1924 - The prohibitive expense of operating branch outlets in the community causes the Everett Public Library to invest in a Model T Ford truck modified to serve as a "book wagon," a traveling mini-library which begins service in May.
Named "Pegasus" after the flying horse of mythology, it is the first "bookmobile" in Washington State.
Everett Public Library book wagon is shown on Norton avenue in front of Jackson school, where children are eagerly crowding about Miss Florence Gould, children's librarian.
From an article in The Everett Daily Herald, May 13, 1924. Photo by Vikdal
In 1929 the custom bookmobile coachwork from the Ford Model T chassis was installed onto a new Ford Model AA truck chassis.
By the time this photo was taken in 1945 Pegasus was showing her age. After many years of service Pegasus was retired in 1950.
1993 - David Dilgard, Everett Public Library historian, and Dale Campbell from the local Model A Club, inspect our new historic treasure.
The Model A engine, completely rebuilt and updated with hard seats and stainless steel valves so it will run on modern gas, is loaded in our trailer by machinist Herb Mathews.
The chassis project begins to take shape.
An almost drivable chassis.
The final shape can be seen at this point.
2004 - Still very much a work in progress, we bring Pegasus out to join the world famous Everett Public Library Book Cart Drill Team for the Salty Sea Days parade.
This is the first time since 1950 that the bookmobile Pegasus will be on the streets of Everett.
2004 - Pegasus in the Salty Sea Days parade.
For 90 years the bookmobile was an important tool used by the Everett Public Library to deliver a wide range of services. This vital work began with a Model T Ford in 1924 – a time of economic uncertainty within the region. The first Everett Public Library bookmobile was named Pegasus. Local historians believe that the name was a reference to Christopher Morley’s book Parnassus on Wheels, which included a mobile bookstore.
Pegasus was later upgraded to a Model AA Ford, which served the Library faithfully for 20 years. After ending its service in 1950, the second Pegasus model was sold at auction and saw various uses around Snohomish County over the years. She was re-discovered in 1992, when Rotary Club of Everett purchased her and a new set of tires. A years-long restoration process ensued, involving the generous donation of funds, labor, and mechanical skill of many members of Everett’s community. Eventually ‘Peggy’ was able to ride again, and became a fixture in local parades.
Pegasus is ready to start the next chapter in her journey. She has outlived the Outreach department, which was closed in 2014 due to City budget cuts. However, as the Everett Public Library works to expand its Evergreen Branch, there are plans for a special exhibit space for Pegasus to be greeted by new generations of Library visitors for years to come.