Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Weston-Mott Factories At Buick

Inside a Weston-Mott office area.
Updates on the construction of the Weston-Mott factory from 1906.
Inside the Industrial and Hamilton plant.
Inside factory #5 making front axles in 1912.
Inside the Industrial and Hamilton plant making truck axles in 1912.

This map should help you with the locations of the seven buildings which made up the Weston-Mott factories located at the Buick site.
This just about has to be the first photo (colorized postcard) of the Weston-Mott factory #1. What they called "First Steam" back then was supplied to this factory on August 8, 1906. At that time all the axles (front & rear) came from this one factory. The size of this building was 60,000 square feet of floor space. Only twenty men were working on that first day. It was demolished in 1946. This photo was taken from the corner of Industrial Avenue and Hamilton Avenue facing north-east.  The 1909 expansion.
This photo of Weston-Mott #1 (Buick #31) was taken from the W.F. Stewart body factory #4 across Hamilton Avenue. Notice the pristine pasture beyond the factory. It was said that back in 1900 this was one great place to hunt rabbits.                                                                                                                                                 

This scene is the same as shown below, only a couple of years earlier. Notice the water tower and (single) smoke stack. Also note that the office in the photo below has had an addition built on the west and east end. 

Weston-Mott factory #1, #2 and #3. (Buick #31, #32, #33). That is the office in front. This shows good detail of the east and west wing additions which are shown four photos below.
I like this view ( Identical to the one below) which shows the gentleman selling lunches on the corner of Industrial & Hamilton. Most views I see show paper boys (as shown below). Some traditions always remain and they were still selling lunches outside the gates when they closed the factory. 
By the time of this photo Weston-Mott was part of Buick. 

Hamilton & Industrial Avenue 1915.


Weston-Mott office with red & white awning.

Weston-Mott office at left.

Weston-Mott office at left. Buick factory #01 & office beyond.

This is the same view as shown below only from the south end of the factory. This north-east view has Weston-Mott #1 (Buick #31) in the foreground.
This south-east view shows the complete Weston-Mott factory #1, #2 and #3 (Buick #31, #32, #33). The #3 (Buick #33) addition is in the foreground.
This north facing view of Weston-Mott factory #1, #2 and #3 (Buick #31, #32, #33) shows great detail of Industrial Avenue. Notice that the main factory floor remained as a single floor, whereas the wings on the east and west walls were two floors.
Same view of Weston-Mott #4 (Buick #34) as shown three photos below from the south-west. 
Weston-Mott #4 when new.

A different perspective showing the positions of the Weston-Mott factories #6 (Buick #36) and #4 (Buick #34). That is factory #40 on Division Street in the distance.
A south-west view showing the factories grouped together near factory #4 (Buick #34). These factories are east of the Pere Marquette (now CSX) main line which was the C&O rail line in my time.
A north-east view of Weston-Mott factory #4 (Buick #34). This factory was built in 1909 and ( partially) demolished in 1939. "First steam" in this plant was December 16, 1909. This plant made hubs and rims. The original cost of this factory was $20,000.
A north facing view of Weston-Mott #5 (Buick #35). This is the axle plant that Harry Bassett (Weston-Mott General Manager) Linkrequested to be built next to factory #4 in his letter dated July 31, 1909 to William "Bill" Little (Buick Manager). It just ended up a bit farther north. These factories back then could be up and running in as little as 3 months from the time you contacted the builder. "Not as much red tape as today". At the time of this photo I believe it was still an axle plant but when this was published in "The Factory Behind The Car" Buick labeled it as to it's then current use. 
This is the west end of Weston-Mott #5.

This west facing view shows Weston-Mott factory #5 (Buick #35). This photo was taken from St Johns Street (now James P. Cole blvd.). This factory was built in 1909 and demolished in 1936.
This is a photo of Weston-Mott #6 (Buick #36) in a south-west view of the power plant used by the Weston-Mott factories. 
Weston-Mott #6 facing south with Weston -Mott #4 on right.
This is the Weston-Mott axle heat treat plant #7 (Buick #37) This factory was built in 1909 and demolished in 1936. This view is facing north-east. This factory was for front axles only as far as I know at this time. 

Inside factory #7 (Buick #37). For the complete story on these factories just read the article below. It is from "THE HORSELESS AGE" dated April 8, 1914. Just double click to enlarge any portion. Most of these photos are from the Buick Research Gallery in Flint, Michigan. The rest are from my collection. I could supply much more background information about these factories, but this site mostly deals with the workers and the buildings. I only supply the information that I feel is important to the researcher looking for "additional" or missing information on these buildings.

Inside Weston-Mott

April 1917.


Anonymous said...

Great pictures, Gerry!

You probably have already seen this video of a 1936 Buick production line, but just in case not, here's a link:

Gerry Godin said...

Thanks! I have seen that. But it is a Chevrolet plant. Buick that year had their "Buick Script" offset on the passenger side of the grill. I have a video though of the Buick at Flint being assembled, And if I ever get the program for removing the copy protection I will post it. You can find quite a few of the Chevrolet ones on youtube and yes they are fascinating. Easy mistake because they all looked very simular. You had me doing a double check.