HERStory: First Woman to Drive a UPS Package Car

by Fran Bernard, on May 11, 2023 8:26:54 AM


Mazie Lanham 

Mazie Lanham, from California, became the first woman to drive for UPS in 1943. Recognizing what United Parcel Service (UPS) is today, it is amazing to know that it was founded in 1907 by two teenagers with $100 in borrowed start-up funds and a bicycle. The start of UPS came about when they decided that they could deliver other things than telegrams, such as parcels, for example.

5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About UPS | The Motley Fool

In October of 1942 as World War II raged, UPS began hiring women, who soon dominated operations and deliveries. It started in Seattle and quickly spread to other major cities.

Playing off the men who worked for UPS being known as the "Brown Buddies", Mazie became the first member of the “Brown Betties” delivery team and paved the way for women in the package delivery industry. Mazie inspired the women around her to continue their careers as UPS drivers and opened the doors for other women to do the same. Mazie used her position to hire more women, which continued even after the war was finished. UPS delivered its billionth package right after the war in 1946.

Though it was not easy, these women proved their strength on and off the road. As the trucking industry continues to grow more diverse, we can now look back and recognize their achievements that paved the path for the modern woman truck driver. Today, there are thousands of women following in the footsteps of these pioneers, honoring their work, strength and spirit. History of Women In the Trucking Industry (cdlcareernow.com)

 The ubiquitous 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.  And for the same reason, the “semis” or big rigs that transfer packages are called “feeder vehicles.” Interesting Facts about UPS (gregniemann.com)

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