Sunday, May 18, 2008

My Mother and General Motors Birthplace.

The Durant & Dort factory office on west Water Street during  restoration. My mothers house when she was a child was located where the backhoe is off to the right. This view is facing north-east. 'I was inside here during the restoration and was looking through the books and blueprints down in the basement as I recall'.
This is how my mother remembered the Durant-Dort office when she was a child. This is also the way I remember it in the '60s when we passed it on the way to Kresges.  

This would be 1975. I was in here looking through the workers photos during the reconstruction shortly after this.

After the restoration.
This is young Lorraine Royer at the corner of Water & Lyon she is facing west. You can just see the top of the Industrial Bank building on Saginaw St., above the Conoco gas sign. She would be facing the Durant-Dort office with the main factory across the street. Color photo below is the exact same shot in 2003.
Red dot shows my mothers house.
Link: Original.

I took this photo in 2003 during Buick's 100th celebration. I'm almost in the same location as the original photographer when the picture of my mom (above) on her trike was taken.

The state historic marker in front of the Durant-Dort office. Constructed in 1896 at 315 West Water Street in Flint, the building was the original headquarters of the Durant-Dort Carriage Company and eventually the birthplace of General Motors. After the carriage firm ceased operations in 1917, this building was headquarters of the now defunct Dort Motor Car Company until 1925.

The arrow points to my mothers house. This is the picture she showed me and pointed out the house she grew up in.

This view is looking east up water street from Mason st.

This postcard shows the Durant-Dort office with a flat roof which is what my mother told me it had. This is the way it was for most of the 20th century after a fire destroyed the original roof structure.

This is where my mother Lorraine (Royer) Godin grew up in the late '20s and early thirties. This area is now known as the Historic Carriage Town. In this view we are facing west. The Royer home is now a parking lot. I have a photo of the 1947 flood showing the house converted into a gas station.
This and the following photos from: Kevin Kirbitz

From left: J. Dallas Dort, William C. Durant, Charles H. Bonbright, Bess Rosenswig, Fred A. Aldrich. Probably taken in early 1890s. — in Flint, MI.

Buick Draftsmen

Fisher Body #1 1940

This I believe is an advance showing for the district dealers for the all new 1940 Buick. This is in the old Buick garage #08. This is the #78 engineering area of the building. This is the exact same area where the prototype work for the M-18 HellCat tank would soon take place. The body style shown in the background is the new Super Series Century. This model year was the first Buick without a running board. It did however still show a hint of one. This is not Fisher body.

This photo is from the  Lawrence Journal a Kansas paper. Follow the Lawrence link for story. For a nice story on the 1940 Buick go here, THE OLD CAR MANUAL PROJECT.

Coming down the line after paint on south Saginaw street in Flint.

Grinding the welds for a smooth look.

Another view of the Jig in place, making sure everything is squared up 

With the jig in place a Buick C body gets welded.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Genesee County Tanks

The radial engines being readied for installation in a new Hellcat. This is in Flint, Michigan.   Life magazine HellCat ad.

Final inspection in the Flint factory.

Training on the Hellcat in Flint.

This is not Buick in Flint but dose show the Hellcat engine being assembled.   

This is a mock battle at Kearsley park on the east side of Flint. The pavilion at the upper right was recently cleaned up and repainted. This structure appears in the background of early Buick photos when promotion pictures were taken at sites near the Buick plant.

Here is the "General Pershing" heavy tank inside the Grand Blanc factory. These had a Ford engine but Buick still built the transmission. My uncle Lawrence Royer  worked here until he retired in 1976. After tank production ended this became a Buick parts distribution warehouse (link here for 1946 story before becoming a part of Cadillac. Further reading on warehouse.

Here you see the "General Sherman" medium tank on a Flint street. The transmission drive was built at Buick but the tank was assembled at the Grand Blanc factory south of Flint. There were 17,213 built before the changeover to the "General Pershing" heavy tank introduced late in world war II. The Pershing lasted through the Korean war. You can see the drive train being produced in the previous post "Buick At It's Battle Stations.
 follow the link

Buick At It's Battle Stations

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Largest Plant In The World 1911

You can super enlarge just about any photo on this blog for viewing small details. The way this is done is a little different depending on which browser is used.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Buick At It's Battle Stations

Steel shell casing advertisement.
Link for E-Award

Training in Chicago.

The wire loom inside the Melrose plant in Chicago. Link: 

War Production At Buick.

Josh from Utah sent along this photo of his HellCat and Ford Jeep. Thanks Josh.

Here's the entire book given to all employees in 1944 except the list of all who served in the military.