"New Capitol, Bevo Car, circa 1918." Call Number: PI/1999.0001, no. 50 (MDAH Collection)

"New Capitol, Bevo Car, circa 1918." Call Number: PI/1999.0001, no. 50 (MDAH Collection)

We stumbled on this little treasure while browsing the excellent Daniel (Al Fred) Photograph Collection (PI/1999.0001). At first glance, it appears to be simply an early automobile in front of the capitol, but upon closer examination, you’ll notice life preservers, ship’s bell, miniature cannons, and a front bumper that is reminiscent of an anchor!

This car was called a “Bevo Boat” and was manufactured by Anheuser-Busch to promote its non-alcoholic “Bevo” beverage. However, during World War I, the company loaned the cars to the United States government so that they could tour the country and aid in the recruitment of soldiers and sale of war bonds. This is what most likely brought the vehicle to Mississippi in 1918. Click here to see an original catalog of the Anheuser-Busch Vehicle Department, including the Bevo Boat.