Winner – 1931 Reed Brothers Third Annual Goodyear Dealers Zeppelin Race

Third Annual Goodyear Dealers Zeppelin Race


In the early 1930’s, the Goodyear Zeppelin Company produced a series of framed prints as rewards for Goodyear dealers as prizes for high sales. Sales was based on a two months quota, and participated in by thousands of dealers all over the country. The print shows USS Akron on a mobile mast, leaving her hanger. The frame is made of the sheet metal and rivets used in dirigible construction, and each frame has an engraved duralumin plaque at bottom center of the frame.

The inscription plaque reads:

Reed Brothers
Third Annual Goodyear Dealers Zeppelin Race
July-August 1931

Inscription plaque

Inscription plaque

This original Margaret Bourke-White photograph of the United States Airship “Akron” is SIGNED in the lower right hand corner by the famed 20th Century photographer.

Photo is signed by the photographer, Margaret Bourke White

Photo is signed by the photographer, Margaret Bourke White

The USS Akron, first of a class of two 6,500,000 cubic foot rigid airships, was built at Akron, Ohio. Commissioned in late October 1931, she spent virtually all of her short career on technical and operational development tasks, exploring the potential of the rigid airship as an Naval weapons system. During the remainder of 1931 and the early part of 1932, the Akron made flights around the eastern United States and over the western Atlantic, including one trial of her capabilities as a scouting unit of the fleet. While beginning a trip to the New England area, Akron encountered a violent storm over the New Jersey coast and, shortly after midnight on 4 April 1933, crashed tail-first into the sea. Only three of the seventy-six men on board survived this tragic accident. During the search for other possible survivors, the Navy non-rigid airship J-3 also crashed, killing two more men.

Note: Margaret Bourke-White (1904 ­ 1971) is best known as the first foreign correspondent to be permitted to take photographs of Soviet industry, the first female war correspondent, and the first female correspondent permitted to work in war zones.

40th Anniversary with Goodyear

Lewis Reed was recognized by Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. for reaching his 40th year as a Goodyear dealer. Reed Brothers Dodge began selling Goodyear tires in the 1920s.  Below is a letter from Russell DeYoung thanking Lewis Reed for his 40 years “in business together”.

Goodyear Tires

Please see Margaret Bourke-White: The Photography of Design, 1927 – 1936 for more information

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About Reed Brothers

I am a co-owner of the former Reed Brothers Dodge in Rockville, Maryland. Lewis Reed, the founder of Reed Brothers Dodge was my grandfather. We were a family-owned and operated car dealership in Rockville for almost a century. I served in the United States Air Force for 30 years before retiring in the top enlisted grade of Chief Master Sergeant in July 2006. In 2016, I received the Arthur M. Wagman Award for Historic Preservation Communication from Peerless Rockville for documenting the history of Reed Brothers Dodge in both blog and book format. This distinguished honor recognizes outstanding achievement by writers, educators, and historians whose work has heightened public awareness of Rockville’s architectural and cultural heritage, growth and development.

2 responses to “Winner – 1931 Reed Brothers Third Annual Goodyear Dealers Zeppelin Race”

  1. Albert Preston says :

    I also have one of these awards… Interesting its also dated July-August 1931. I had always assumed that was the date of the sales competition. Was it the date of a race? I didn’t read the entire article…maybe I should!

    Any comments are welcomed.


    • Reed Brothers says :

      Hello Albert,

      Sales was based on a two months quota and participated in by dealers from July-August 1931.

      Thank you for visiting and leaving your comment. My very best wishes to you and yours for a wonderful Christmas holiday and a Happy New Year!

      My Best Regards,

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