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About the Photos

Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • STAY ONE JUMP AHEAD OF TROUBLE, 1945

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.

 

Waverley

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.

Colorize

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.

Multi-use

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

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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