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Buick Snifters and Buick History

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From Ebay I recently got 6 unused very large brandy snifters with a Buick theme. Obviously some kind of sales promotion. These suckers are huge and would probably hold more than a pint each. They are very well crafted with goldleaf around the rim.


As part of the shipment they came in the original shipping box from Buick. They were sent to J. H. Scudder in Arlington Heights, IL:




They were shipped in Dec 1962:




So I got curious about this and started digging.


J. H. Scudder was John H Scudder.





He was born in 1918. He started working for Buick some time in the mid 1940s. In Feb 1950 he was promoted from Sales Promotion Director to Director of Merchandising. In 1954 Scudder was named Zone Sales Manager for the Portland, OR area. At some point before 1960 he was named Regional Sales Manager for the Midwest area, including the Chicago area. In was in this capacity that he received the snifters. He was living in this house in Arlington Heights:




One would assume that these were used as awards to productive sale folk. It is interesting that they were still shipping the 1942-style shield in 1962. It appears that this style shield was used on steering wheels up to 1960, when the tri-shield was introduced. Also notice the title "Sales Master" which was an obvious riff on Roadmaster. Since this name was dropped in 1959, one can assume that these snifters were excess stock from the 1950s. The fact that Scudder never awarded any of these probably indicates that they were obsoleted and something else took their place, thus leaving the box with these 6 snifters to age gracefully in his basement or attic.


In 1965 Scudder retired from Buick and opened up his own dealership (1st para):




This became Scudder Buick, which was located at 145-151 West First in Elmhurst, IL:




I think most or all of the dark-roofed buildings were his. Here is a view of this site today, with all of the dark-roofed buildings torn down. The building on the corner is in both photos:




In 1969 Scudder moved the dealership to 125 West Grand in Bensenvill, IL. Here is the site today:




From what I can determine he retired from the business in the early 1980s although it continued to carry his name until at least 1984. This location became Woody Buick from 1998 until about 2006. Today it is a Subaru dealership.


John Scudder died in 1988 and is buried in St Louis:




So at some point the snifters were sold and made an unknown journey until I got them. If anyone knew this man and can refine any of my dates or has any pictures of his dealerships please respond. Maybe there's more to the story!


Cheers, Dave




Edited by Daves1940Buick56S (see edit history)
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Dave, I have a set of these brandy snifters that my father received as a sales award from Buick.  He was the Sales Manager of a Buick Dealer in York, Pa. in the 60's and 70's.  As I recall when he achieved a sales goal there was a catalog of award items he chose from.  I'm sorry I can't help with info on Mr Scudder.   I remember fondly that as a teenager these snifters were great for Root Beer floats.  A couple of scoops ice cream and a lot of root beer.   Thaks for the memory.   Jim

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