Meet Marvin Shultz, Reed Brothers Longest Tenured Employee
The year was 1941 — Franklin D. Roosevelt was President, the United States officially entered World War II, a first class stamp was five cents, the average price of a new Dodge car was about $800, and for 15 cents, you could buy a gallon of gas.
Things were quite different back in 1941 when Marvin Shultz started working at Reed Brothers Dodge. As Reed Brothers longest tenured employee, Marvin worked for 43 of the company’s 97 years of existence before retiring in 1984 as a new car salesman. Marvin began as Manager of Reed Brothers full service Gulf Gasoline and Service Station when it was located at its original location at the intersection of Veirs Mill Road and Rockville Pike. The service station carried a full line of Gulf lubricants, Goodyear tires, Willard batteries and many other well known brands of merchandise to meet their patrons needs. In fact, the company was the first Gulf gas dealer in the Washington, D.C. area.
Marvin’s four-plus decades at Reed Brothers spanned some major and minor bumps in the road for the business. The U.S. entry into World War II had led to rationing of gasoline, rubber and anything else critical to the country’s war effort. During that time, Reed Brothers had no new cars to sell for three and a half years. When manufacturers halted car production and many dealers went bankrupt, Reed Brothers converted its car showroom into a display room and sold GE washing machines and other large appliances to fill the gap. At the end of the 1940s a gallon of gas cost 26 cents. After the war when new car production started back up, and Reed Brothers once again had new cars and trucks to sell, it continued to grow.
Marvin’s 43 years of tenure puts him among a handful of employees who have worked at both Reed Brothers’ locations, at the triangle at Veirs Mill Road and Rockville Pike and at 15955 Frederick Road Rockville Maryland. He was with Reed Brothers through three renovations and expansions, including demolition of the 1953 service station to make room for a new free standing Gulf Service Station and a new car showroom. At the time, Reed Brothers employed twenty-two people to assist in the operation of the business.
Marvin became a new car salesman in 1965, the same year that Reed Brothers celebrated its 50th Anniversary. He began selling new cars when the average sticker price of a new 1965 Dodge Coronet was about $2,600. When the state widened the roads in 1970, he relocated with Reed Brothers to its new location at 15955 Frederick Road Rockville Maryland. Marvin stuck with Reed Brothers through three recessions, two energy crises and the first Chrysler Bailout and resurgence under Lee Iacocca.
A lot of my memories include fond recollections of Marvin. For us to be able to say that we’ve had anyone work for our company for 43 years is a milestone that is unsurpassed. We should all aspire to do what we love in our work, and I think Marvin’s long history with Reed Brothers is a testament to that.