SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
6000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
Join and Share

Social Shorpy

To love him is to like him. Our goal: 100k "likes":

Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Daily e-mail updates:


Member Photos

Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

Colorized Photos

Colorized photos submitted by members.

About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

Flower Car: 1901

Flower Car: 1901

Detroit, 1901. "Bicentenary celebration floral parade -- automobile of William Metzger." 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5


When Metzger opened his auto showroom in 1897, he was selling Waverly electric cars; logic says that's what he was driving. It's hard to tell through the foliage, but the shape seems right.

Electric phaeton of some flavor

I fairly certain it's electric and it's obviously of the "phaeton" style. I suspect that it was at least a year or two old when the picture was taken. That's based on my inability to find a picture of that wheel style on a post-1900 vehicle. Admittedly, I didn't look terribly hard for one. The year rules out Detroit Electric, and what we can see of the undercarriage doesn't look like the pictures of Bakers I found. A Columbia, maybe? Unfortunately (?) there were a lot of builders of electric cars then, and most of the phaeton and other small body styles look pretty much alike when you can't see details.

Can you name the ride?

Here's a real challenge for all you car guys out there!

Hurry Up, William!

Or we'll never get to Pasadena by January 1st-

Are we having fun yet?

That's about the glummest group of folks, outside of a coal mine, that's been seen around here.


Never tried my hand at it, but my guess is this would be one of the harder photos to do.

Flowers before horse poo

Photos from this era are nearly aromatic with horse dung.

Busy guy

William Metzger had a hand in several familiar brands. He started the first US retail auto showroom (1897!), was one of the founders of Cadillac and later, E-M-F (Everitt-Metzger-Flanders). E-M-F was bought and sold several times, until Walter Chrysler reorganized its last incarnation, Maxwell-Chalmers, into Chrysler.

He also founded the Stinson Aircraft, which was eventually acquired by Piper Aircraft. Piper used a Stinson design as the basis of the Piper Apache.


The wheels were later used as vegetarian snack trays at the reception.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

Syndicate content RSS | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Photo Use | © 2018 Shorpy Inc.