A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from July 19, 2019
“If the front of your car says ‘DODGE’, do you really need a horn?”

The Dodge Brothers brand of automobiles began in 1914. Almost immediately, a popular joke was told that it was the only car that didn’t need a horn—because it says “Dodge” on the front. The joke was been cited in print since at least June 1915.

“If your car says Dodge on the front of it, do you really need a horn?” is a version of the joke that was posted on the newsgroup alt.society.boomers on November 25, 1998.


Wikipedia: Dodge
Dodge is an American brand of automobile manufactured by FCA US LLC (formerly known as Fiat Chrysler Group LLC), based in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Dodge vehicles currently include performance cars, though for much of its existence Dodge was Chrysler’s mid-priced brand above Plymouth.

Founded as the Dodge Brothers Company machine shop by brothers Horace Elgin Dodge and John Francis Dodge in the early 1900s, Dodge was originally a supplier of parts and assemblies for Detroit-based automakers and began building complete automobiles under the “Dodge Brothers” brand in 1914, predating the founding of Chrysler Corporation. The factory was located in Hamtramck, Michigan, and was called the Dodge Main factory from 1910 until its closing in January 1980.

Google Books
June 1915, Jeffrey Service (The Jeffrey Manufacturing Company, Columbus, OH), “Rate Department Ripples” by Dave Beck, pg. 5, col. 1:
Beck to Bauman: “Say, you won’t need a horn on your new Dodge car.”
Bauman to Beck: “How you make that out?”
Beck: “Your car will have dodge right on the front.”
Bauman: “Ten dollars saved, by jiminy.”

24 August 1915, Indianapolis (IN) Star, pg. 9, col. 2:
LOOK OUT, MEN.
A fellow in Terr Haute said:

“I saw a car the other day which does not need a horn.”

‘Why?” asked the fellow from Fort Wayne.

“Because,” was the answer, “it has written right on the front, ‘Dodge Brothers.’”

9 January 1917, Bridgeton (NJ) Evening News, “Letter from Los Angeles,” pg. 6, col. 2:
They will be on to see you in the spring and will drive a Dodge. That is the only car that does not need a horn. It says “dodge” on the front.
(...)
E. S. WEAVER

1 April 1920, The Gibson Courier (Gibson City, IL), “Items of Local Interest,” pg. 7, col. 5:
William Waldon of Gibson City was in Paxton Tuesday while on his way to get a new Dodge car for a customer. THis is the only car that does not need a horn, because on the front of the radiator may be seen the warning sign, “Dodge Brothers”.

Google Groups: alt.society.boomers
Fun Stuff
Sara A. Cechner
11/25/98
(...)
If your car says Dodge on the front of it, do you really need a horn?

Google Books
September 2007, Boys’ Life, “Think & Grin,” pg. 66, col. 3:
Warped Wiseman wonders: “If the front of your car says ‘Dodge,’ do you really need a horn?”
Joseph Golec, Royal Oak, Mich.

Twitter
Tina Stull
@tinastullracing
Random Thought : If the front of your car says ‘DODGE’, do you really need a horn?
9:31 PM · Apr 15, 2010 · Twitter Web Client

Twitter
Sheryl Underwood
@sherylunderwood
Serious Question: If your car says Dodge on the front of it, do you still need a horn?
4:15 PM · May 30, 2011 · Twitter Web Client

,a href="https://www.nsnews.com/lifestyle/auto/review-dodge-ram-both-comfortable-and-capable-1.23890715">North Shore News (North Vancouver, BC)
REVIEW: Dodge Ram both comfortable and capable
Brendan McAleer / North Shore News
JULY 19, 2019 11:06 AM
(...)
There’s a really old joke, one from the period of vaudeville slapstick, that goes: my car doesn’t need a horn – it says Dodge right on the front.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityTransportation • Friday, July 19, 2019 • Permalink