This photo was taken by Jim Steele of one of the old Camel Pouch trailers. It was painted over but you can still see a faint Campbell 66 Express logos. Jim wrote to Bruce asking if he had more information about this trailer. Below is the email Bruce sent back to Jim.
Great to hear from you. Your inquiry about this odd trailer of C66 has brought you to the right place. I had to do some deep digging not only into my photo files but also into my memory. C66 was in business from 1926 to 1986 and Frank Campbell was known in the trucking industry as one of the pioneers. The company developed a lot of ideas about the most efficient way to move freight via truck. Some were great ideas and others flopped. This trailer is an example of one that flopped. During the 1950s and 1960s, small freight shipments began to change. They became lighter and less dense due to the use of plastics and other lighter materials. Plastics replaced steel, cardboard boxes replaces wooden crates etc. Because of this, we were packing our trailers with small shipments that completely filled the trailer but came nowhere close to exceeding the weight limits allowed. We came up with the idea of expanding the floor of the trailer gaining additional cubic space. The floor had four large doors that opened up for this storage space but when closed would still allow a heavy loaded forklift to operate into the trailer normally. It did allow more freight to be loaded however, the drawbacks were that it was difficult for the loader to bend over and dig the freight out of the pouch hence the increased labor cost outweighed the revenue the additional pouch shipments produced. C66 had three of these trailers built as I recall. Your photo is of no. 2606. I am sending you my photo that shows the brand new no. 2605 just after being hand painted by Bill Boyd at our Springfield Shop.
As a side note, I would call your attention to the overhead door on these trailers. C66 in conjunction with the Whiting Door Company of Indiana developed the overhead door for trailers you now see on the road today. C66 made over 700 design changes in the Whiting door to make it work on these trailers. And it all started when Mr. Campbell expressed his ire over our spending too much money replacing the swinging doors our drivers were tearing off backing into tight delivery docks. Your inquiry has given me joy in remembering the great days of Campbell 66 Express and Humpin” to Please.
Thanks, Bruce Crim