Logos before Political Correctness
The city of Brantford sits just across the River Grand in Southern Ontario from the extensive Six Nations Iroquois reserve, one of the largest first nations reserve in Canada. One of the major manufacturers in the city was the Brantford Coach and Body Ltd, one of Canada’s largest semi trailer manufacturers. This close association was used shamelessly to stake out the name in the marketing of their products in a manner that today would not be considered acceptable.
In the early years after World War Two, Brantford Coach began to name their trailers after some of the Six Nation tribes. The corporate logo featured an Indian head dress and was used in the metal stamped badge attached to the front of each of their trailers. Their new frameless van trailer line was proudly introduced as their “Canadian Chief” trailer line.
The platform trailer line was called the “Iroqouis”, and the dump trailer line was the “Mohawk” line. All of their product literature carried the corporate trademark of a first nation feathered head dress.
The ultimate use of the Indian symbol was exercised in the cover of a company brochure promoting the Brantford Coach “Progress in Payloads”, a nation-wide, city by city promotional tour of their newest trailer line of products. In addition to the front cover headlined by the corporate headdress logo, both front and rear covers showed scantily clad female models wearing native head dresses.
Today’s marketing use of symbols has come a long way from those competitive post war days.
(For a history of this company, see my book “From Wagon to Trailer”)