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The 1940s

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1940 While politicians argued the pros and cons of U.S. entry into the European conflict, Americans prepared themselves for the worst. Patriotism soared. In this emotional environment, the 1940 State Auto holiday display touched a chord with a patriotic holiday theme.

1942 On February 9, all automobile companies ceased the production of civilian passenger cars, turning their efforts to war materials. The new business market for automobile insurance was devastated. Given the declining demand for auto insurance, agents turned their focus to other products. It was then that State Auto introduced a full-coverage policy on bicycles – a burgeoning form of transportation during a time of gas rationing. Shortly after the U.S. enters World War II, State Auto respectfully decides to put their Christmas displays on hiatus until after the war.

Mid-1940s Like their counterparts in stores and factories, State Auto's female employees found themselves thrust into new roles as their male coworkers left for military service. Women were trained to replace men in the underwriting department where 10- to 14-hour workdays were the norm.

1945 After the end of World War II, auto production began again in earnest. By the end of the decade, auto industry production peaked at a new all-time high of nearly 6.3 million units.

1949 A record year for State Auto with 254,878 policies issued and gross-premium writings of $14.5 million. Assets climbed to $20.4 million. In May, expansion and remodeling of the home office began. State Auto is on the move again!


At left: A group of independent State Auto agents gathers for a meeting outside the Neil House at Broad and High Streets in downtown Columbus, Ohio.

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