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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk


The New York Times
April 12, 1914

But Herman E. and Jacob S. Each Thought Up the Same Method.

It is said there are more Schmidts Milwaukee than in any other American city of similar size.  This was known to J. G. Wollaeger, who sells automobiles in the Wisconsin city.  He was not greatly surprised, therefore, to note one day that his list of prospective customers included two Schmidts.  That afternoon he sallied forth in a "six" touring car, met Herman E. Schmidt and family, and took them for a ride. Mr. Schmidt noticed the quietness of the car and the easy way it handled its seven passenger load on high.  Mrs. Schmidt was also pleased.  Mr. Wollaeger produced an order blank and the Schmidts bought a car.

While this transaction was in progress, H. S. De Land, the dealer's chief of staff, had been out in a "six" landau-roadster, and had picked up Jacob S. Schmidt, according to arrangement.  Jacob looked at the car as a closed vehicle and as an open body for touring, and bought the car.

Both the Schmidts arranged to accept delivery on their cars the following Saturday.  Both appeared in due order.  Mr. Wollaeger welcomed Herman E. and too him to the garage, where his touring car was waiting.  They arrived just as Mr. De Land was turning a new landau over to Jacob S.  Herman, who began to walk slowly around his new possession with an approving eye.  Between his car and the touring car, he bumped into Jacob, who was also perambulating.  The Schmidts looked each other in the eyes, each with a startled glare.

"Oh, pshaw!" said Herman E. disgustedly.

"Rats!" replied Jacob S. in plain chagrin.

"Trying to put something across on your big brother, eh?" continued Herman.  "I thought you were going to buy a small car!"

"Yes, and you were going to wait till Summer before you got yours," responded Jacob.

They both grinned and exchanged congratulations.  Herman and Jacob are brothers and business partners.  Now and then each tries to provide a little personal surprise for the other.  Now and then something interferes.

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