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Sunday, October 5, 2014

The "World's Oldest Goodyear Dealer" Story

Lebzelter's Tire Company in Lancaster, PA
It was an ordinary day.  Heading home from downtown Lancaster on North Queen St.  As I reached the intersection of N. Queen and Walnut Streets I glanced to my left.  There on the corner stood Lebzelter's Goodyear Dealer.  Saw the sign on the side of the building and never realized that it is the oldest Goodyear dealer in the United States.  
1892 photo of Lebzelter employees.
For years my dad would take his car to the garage to have his work done.  He worked at Meiskey's Jewelry Shop which at the time was only a block away from Lebzelter's.  Many times I would ride with him to work on a Saturday morning and help him package watch supplies for shipping.  
Garage area of the downtown location.
We would drop the car off at 8:00 AM and be back at noon to pick up the car.  They could do just about anything needed to keep his car running.  Of course, that was before the digital age of autos.  Loved the smell of the shop when we walked in the front door.  Philip Lebzelter, an immigrant from Germany, founded the Eagle Wheel and Bending Works in 1854 at the exact same location.  The place became the largest establishment of its kind in Lancaster making wheels of wood.  When rubber tires were invented, he became a Goodyear distributor.  The store has had many owners over the years, but is still known as the oldest Goodyear distributor in the nation.  I naturally had to stop and enjoy the smell one more time as I took a few photos of the place.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.  

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