In last week's episode, we took a look back at the early days of Hertz and the car rental industry in general. Here we have a blast from the past -- a Hertz brochure from the early 20th century, back when they had just 15 locations.
Lots of cool things to take note of here... First off, you'll notice the reassuring text to tell people, "Our Cars NOT Painted Yellow". After all, who wants to take a date or a client out in a cab? How unfashionable! They eventually did drop the "Yellow" from the "Yellow Drive-It-Yourself" moniker.
Chicago was clearly the focus for Hertz back in those days with 7 stations, plus Cleveland, St. Loius and Louisville in the midwest area. New York was obviously important to Hertz, and they had 5 locations there in Manhattan, Bronx and Brooklyn. Queens was still mostly farmland back in those days, and Staten Island, well I think Columbus hadn't discovered that yet, so nobody even knew about it back then.
Interesting to note that they had to point out that it's not necessary to return cars to the Hertz garage each night. The concept of car rentals was still pretty new back then, so folks had to be educated about how the whole process worked.
Back then, you typically paid per mile, plus an hourly or daily rate. For a short trip, it would be fairly reasonable, but it could get pretty expensive pretty quickly if you wanted to take a long trip. Cars didn't last as long back in those days, so every mile was bringing the vehicle that much closer to it's eventual untimely demise. Unlimited mileage didn't come along until much later. At least they threw in gas and insurance back than. Ah, the good 'ol days...