|A panorama of the two photos below. This is sometime during the '20s.|
|The axle plant is on the left,then factory #01 with the main office at right.|
|The Industrial bank is on the left,with the Buick axle plant on the right.|
|This photo shows Buick dealers and salesman from Ohio gathering for a Buick Drive away in 1935. This view is looking west from the roof of the main kitchen, building #43, built around 1920. They are standing under the overhead bridge #20 that brought engines to final assembly from factory #11/24 engine test. These are the new Buick Special's which put Buick back on the map. The factory in the background is #29 Toolmakers. September 1935 news story concerning this rare gathering.|
I really enjoyed going through your Buick blog. It looks like you've put in a lot of work on it. I haven't spent much time in Flint, but my father was born there and grandfather raised there. I've attached a picture that I just came upon in my late grandfather's things. The hand written inscription on the back reads "Buick Motor Car Co. 1908 - Flint, Michigan". Can you identify where the picture was taken? My great-grandfather James Arthur Procunier is in 3rd row, 4th from right. GERRY REPLY'S You can see the saw-tooth windows in the roof when you look through the window panes. Also the pillars and window configuration would make this the west wall of factory #11. History tells us this building was built in 1909 so I tend to believe that the inscription on the back was added at a latter date. Either that or the date of construction of #11 is off, which I doubt. More research is required if Mikes photo is correctly dated. Thanks for this lost piece of history Mike. MIKE'S REPLY. Wow... you should work for CSI. You're right, I didn't notice saw tooth windows until I really looked. The really telling thing is that the bench from my picture perfectly matches the bench in yours. It would make sense that the inscription might be off. They didn't move to Flint until at least 1908 and he was listed as a painter in the 1910 Census & assembler in the 1920 Census. I doubt if he would have been a painter at the engine plant.
|The first Buick sold to a customer.|
|Description on the above photograph.|
|Dr. Herbert H. Hills, was the first owner of a production Buick. The story goes that he was not the first on a list of persons waiting for a new Buick. He was placed ahead of others because he agreed to let this vehicle be used as a demonstrator model. Some believe this car was built using the chassis and engine used on the Flint to Detroit test run. An article in the Flint Daily Journal July 29th stated the test car had been shipped to Chicago. We will probably never know for certain which is true. It is also believed to be the car that Billy Durant drove around Genesee county during the summer of 1904. Years later Walter Marr stated that the engine from the test Buick was seen by him being used to pump water in Chicago. This could help substantiate the story that the original test car was sent to Chicago. The large lamp was needed for night time driving. July 27th 1904|
On this day in 1904, Dr. Herbert Hills of Flint, Michigan, purchased the first Buick automobile ever to be sold. Founder David Buick initially made his mark as an inventor and mechanic in the plumbing industry, but had sold out of his business in order to pursue building motor cars. Buick was a man with an innate gift for inventing and tinkering, but who cared little for financial matters. He reputedly was unable to sit still unless he was concentrating on some kind of mechanical problem. None of his contemporaries would have been surprised that his company eventually became more successful than he did. In 1902, after years of fiddling with an automobile design, Buick agreed to a partnership with the Briscoe Manufacturing Company, wherein Briscoe would write off Buick's debts while in turn establishing a $100,000 capitalization for Buick's car company. Buick ceded $99,700 of the company's stock to Briscoe until he repaid his standing debt of $3,500, at which point he could buy controlling interest in the stock. Still, Buick had yet to complete an automobile. When it became clear to Briscoe that Buick would neither be able to pay his debts nor complete his vehicle soon, they sold their interest in the company to the Flint Wagon Works for $10,000. Buick and his son were given stock, but their managerial roles shrunk. Finally, in July of 1904, the first Buick made its initial test run. During the test run, the Buick averaged 30mph on a trip around Flint, going so fast at one point that the driver "couldn't see the village six-mile-an-hour sign." Sixteen Buicks were sold in the next few months, but Flint Wagon Works remained troubled by the Buick venture. They had purchased the company in order to help the city of Flint adjust to a new economy of automobile production, but Buick was already heavily in debt to a number of Flint banks. At this point, David Buick owned only a small share of stock and held none of the business responsibilities, and the Wagon Works decided to bring in Flint whiz kid William Durant to turn the business around. Durant kept Buick on as a manager, a position he held with little impact until 1908. Durant turned Buick into a major player in the automotive industry before incorporating it into his General Motors project
