What do parents dread most about family road trips? It’s not the cost of filling up the gas tank. It’s also not traffic or toll roads or Sunday drivers. It’s the thought of their own little cherubs stuck together in tight quarters for hours. Oh, the backseat squabbling. The poking. The whining. The impatient cries of “Are we there yet?”
As kids we are all familiar with the many games our parents used to encourage us to play nicely as we traveled across the country: Car Bingo, I Spy and the State License Plate game to name a few. If you were in the market for a Bus or Taxicab in 1950, Checker Cab Manufacturing provided two additional games via marketing material to add to your inventory: Chess and of course Checkers!
1950 was a big year for Checker, Checker introduced new Taxicabs and Buses options for the inner city transportation market. To herald the new products, Checker offered a totally new type of promotional item: a miniature 6 by 3 inch folding traveling board game of Checkers and Chess.
To the best of our knowledge this is the only example of where both cabs and buses were featured together in a brochure. Printed on a heavy folding cardstock, one side of the brochure featured a full Checker/Chess board. The other side features advertisements for the Checker Model A4 Taxicab. Around the edges of the board is a reminder of what makes the Checker taxicab great: economy, safety, comfort, appeal, durability, mileage, preference, passenger, beauty, maneuverability and power.
The reverse fold of the game featured the Checker Transit Bus. Key features promoted included lower investment, reduced maintenance and lower operating cost for the Transit Bus.
Included in the package were two tabs that held the checker and chess piece. If you did not know how to play either games, the set included a complete set of instructions too.
The game set was produced by Unique Items Company of Elmhurst, New York. Copyright on the game instructions is from 1942, so it’s safe to assume that this brochure was offered to other companies offering other products for several years prior to the Checker promotion.
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