John Eickhof has just discovered the only known Power Wagon bus with a Novelty Carriage Works (Spokane, Washington) body on it. He says that it appears to be ex-US Air Force
The body serial number is 5483, it's GVW is 8960lbs, it's capacity is 16. It is only 17
feet long, but the body is wide. It has a single entry
door on side with rear escape door too.
History of Novelty Carriage
Works, Spokane, Wa. Circa
By John Eickhof
Founded just after
the great fire of 1889, Myron Kulp
(also known as ‘Novelty Jack’) established the Novelty Carriage Works
at 713 Front Ave. in Spokane, Washington. Novelty (NCW) turned out many products
including wagons, carriages, hacks, (Cabs) van, and delivery rigs.
NCW became famous for quality and durability of it’s products
(Stockman’s News, 1900). Myron was succeeded in his business by his son Roy M.
Kulp in 1929. He returned to operate the company in 1943 following his son’s
death presumably in WWII. Mr. Kulp had about a dozen men in employ, and
sometimes upwards of twenty-five. “He
manufactures vehicles of every description from the ordinary wagon to the finest
carriage, and he uses the Kelly-Springfield rubber tires” (Western Progress
Magazine, 1902). The company converted to school bus production in the late
1940s and fitted their school bus bodies to various manufactured chassis / drive
trains including Dodge trucks, according to various advertisements.
The 1950 Dodge Power
Wagon I have with a Novelty body is presumed to be a one of a kind, and was
apparently made under a contract between Novelty and the Fairchild A.F.B. near
Spokane. The researcher from the Spokane public library identified the photo I
provided and reflected that it resembled a bus she used to see around Fairchild
AFB in the late 1950s. The company was moved to E6615 Main in the 1960s. Myron
Kulp passed away Oct. 24th,
1961 at the age of 95 (Spokane Chronicle, Oct. 25, 1961). The NCW was continued
in operation by his right hand man Robert E. Halstead as vice president, and his
wife Pearl L. Halstead as president. They continued operation as school bus
manufacturers and fitters until 1983. The Novelty Carriage Works was one of
Spokane’s longest running businesses.
I will be continuing to
research this company. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
NORTHWEST THEATRE EQUIPMENT CO., INC.
WWW.nteequip.com Email: [email protected]
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