Thursday, September 29, 2011

Buick Aerial View 1936

A nice aerial view of the Buick complex from a less seen perspective facing south. I like the wires stabilizing the wings of the plane.

Judging by the factories in this photo I would date it as early 1936. Photo from the Buick Research Gallery in Flint, Michigan.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Buick Motor Division.

This is a post card of the Armory where the photo below was taken. You are facing (north-west) the same direction as the photos below.

This map shows the line of site from the Armory to the Buick property.

This photo labeled as Buick City in the Buick Research Gallery archives is actually from the 60's when it was just Buick Motor Division. When you enlarge this photo taken from the roof of the Flint National Guard Armory roof on Lewis Street (at the time of this photo) which before the change to Lewis street, was originally Richfield road, and is now Chavez Drive. This view (facing north-west) shows the Buick plant in the distance. Many people call "any part" of Buick by the name final assembly adopted in 1984, which was "Buick City", which in turn was borrowed from the Japanese factory "Toyota City". The only part of the north Flint plant known as Buick City was south of Leith Street bordered by North Street, Hamilton Avenue and James P. Cole blvd. Everything north of Leith Street was Buick Powertrain Flint North.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Factory #40 A Trip Through Time.

The exact same view as below only it is now 1997.

This is 1924 looking south down Division Street. That is factory #40 running along Division with the heat treat building #41 at the left.

Here is the same view as shown below only 73 years later. That is factory #40 with the flag flying.

This is 1924 looking directly north up Division Street with factory #01 on the left and #40 in the center. The black and white photos are from The Buick Research Gallery. The color ones I took myself just before I left Buick forever.

Transformer House #42.

This south-west view of the transformer building #42 has the Pere Marquette (now CSX) main line running right next to it. That is factory #40's east wall and the covered rail dock on the west side of the main line tracks.
 Links:

Factory #40 1920

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Buick Kitchen #43

This is a view of the central Kitchen #43 facing  north. That is the east end of factory #11 in the background. I cropped off the bad part of this picture because It has been torn in half as some are in the archives.
The central kitchen prepared and delivered meals to the workers in the factories. the tip of the arrow shows where the photographer would have been standing. Both photos would have been taken before the remodeling of #11. The overhead bridge bringing engines to final assembly has not yet been built. The steel yard will occupy this location very shortly. This is 1920. Top photo from the Buick Research Gallery.
Link:

Factory #11 about 1924


Friday, September 16, 2011

Buick Factory #01.

This card from before 1909 is from my own collection and can be super enlarged.  November 2, 1905 construction update for factory #01 (actual ground breaking was November 1, 1905). Judging by the article below, the office got a later start on construction than originally planned.  The 1907 Buick in detail.


November 2, 1905 construction update for factory #01 (actual ground breaking was November 1, 1905). Judging by the article below, the office got a later start on construction than originally planned.


Inside factory #01 paint department in 1922. This would be in one of the wing sections of the factory.


Inside factory #01 at the Hamilton Avenue factory. This photo is dated 1910. This would be the center section.


I like this advertisement where Buick is selling their leftovers. Obviously they did not have a Service and Parts department yet. Judging by the date I think the factory #1 the ad is referring to is the Kearsley Street factory, but I'm not sure.


News of the first Buick factory on Flint's north side from July 1, 1906.


Here is another photo of factory #01 on Hamilton Avenue.


The two short articles above, from the Trade Journal "Motor Age" give approximate dates for construction of Buick's first factory #01 on the Oak Park site located at the old Hamilton farm on Flint's north side in late 1905. The contract for construction was signed on September 4,1905. the builders were Field, Hinchman & Smith from Detroit. The General contractors were the Charles A. Moses Co. out of Chicago. The date for start-up at the new site is believed to be February of 1907. As stated in Don Bent's book "A Place Called Buick" quote: "Lawrence Gustin, a knowledgeable Buick historian, understands the date to have been February 2, 1907. Although there is no documentation to confirm the February date, there is confirmation that by the end of LinkFebruary, Buick Models F and G's were shipped from the Flint factory. In all likelihood, Model F and G production - the high-volume Buick's, had been moved back from Jackson at this time. Other lower production models were still probably produced in Jackson". end quote.


A nice view of the east wing of factory #01 in this north-west view. Photo taken October 6, 1919.


I'm not sure of the occasion shown here. You are looking east up Hamilton Avenue from Industrial Avenue. Part of the Weston-Mott office is visible at the left. This photo was just basically a black print at the Buick Gallery which I took a photo of and changed the contrast and was amazed at this before unseen photo.



Factory #01 and the main office facing east north-east.



I like the horse and wagon making a delivery in this north-east view of factory #01 taken from the roof of the W.F. Stewart body works. This is also before 1908. The powerhouse (shown directly north of the factory) was built at the same time as factory #01 between 1905 and 1906. A generating plant for electricity was built (later) north of the powerhouse also.
Landscaping in 1906


A nice view of factory #01 with #06 running farther north along Division Street. Hamilton Avenue is in the foreground. With the Pere Marquette main line at lower right. This is before 1908. At this time assembly of Buick's was being done in factory #06. Factory #01 was now used for machine work, transmission assembly and body paint.


Factory #01 before April 29, 1909. The photo below shows a closeup of the office area. Factory #08 on the south side of Hamilton Avenue has just been built and is barely visible in the large photo.. Also notice that the powerhouse only has one stack at this time. 


A very early view showing the original covered walk for office personnel. When you enlarge you will notice the horse drawn sleigh.


This west facing view has factory #01 at the right. "It was connected to the main office". In this view you can see a worker sprinting across the Pere Marquette main line at lower right.


Another familiar view of Buick's first factory located at the "Oak Park Industrial Complex". This north view from  1909 shows a Pere Marquette spur line at right with Hamilton Avenue running east to west in front of the factory and office. As you may know factory #01 was originally the west Kearsley Street plant but after this one was built the Kearsley plant became #02. This would have been after April 29, 1909 because the water tank has already fallen in the storm and has not been replaced yet. 


I like this postcard (which most people have seen) only this one includes the switch engine along with the horse and wagon. Photos are from the Buick Research Gallery and Sloan Museum plus my own collection. Link for news article on the demolition started in August 1963 witch is mistakenly called #06. The article is shown below. 
 Link here 1908 expansion.  Link here for more construction W.F. Stewart purchase.
Links: Louis Chevrolet At Buick Buick Assembly Court Yard. Division Street Hamilton & Industrial Avenue 1915. Early views of Buick & Weston-Mott. Buick At High Noon Buick Around 1907 Body Receiving 1947. Walter Marr,Buick's First Engineer Factory #01 closed body receiving 1924. Buick 1932 Division Street 1934 Champion Ignition Company 1908 Factory #01 Roof Trusses Buick winter Buick 1911 Buick factory #1 & #6 Buick Factories 1908 Hamilton Avenue Factory #4 View Factory #1 Buick 1920 Buick Factory #1 1907 Buick Factory #1 Machine Floor Buick Factory #01 interior

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.
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.
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 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.
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