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Tourist Auto Co.: 1910

Detroit, Michigan, circa 1910. "Tourist Auto Co. (Tourist buses in front of church with Hotel Tuller at right)." Detroit Publishing glass negative. View full size.

Detroit, Michigan, circa 1910. "Tourist Auto Co. (Tourist buses in front of church with Hotel Tuller at right)." Detroit Publishing glass negative. View full size.


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The cars appear to be early Cadillacs, maybe 1905-ish Model E's. The car on the left certainly bears a resemblance to a 1905 Cadillac Model E. But I'm not positive. I have no idea what the buses are. Possibly something coach-built.


Ah yes, remember the days when there were so few motor vehicles on the road that you could line a random assortment up and get consecutively numbered license plates.

Oh, the opulence!

The plump, plush upholstery on the skimpy, less-than-knee-height doors of the left-most bus are most amusing. And yes, most North American vehicles had right-hand drive until Henry Ford challenged that paradigm in 1908:

The control is located on the left side, the logical place, for the following reasons: Travelling along the right side of the road the steering wheel on the right side of the car made it necessary to get out on the street side and walk around the car. This is awkward and especially inconvenient if there is a lady to be considered. The control on the left allows you to step out of the car on to the curbing without having had to turn the car around.

In the matter of steering with the control on the right the driver is farthest away from the vehicle he is passing, going in opposite direction; with it on the left side he is able to see even the wheels of the other car and easily avoids danger.

With the wheel at the left, the hand levers are operated with the left hand leaving the right hand to do the more delicate work of steering the car.



The two longer buses at either end intrigue me. At three persons per seat they would have held at least either 9 or 11 passengers if two sat up front with the driver. They must have been rough to ride in with those solid rubber tires. I also notice that they are all right hand drive, note the clutch and brake levers on the one on the far right.

Being open-sided they would be a bit breezy even at the best of times. If caught in a sudden shower you could not help but get wet.

I like the fold down windshields on Car #8881 and #8886. The others do not seem to have windshields at all.

Ladies and gentlemen both would need to be careful getting in and out of them. It looks like a long step from the interior to the running board and then again from there to the street.( I wonder it they had portable steps to aid in that process.)

Last but not least, it looks like the Addams family has decided to lease their home, there on the right. The cupola room with the round window would be the perfect spot for Uncle Fester!

Coming back into fashion?

It seems like I’ve seen some high-performance cars with tire profiles close
to the bus on the far right.


Just another vacant lot.

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