newsletters negatives, brochure drafts, product brochures and specifications photographs of trucks from the 1930s, floppy disks, photographs, CD-ROMs, photograph negatives and slides, advertisements, billboard photographs, logo plaque, article in 'Steering Wheel' Texas Motor Transportation Association, Inc. newsletter (1957). Dates range from: 1931-1965.

Box 3: Product brochures and specifications, advertisements, meeting and event invitations, truck-trailer warranty, news release photographs, meeting schedule (2000). Dates range from: 1931-2000.

Box 4: Product brochures and specifications, Grove Point Plantation recipe booklet, truck decal stickers, photographs and descriptions of trailers, aerial photographs of production facilities, product advertisements, warranty, pictures on CD-ROM, anti-unionization materials (1970), newspaper clippings/articles, copies of Fleet Owner Magazine(2011), US Bicentennial vanity plates and bumper stickers, product and logo photographs/negatives/slides, product blueprints, shipping and processing invoices, Army/Navy Award for War Production (1943). Dates range from: 1943-2011.

Box 5: 100th Anniversary vanity plate, newspaper and magazine article clippings, Army/Navy Award for War Production (1943), photographs of 1943 award ceremony, Steel Products Co. steel drawings index book/ledger, product sales daybook (1949-1963), J.C. Cheshire product sketch book (1926), War Department Maintenance Manual and Parts Catalog (1942), commemorative photographs of last trailer production in Savannah (2009), appointment announcement, product and business advertisements, map of sales area in California, sales graphs, inspection sticker, Great Dane Federal Credit Union account balance, specifications, decals, copies of photographs, From Horses to Horsepower with S.C. Trucking (1982), Great Dane NEWS (hardbound, 1975-1981). Dates range from: 1941-2009.

Box 6: Binders with copies of tearsheets, product brochures and specifications, proofs and copy, list of product forms. (1960-1986) Management presentations, news releases and correspondence, publicity tearsheets and product brochures and specifications, newspaper and magazine articles, warranty, invoice listings, history of Great Dane, miscellaneous Great Dane officer business cards, tearsheet drafts, product press junket, copy of photograph with people labeled, email correspondence about Chilean trademarks (2010), copy of page from company telephone directory, framed monthly calendars (1941). Dates range from: 1941-2010.

Box 7: From two photo album boxes. Album Box 1: Historic photographs of trucks, trailers, parts, and production factories. (undated) Album Box 2: Photographs of logos, meetings, ceremonies and events, and trailers/trucks. (undated), 1948 inspection report of Steel Products Co., Inc., correspondence CC files (1992), contract draft agreement between Dorsey Corporation and Great Dane (1960)

Scrapbook 1: Various publicity photographs of staff and employees and news release clippings.

Index Terms

Aerial photographs.
Atlanta (Ga.)
Award presentations.
Baltimore (Md.)
Black-and-white negatives.
Black-and-white photographs.
Blueprints (reprographic copies)
Brazil (Ind.)
Business letters.
Charleston (S.C.)
Cheshire, J.C.
Clippings (information artifacts)
Columbus (Ga.)
Commercial portraiture.
Copy prints.
Design drawings.
Desoto Hotel (Tybee, Ga.)
Editorial cartoons.
Floppy disks.
Great Dane Trailer Co. (Ga.)
Heavy vehicle simulators.
Hilton Head Island (S.C.)
Hutchinson's Island (Ga.)--Archaeological surveying.
Indianapolis (Ind.)
Industrial buildings.
Labor unions--Georgia--Savannah.
Manuals (instructional materials)
Negatives (photographic)
Orlando (Fla.)
Palm Beach (Fla.)
Patent extensions.
Photograph albums.
Photography--Equipment and supplies.
Piggyback trailers.
Ponte Vedra Club (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.)
Press releases.
Rail piggyback transportation.
Refrigerated trailers.
Richmond (Va.)
Savannah (Ga.)
Savannah (Ga.)--Photographs.
Seaboard System Railroad.
Skipper, Henry.
Steel Products Company (Savannah, Ga.)
Steel industry and trade--Georgia--Savannah.
Technical manuals.
Thomasville (Ga.)
Tractor trailers.
Truck trailers.
United States. War Department.

Administrative Information

Processing Information

This collection is processed at the Basic Level (or collection level). There is no detailed inventory for this collection as it is not fully processed. To request that this collection be added to our priority list of collections to be fully processed as staffing and funding allow, please contact the Library and Archives staff.


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.