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Facts on UPS

History of UPS

UPS of North America

  • On August 28, 1907, Jim Casey, a high-school dropout, founded the UPS together with his partner Claude Ryan in the basement of a Seattle saloon.
  • In the 1920s, UPS started delivering packages by air, forming United Air Express in 1929, which led to a union with Curtiss-Wright Corporation. But after the October 1929 stock market crash, UPS didn’t offer air service again until 1953.
  • In 1927, UPS was one of the first companies in the country to give their employees shares of the company.
  • During World War II, women, who occupied the delivery positions left behind by men when serving overseas, were fondly known as “Brown Bettys.”  And in 1946, UPS delivered its billionth package right after the war.
  • The global brown UPS delivery vehicles are called “package cars”, never “trucks”.  Early on UPS wanted to distinguish itself as a delivery company, not a trucking company. 
  • Although canary yellow was the original choice, the deep brown color of the UPS package car was inspired by George Pullman’s expensive railroad sleeper cars first introduced in 1865.
  • For most of its history, the major competitor of UPS was the USPS. Because of state and federal regulations that protected the post office monopoly, it took 68 years for founder Jim Casey to realize his dream of coast-to-coast delivery, which was finally accomplished in 1975.
  • It is nearly impossible for a non-UPSer to get any piece of the UPS delivery uniform, which includes the famous brown shorts. UPS uniforms are cautiously controlled and retrieved for disposal once worn out.

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