- Written by webmin
Phil Comtois, who runs the automotive paint department at the nearby NAPA store, comes from an automotive family. His brother, Ed, still owns a used car lot and automotive repair facility in Cohoes, New York, and Phil was a body man for the Congress Street Garage at 144 Congress in Cohoes for years before “retiring” to retail automotive paint sales. Recently, Ed was going through some old records when he came across this receipt from their father’s garage from 1949.
If you Google Map the address of the Eagle Garage, the building at 32 Congress St. is still there, a brickfront garage, typical of the period.
What I thought was even more interesting was the hand-typed receipt itself and the prices Ed Sr. charged for an accident to the left rear quarter of this 1941 DeSoto.
Upon first read, I thought either this whole bill was pretty cheap or 1941 DeSotos were built really well. But, in 1949, $15 would pay for a lot of things. Minimum wage was less than $1/hour, and the bumper guards at $9/pair were the same prices as a pair of dress shoes.
I imagine Mr. Hans Neilsen was shocked when he was handed this bill; it could have represented almost two weeks pay to him and I don’t see any reference to insurance coverage or deductibles either.
I also wonder how many hours of work went into that $42 labor fee. It could have taken up to a week to complete the work.