Dr. Herbert Hills with his first Buick
|Follow for the tires used on the first Flint Buick Link: Google Books.|
|This reference to the Oren Stone family who were prominent in Flint during the latter half of the 19th century and early 20th century shows the wife of Oren's son Dwight Stone. His wife is shown as being the daughter of Andrew & Frances (Briscoe) Brow. She is most likely related to the Briscoe family in Detroit. David Buick and Benjamin Briscoe were in the early automobile business together in Detroit. It is not much of a stretch to make the connection of why Benjamin would be in Flint at the opportune time and hear about James Whiting looking to get into the auto business. This is from "The History Of Michigan" by: Charles Moore in 1915. This story seems to corroborate the story about how Benjamin Briscoe first heard about James Whiting wanting to get into the automobile business and eventually bringing the Buick co. from Detroit to Flint. The story is related in the page below From Lawrence Gustin's 2nd edition of his fine book "David Buick's Marvelous Motor Car with assistance from historian Kevin Kirbitz.|
|- SeeView of Walter L. Marr and Thomas D. Buick posing in first Flint Buick car after its Flint-Detroit round trip in July, 1904. Horse-drawn cart and boy with bicycle in background. Printed on front: "Buick's chief engineer, Walter L. Marr (left), and Thomas D. Buick, son of founder David Dunbar Buick, in the first Flint Buick as it ended its successful Flint-Detroit round trip in July, 1904." Handwritten on back: "Buick, 1904". Is that a battery strapped on the tanks? Possible battery? linkpage 109 Duntley battery|
|The certificate for the carburetor below.|
|One of several Walter Marr Patents.|
|The actual Flint Flyer with Marr in Center.|
|Wolverine Citizen story on the Flint Flyer's inaugural flight over the city.|
Certificate of patent on the Flint Flyer.
|One of Walters patents for a carburetor.|
|This is the letter From David Buick that brought Walter Marr back to Buick for the third and final time. They both agreed upon a cooling off period in the future before Walter would leave again.They both supposedly had quite the tempers.|
|The red line shows the Flower Bros. foundry, where David Buick worked, extending the entire length of the Street about 1889. Notice the address change between 1870 & 1887. This is now the site of General Motors World Headquarters. Original map.|
|May 11, 1870. Original Link The Owasso American.|
|This is 1894 and is a crop from the book "David Buick's Marvelous Motor Car". If you really want more photos and complete history buy the book by clicking on the following link. Amazon.|
|Click here for original. This story is referring to Henry Ford's second job in a Detroit factory between December 1879 through August 1880. Link for 1947 news article. David Buick worked at the same factory starting in 1869 and became a foreman in 1879, the year Henry started. It has been suggested that David Buick could have been Henry Ford's boss but that is just speculation but fun to think about. It is written that Henry was 16 when he hired in and that seems a bit young to me but at that time being "put out" at an early age was quite common, David Buick was put out at 11 years of age, I guess those were the days. David left the employ of the James Flower & Bros. Foundry in 1881. More on Ford's time with the Flower foundry. Still more. The Flower Brothers foundry was sold to the Sales Brothers in 1898. The Sales Bothers were dealers in heavy hardware. |
Census link: 1880 census. 1900 census. 1910 census California. 1910 census Michigan.
|The red X shows David Buick's address in 1879. The Google map link is shown below. The red X is 207 e Montcalm on the corner of John R & east Montcalm. This corner lot is directly behind home plate at Comerica Park in Detroit. UPDATE: On December 5, 2008 you posted the location of Davids home at 207 East Montcalm. After the address change that location would be 625 today. The location would be just east of St Antoine. Hastings is now the service drive.|
Hope this helps!
stevehuckss396 on all the forums.
I have attached my Google earth file. It's a work in progress but hundreds of locations have been verified. If your not interested or don't use Google Earth just delete it.
New Address Old
|The 1880 Detroit directory.|
|The 1879 Detroit directory. Buick lives 207 e Montcalm 1887.|
|Buick & Sherwood Catalogue.|