Beach Day by Rodger Bliss
April 2024

Buggy Whips

Everyone has heard of companies that go out of business because they were trying to make buggy whips, which is a euphemism for ‘the technology surpassed them.’


Those that, in fact did make buggy whips, of course, went out of business. Not all, but 99.9% percent of them went out of business when cars came along because you didn’t need buggy whips anymore. But there was a company that you wouldn’t think would have gone out of business.


I saw an ad. I was looking through a book the other day, and I saw an ad for the Scott Muffler Company which was a thriving company in 1919. The Scott Muffler Company, and that was just about the time that cars were coming into their own.


You would think that that company would flourish during the next decade. And yet, the Scott Muffler Company fell victim to the buggy whip syndrome and went out of business in the following decade.


Tell the RiddleDude why?

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6 guesses to Buggy Whips

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  • anant

    was it because of the great depression?

  • Dude

    Nope, keep trying… Scott Muffler Company is the key to the answer.

  • People stopped wearing mufflers.

  • Dude

    Jimmy you are correct. Those mufflers look like a puzzle to put on as well. Scarfs are easier.

  • Margot

    they were making mufflers to wear….

  • Jim Gorycki

    My guess is that they did not expand their offering of products. For example, Midas Muffler shop started off with just installing mufflers. Then they expanded by offering brake service. They also offer oil changes too. They expanded to offer additional automotive services. People don’t think they have the time to stop and get just a muffler. They’re trip-chaining: dropping kids off to school, picking up the dry cleaning, getting an oil change, brake job, AND a muffler repair!

    PS I just looked at the comments below about “muffler” a term used to warm body. People can wear scarves, hats, ski caps (someone called it a tobagan lol)