Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Industrial and Leith Over 100 Years

1909 during construction of factory #16. Below is the same spot exactly 100 years later.

July 26,2009. The abandoned factory #31. Photo supplied by Kevin Burger.

Ghost Of The Past

Original photo of south Division st. at Hamilton Avenue supplied by Kevin Burger. Photo taken July 26, 2009.

Factory #66

Here is a photo showing Dominic and Venus Zsigo. They are standing at the corner of Carton st. and Industrial ave. Factory #31/66 is in the background. I found this at Washington and this is what it said: Dominic Zsigo and his wife Venus, pose for a portrait in front of the Buick plant in Flint, Mich., where he works. They are on a week long total layoff, however he worries about being laid off permanently. His wife recently lost her job at a Ford plant.

These photo's show the oldest surviving piece of the original Oak Park factory #01. Factory #01 was built in 1906. These trusses were a later addition to factory #01, added around 1909. They were then removed during an expansion in 1926 and reused here in a cost saving measure. This would be the new crankshaft factory at Buick. In the photo at top, the yellow arrow shows the factory #01 trusses have not yet been erected. The green arrow shows the factory #12 trusses already in place. Factory #12 had it's roof raised in 1925. The mid '20s was a time of great change at the Buick factories. This factory eventually became the north end of factory #31 after World War II. Factory #31 or building 66A was built in 1940. These photos are both looking east from the corner of Industrial avenue and Gillespie street. This photo was supplied by Kevin Burger. He took the picture July 26, 2009.
 link here for more

Factory #01 Roof Trusses

Monday, July 27, 2009

Edward C. Kennard

Ed Kennard was the Buick sales manager starting in 1957. He later became the assistant general sales manager in charge of the eastern United States. He then went on to become the general manager of Cadillac.

This token was given out at a dealers meeting in Minneapolis in 1958. It was to be a symbol of hope for the future. Buick had been having very bad quality problems since 1955 concerning brakes, axles and water pumps, just to name a few. The quote is from Matthew 17:20, "And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you."  
The author of this article went on to write the book "The Good Old Days At The Buick".

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Hamilton Avenue and the Dupont plant.

                                                                                                                                                                    Link: Dupont Magazine 1921.

View of FlintMichigan plant
Corporate creatorE.I. du Pont Nemours & Company
This 3000 gallon mixer at DuPont's FlintMichigan plant is one of the tools that makes it possible to turn out high qualitylow cost finishes on a mass production basis.

From the same direction as shown below. This 3 story addition was built starting in February 1909.

A 1916 view from the opposite side. The view below is during construction in 1911.

This is the E. I. Dupont de Nemours Company, or just Dupont if you prefer. This plant was located on the site of the original Flint Varnish Work's. This view facing southeast was taken from the south entrance to Division street off of Hamilton Avenue. They supplied all the paint products for Buick.

1975 Buick Pace Car

An original prototype sketch.


At the end of the final/slat line in factory #40 at Buick in Flint. This view is facing east. That is the bumper line in the background, located adjacent to 16 rail dock. The decals used on this car could still be found on lockers and such all over Buick City when I left in 1997. The story goes that production on this particular car was drastically reduced. "Maybe because they run out of decals". 
At the end of the final/slat line in factory #40 at Buick in Flint. This view is facing east. That is the bumper line in the background, located adjacent to 16 rail dock. The decals used on this car could still be found on lockers and such all over Buick City when I left in 1997. The story goes that production on this particular car was drastically reduced. "Maybe because they ran out of decals". 

The Sloan Museum car. One of only two built with a 455 cubic inch V8. Actor James Garner at Indianapolis. On the track at Indy. "The Sloan car photo was supplied by my brother Larry Godin", who was an avid Buick collector". He passed away in 1998. He was the real Buick historian in the family. "I'm just carrying on where he left off".

At Indianapolis.

1975 advertisement.

The first prototype. link here for all the statistics concerning this unique vehicle : http://  Dean's Garage 75-76 pace cars 1981 pace car

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Industrial Avenue Memories.

The location for this 1976 photo in the old Oak Park subdivision is diagrammed below. That is factory #04 in the distance. You can even see the small box like structure on the roof of the factory that is shown below.  Link the following for another Oak Park view. 

Factory #03 Lombardi And Fusi

Same house 1930. Original

Here is a 1976 photo taken by Michael Hayman. His photo is facing east towards Industrial Avenue. I knew the Oak Park neighborhood pretty good, but not as well as some crack addicts I knew.

One more Industrial Avenue business.

Another of the many businesses tied in with the Buick factory.

Facing north on Industrial Avenue at the corner of Industrial and Parkland. Shown on map below. The building on the right is 'old' factory #12.

Felix Bober in front of his service station on Industrial Avenue and Edmund Street. The maps at the bottom show the location near the Buick factory. I do not know which corner this is because Edmund street crossed Industrial at that time, when a neighborhood was still located where factory #05/building #43 would be built in the early fifties.

Link: Collier-Bober Family.

Bober's Filling Station

Bober's Filling Station
3930 Industrial Ave., Flint, Michigan

Felix Bober-2, at your service!

During 1910 these lots were being sold by a lottery drawing. This site would be the parking lot of future factory #05.



Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Reflection's On Industrial Avenue.

These two photos related to the previous post, show the "Jam Shop on Industrial Avenue before the 1945 demolition work. In the top photo you can see the Weston-Mott factory reflected in the store front windows. The photo below shows the factory directly in the background.

Weston-Mott Demolition 1946

Here is a view of the demolition of Weston-Mott facing south east showing factory #10/#62 at the left. You can see that they are placing the new footings for the foundation of factory #04 immediately following behind the demolition. They were wasting no time, as this factory was originally slated for demolition before the war Read this 1940 news article on the original schedule., but the floor space was so urgently needed that they waited until victory over the Axis powers was complete.

The covered rail dock and vent pipes visible in the photo below, can be seen at the extreme left in this photo. This view is facing south. The "Jam Shop" would be located just south of #68, the Buick personnel building at the top right in this photo. In the foreground is the old Michigan Motors Casting plant which became factory #38. Then beyond are the combined factories #31, #32 and #33 which became part of the Buick organization in 1917. These combined factories were then called #31. By 1940 the new axle plant north of Leith street was built and it then became #31.

In this photo taken in 1945 in front of the "Jam Shop" on Industrial avenue, you can see the demolition taking place in the background. This view is facing north east. Old factory #10 at this time part of the Unified assembly plant #62 is visible now that the Axle plant has been removed. This is where the new sheet metal plant #04 would soon be built. I found this family photo on

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Charles Lindbergh over Flint 1927

This was the factory on Industrial Avenue, just south of the Buick complex that supplied the spark plugs for Lindbergh.
A 1913 view of the Champion Ignition Company. This would become simply A.C. in the very near future. Just like with Billy Durant and Louis Chevrolet the same thing happened with Albert Champion and his name. That is the W.F. Stewart factory #3 at the right. The water tower in the background is at the Buick plant.

Charles Augustus Lindbergh was born on Feb. 4, 1902, in Detroit. He made the first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean on May 20-21, 1927. In 1919, a New York City hotel owner named Raymond Orteig offered $25,000 to the first aviator to fly nonstop from New York to Paris.
On a goodwill (cross country) flight after his return from France, one important fly over was the A.C. plant located adjacent to the Buick factory in Flint, Michigan. The spark plugs used in the "Spirit Of St. Louis" were from the plant in Flint. The photo at bottom taken August 12, 1927 shows just the Buick factories. A.C. was located just out of sight at the left of this picture. Lindbergh passed away in 1974.