Friday, December 5, 2008

Walter Marr,Buick's First Engineer

This photo was saved from a waste basket in 1908 by Ray S. Morrish who worked in the accounting department. He would leave Buick shortly after this and ended up (in 1912) going to Medical school in Ann Arbor Michigan becoming a well known doctor in the Flint area. He next shows up in the record as secretary of the Genesee county medical society in 1916. The original photo was donated by his son Richard to the G.M.I. archives in 1976. The telephone exchange for the Buick office in 1915 was 1065. Quite a short number from our viewpoint today.

This detail shows where I believe Buick and Marr's office was located (as stated in the photo description below).

Marr and Buick in the office. Walter Marr and his wife Abbie lived at 829 Hamilton Avenue in 1915. After many hours of researching these two photos I have come to the conclusion that both were taken in the same office. In the top photo you will first notice the size and shape of the two windows. After looking at all possible buildings they should have occupied during Buick's short stay with the firm, my only match was the third floor windows used in the alcoves of the first Buick office on Hamilton Avenue. The second clue is in the top photo, you can clearly see the shape of the alcove, which would also confirm the third floor of the Buick office. The next clue is behind the roll top desk. This would be the side wall of the alcove. Another telling clue is the light fixtures present in both photos. They are the same style as the ones in (later) President Nash's office, which is firmly established. The only difference are these have a single globe, compared to the one's in the presidents office, which have two, but are the exact style. The final clue is the highly placed chair rail above the wainscoting. And one last thing, this would have been the perfect location for Marr and Buick as they both loved to go onto the factory floor. The third floor office had a direct connection to the third floor of factory #01. Since the office had three alcoves it's hard to tell which one's are in the two photo's. You have to know that this is only my best guess.

Dutch Bower, Marr & Enos DeWaters in Flint 1934. This is from a rare movie clip I have mis-placed. Walter passed away December 11,1941 four days after Pearl Harbor.

Both Marr's in Flint. This is the Fred Aldrich car.

Walter Lorenzo Marr with son Walter Durant Marr in Flint.

View of Walter Marr posing with Buick car no. 64 in front of the George N. Pierce Company dealership in Buffalo, New York during the 1906 Glidden Tour. Stamped on back: "Photo by N. Lazarnick, 29 West 42nd Street, New York." Handwritten on back: "Walter Marr beside his Buick car. Tours--Glidden Tour, 1906." - See more at: Link: Detroit Public Library.

Marr 1906 Glidden.

Walter on his large wheel bike.

Walter sporting numerous awards.

Walter at center (looking away) with the Buick racing team at the Buick plant in Flint 1909.

Walter at left in his Saginaw shop.

A vacant lot now with an outdoor eatery. Google link here. January 1896.

Walter in front of his shop in Detroit. The address in 1899 for Walters shop was 198 Grand River Avenue Detroit, Michigan.

Walter Lorenzo Marr.

Walter at the tiller of the first car he built at his Detroit bicycle shop. Seated next to him is W.H. Starling.

Detailed information.

Marr descendants in the Autocar.

This photo shows Marr driving his Autocar.

The Marr chassis.

The 1904 Buick chassis in the photo above, has numerous things in common with the Marr-Auto car chassis shown in the photo above the Buick chassis. Such as motor placement, tilt steering mechanism and center mounted engine with chain drive. The Marr was still in production well into 1904 until a fire at the Fauber factory in Elgin, Illinois in August of that year ended production forever. 1918.

Link: A Tribute To Walter Lorenzo Marr.

Original Aldrich Buick

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