What Is an “Acme”?

New Horizons - Old Trails

Were We Conceited; or What?

There’s a story behind the name, one that involves much, much more than simple (minded) arrogance (we hoped)…

According to Merriam-Webster Online, an acme is:

“…the highest point or stage; also : one that represents perfection of the thing expressed…”

Acme Building Disintegrators

Treasured Days of Long Ago…

When, on Saturday mornings, we gathered by the television in the homes of our parents as early as possible and watch cartoons? Crunching our way through bowls of Super Choco-Sugar Cornflaked Bomblets, drinking glass after glass of chocolate milk, while enraptured by our cartoon chums.

I don’t know about you, but my favorites were Looney Tunes: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and, of course, the Road Runner. Especially the Road Runner! Why? Because of that all-time stereotypical techno-geek: Wiley E. Coyote. No matter how simple the problem, Wiley (who must have graduated suma cum laude from some fine engineering school) always came up with the most technologically challenging, almost impossible to comprehend, engineering solution. And, upon whom did Wiley depend to provide him an endless supply of constantly malfunctioning, yet oh-so-(?non?)-lethal, gadgets?

The Acme Company

This cartoon series began in the 1950s and was brilliant! Kids laughed out loud at the antics and the near-deaths endured by poor old Wiley. But, there was abundant understated adult humor as well as prescience worthy of Nostradamus present, too. For instance, who in the 1950s could predict the continued success of a US company that continued to produce malfunctioning product lines? Today, we can answer that question with a number of well-known names. (None of which shall be given breath here…

Oh, I see you have a vintage [Edsall/Corvair/K-car].

Didja find it on the Web using [Windows]?)

And, you know (don’t you?) that a coyote in the wild just couldn’t have enough disposable cash to pay for those big artillery pieces, missiles, and pyrotechnics. So, the writers of the Road Runner series predicted the coming era of corporate financial and personal credit over-extension, bank loan problems, and (probably) the explosion of Chapter 11 restructurings that we know so well today.

Still, Wiley is one of my all-time heroes, for his never-shaken belief in the efficacy of technologique. However, that neither influenced nor informed the decision to name this crew the Acme Treadway Company.

The Truth

A good friend of mine suggested the name, Acme Treadway Company, back in 2000. To some degree, this plays upon the initials, ATC (go figure). And, there’s that Merriam-Webster definition of acme, a standard toward which we strive. (Yes, we do.)

But, Acme Treadway Company sounded so much better than A Trail Crew and it maked for better marketing and promotion, too.

So, There’s That!

None of this, however, stopped my friend from fleeing to North Carolina shortly after she realized I’d taken her suggestion and so named the new crew…