Maxwell delivers the mail.

1922 Maxwell Model 25 Touring (photo credit: Sharlot Hall Museum)

As far back as 1914, the Postmaster General of the United States was encouraging the use of automobiles for rural mail carriers. In fact the Motor World of July 22, 1914 reported, "The Postmaster General has placed a premium upon those of his mail carriers who use motor cars… and as a result, motoring rural carriers are to receive annual salaries of $1,800 instead of $1,200." A 50% increase in pay is good reason to get a car! 

One of the popular and affordable brands at the time was the Maxwell - also the choice of our western rural mail carrier seen here (somewhere around the Sedona area of northern Arizona). Seen wearing a what looks to be a 1923 Arizona license plate (specifically Maricopa County), this is a 1922 Maxwell Model 25 Touring. 

Founded in 1903 by Jonathan Maxwell and Benjamin Briscoe (with financial backing from JP Morgan), in less than a decade the company was the third largest manufacturer behind Buick and Ford. However by 1920, Ford had just over 50% of the American market and Maxwell was deeply in debt. The following year the company went into receivership but managed to purchase the floundering Chalmers company at the same time - Maxwell needed Chalmers as they leased their manufacturing facilitates. However their fortune's changed when the board enticed Walter P. Chrysler to assume leadership of the company in exchange for controlling interest. 

In 1922, the model 25 featured a new engine - 34hp, 186 cu. in. inline four-cylinder - and sold well. Chrysler re-organized in 1925, forming the Chrysler Corporation and would use the Maxwell design as the foundation for his new Chrysler car. The Maxwell and Chalmers were absorbed into the new Chrysler Corporation and the Maxwell brand was retired.


photo credit: Automobile Trade Journal

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