News: Neillsville - Mother-in-Law Seat (1953)

Contact: Dolores Mohr Kenyon


Surnames: Ebert, Svetlik, Bergemann, Jahr, Schlinsog, Lawrence, Linster, Sturtz,  May, Perkins, Olson 

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI.) June 11, 1953 

Mother-in-Law Seat (1953)  

Mother-in-Law Seat is feature of show - Captures all eyes upon Old Ford at show on anniversary:

An honest-to-goodness "Mother-in-Law seat" proved a feature attraction at the Svetlik Motor Co. Monday, as hundreds of people crowded into the building to help the local celebration of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Ford Motor Co. 

The Mother-in-Law seat - and that’s actually what it was called - was on the rear of a 1910 model Ford automobile, loaned for the celebration by Arnold Ebert of Neillsville.  Complete with carbide lights, foot and hand horns, brass radiator, and all, the 1910 Ford showed the strong influence of the horse-and-buggy days.  Its "body" looks like a surrey with a fringe on the top. Behind the "surrey," was a single upholstered seat, cut off from conversation with the occupants of the front seat.  And this was the Mother-in-Law seat. 

1925 Model 

Another old Ford on display in the showroom, also in running condition was a 1925 model belonging to Tony Svetlik, brother of the garage owner, Frank Svetlik, and to John R. Bergemann, Neillsville undertaker.  This was the forerunner of the modern-day light pickup truck. 

Three other old Model T Fords, all in current operation, were brought in by their owners for the celebration.  The oldest was a 1923 Model T belonging to Walter Jahr of Neillsville.  Others included a 1924 model belonging to Henry Schlinsog, and a 1925 model belonging to O. W. Lawrence, who lives south of Neillsville and drives the car weekly to Marshfield and return.  Each was presented with five gallons of gasoline by the Svetlik Motor Co.  

Twenty-nine cakes were entered in the anniversary cake contest.  First prize was awarded a cake baked by Mrs. Marion Linster.  The prize was $10.  Second and third prizes, amounting to $5 and $2.50, respectively, were awarded to Mrs. Howard Sturtz and Mrs. Otto May, both of Neillsville.  Judges were Mrs. John W. Perkins and Mrs. Kenneth Olson. 

In the afternoon the cakes entered in the contest were cut and passed out to visitors with coffee and Kool-Aid. 

The evening celebration consisted of a two-hour Ford television show, with a television screen set up in the work room of the Svetlik Motor Co.  Each visitor during the day was presented with a key chain. 



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