Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The First Buick Workers


The Flint Journal article on Thomas Clint when he retired.
Below are the first three employee's of the new Buick factory in Flint.  Click for original link.
The first Buick factory in Flint in 1903 was originally a single story building with the top two floors added around 1907, (according to the History Of Michigan vol. #4). A 100 ft extension at the west end was done soon after construction. If you have better dates as to the additions, please comment. After Buick moved it's engine operations to the new factory #11 on Flints north side this building was used by the Randolph Truck Co. beginning February 22,1911. Then the Sterling Motor Co. in 1912. The Mason Motor Co. moved in later building engines for Chevrolet, and finally it just became part of the Chevrolet Co. who used it as their axle division.  

This photo inside the Kearsley st. plant shows William Beacraft at the right, next to the improved engine (pushrods on top). This was 1904. The worker behind him with the old style engine is known only as Randall. The first man at the left is only known as Morse. The worker behind him is known only as Hiles. The next in line is W.H. Wascher. Beyond him is a worker known only as Daikin. The man at the center (3rd from right) was known as Mr. Green.  Written on back:View of workers posing with machinery at the Buick Motor Company factory. Handwritten on back: "Left to R. 1. Mr. Morres; 2. Mr. Hill; 3. Wm. Washer; 4. Wesley Daken; 5. [blank]; 6. [blank]; 7. [blank]; 8. [blank]; 9. David Randell with Buick over 40 yr.; 10. Beacraft, Wm. Factories--Buick."  Link: Original
This photo shows Miss Ethel Lobbdell who ran a boardinghouse in Flint where many of the first Buick employee's took up residence. In the center is Miss Lobbdell and behind her to the left is William Beacraft who was in charge of engine assembly. On her right in the back row is Thomas D. Clint the shop foreman and Arthur C. Mason the shop superintendent. These three men were the first recorded employees at the new factory in Flint on west Kearsley st. links:

First Flint Buick

Buick Motor Co.Engine Works

Dr. Hills The Man Who Bought The First Flint Buick

Original factory on east Kearsley st.

1920 Chevy in the hole

Original Buick Factory In Flint Michigan

Buick Truck

The rare 1940 Buick truck shown in the video below was fashioned in the same way as the 1942 Ragsdale Buick shown above. For the whole story look in my links for Ragsdale Buick. Cathy "an alert reader" made me aware of this rare Buick. Thanks

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Flint 1880.

Two Era's Meeting Face To Face

Here is the Patterson factory facing the opposite direction as the view below.
                             This postcard shows the Paterson block from Harrison and Third st facing west.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    


This is Paterson's factory which produced automobiles from 1908 to 1923. Paterson automobile speeding ticket 1904.
This is the intersection of Saginaw and Third street facing east. Saint Paul's episcopal Church is in the center. I wired the P.A. system inside this church once to play the Moody Blues. This was also the location of Charles Stewart Mott's funeral service in 1973. On the left is part of the Paterson block of buildings which included his factory.William Paterson forged the cross on the steeple of the church.The enlarged section below shows the past meeting the present at that time. "That is a Buick".

the enlarged photo can be found at KLR Rider

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Flint Michigan Before The Automobile.

This south-east view of Flint in 1890 shows what the city looked like when it was the leader in the carriage industry.

 extra large view here KLR RIDER

Monday, March 22, 2010

Flint 1909

This is the same location as below only facing south.
 extra large view here KLR RIDER
A Buick at the intersection of Saginaw and Detroit Street. Facing north.
 extra large view here KLR RIDER  
The same view as shown above about 100  years later.

North Division Street

Looking south on Division Street from Stewart Avenue. Factory #05 on right. The holding tanks on the left were erected around 1956. The factory beyond was constructed for war work. It was known as building #20 and then factory #10. It was later used for transmission work. My sister worked here in the mid 70's. Production will be ending at the end of 2010. It can become a bit confusing as to what any factory was designated in any given year at Buick. Every factory at Buick has had number changes at one time or another, going back to the original factory on west Kearsley st. I know Don Bent mentions this in his book "A Place Called Buick". If anyone has information on this subject 'Please comment'. photo from onesmallproject 

Factory #10

Factory #05 Construction

Industrial Avenue

Factory #05. photo from onesmallproject

Factory #03 skeleton. photo from onesmallproject

Industrial Avenue gate at the north end of factory #31 with the old plant #03 skeleton in the distance. photo from -AX-'s

Looking north at the Industrial Avenue gate of factory #31. photo from kthschsslr's

Buick Christmas.

This lucky kid is getting a new Buick for Christmas. This photo is from the Shorpy site.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

1904 Buick

At top is Walter Marr and Eugene Richard the engineers. At bottom is David Buick and Billy Durant the planners. Kevin Johnson is the owner of this fine automobile.
                                                                                                                                                                           Link here for the patent.   All Richard patents.  All Marr patents.  All Buick patents. William Durant patents.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Imperial Wheel Company

A close up before I colorized this postcard.

Imperial Wheel Company showing new Buick's being test run on Hamilton Avenue. The cars appear to be 1909 models.

Memories Before Buick City

This view looking north up Division street during the running of the Olympic torch in 1984 through the Buick complex shows old factory #40 in the distance (at right) just getting it's new dock constructed. The  familiar entrance that survived from 1920 was now gone. 

Shown below in factory #04 (in the background) is the old stairwell and elevator at the north-end. This view is facing south-east. These structures were removed for Buick City.

Buick City "The Beginning"

A welcome back from the local union. I had a lot of fun in the Buick city training program. "It sure beat working for a livin' and takin' what their givin' ".   December 1984 first look at the new Buick.

Here we see the Mayor of Buick City Herb Stone. Factory #04 and #44 and building #16 or new #40 is shown.

This was how the powerhouse (building #7) looked prior to Buick City. The name would change to Buick Oldsmobile Cadillac Group and eventually Buick City.

Going over the layout table for the planned construction of Buick City.

This photo taken from the roof of the Administration building (aka.) World headquarters or as we liked to call it: "The Ivory Tower" shows factory #04 in the distance with the Warren street parking lot being graded after the old original Oak Park neighborhood has been razed. When you enlarge this photo you will notice the third floor windows (at right) have an odd bricked in area. This was where a large steam pipe exploded in the late 70's and sent shrapnel falling on the workers cars parked along Industrial ave. News article here.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Buick & Sherwood Changing Hands.

This 1894 photo from the book "David Buick's Marvelous Motor Car" shows wives & daughters posing for a plumbers convention commemorative  photo at the rebuilt factory. The original was destroyed in a fire in 1892 then again in 1896 and even once more in 1898. Shown father below is a lawsuit against the insurer. This is the corner of Meldrum and Champlain, later changed to Lafeyette in 1914 . The address is 942-964 Champlain. The Standard Sanitary Mfg. Company that took over in 1900 would move out in 1906. I don't see where later tenants, Abbott car company or the Schweppe & Milt tool co.  or the A.C. Knapp top co., stayed in this location for very long.  Click on the articles below to read the originals.  G0 here for the current state of this location.  Go here for the Discuss Detroit web site and more from Kevin Kirbitz.  

                                                 David Buick's Marvelous Motor Car.

September 8, 1892


Click on for Buick vs. Mechanics insurance co.


April-October 1892.  The plant of Buick & Sherwood, manufacturers of sanitary closets, at Detroit, was burned; the loss $80,000.
                                                       December 1896-May 1897                                                                                                                     
Business directory 1897 showing the Kinney Disinfectant Co. with David Buick as the president.
March 14, 1896 second fire.
1897 Polk Directory                                                                                                                                    
1897.  Original link for Discuss Detroit.
This is the south-east corner of  Champlain, St. now Lafeyette St., and Meldrum St.
This is from the book  "The Complete History Of The Buick" by: Lawrence Gustin and   Terry Dunham.

June 9, 1898.
June-November 1898. Third fire.
                                                                   August 4, 1898.                                                                                                                                                       This may be the  new foundry on Beaufait.                             
August 12, 1898.
September 2, 1898. 
September 1900.
February 1, 1903.
                                                                                                   September 19, 1903.                                                                                                                               
1897 Sanborn Fire insurance map. The street at the left is 12th St., which is now Rosa Parks Boulevard. This is where David Buick went after the Buick & Sherwood Co. ended.  Link here (old & new house house numbers Detroit) for address changes post 1921 courtesy of Steve Huck.
1891 map.   Google Map link.
Two Howard Streets, go figure. The one at top is now Temple Street. Google map shows the 416 Howard address location in Grand Circus, Campus Martius which I believe is erroneous. These street designations do move sometimes. Original 1891 map link.   Click on the following for the complete history of the Grand Circus. 
The red arrow shows where William Sherwood located after their partnership dissolved. The blue arrow is where the Buick & Sherwood main plant was located.                                                                                                               
  July 1905.
December 1905 and Standard is building a new factory to replace the old Buick & Sherwood plant on Champlain.
1913 bathtub trust buster Detroit.
March 3, 1910 shows Abbott still in control of the old Buick & Sherwood plant.
January 2, 1915
1915.  See SAXON Company for the rest of the story on the following link: 

Factory #01 closed body receiving 1924.