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Made by Maul: 1913

Made by Maul: 1913

Detroit circa 1913. "Maul stone yard." Plus: a cigar factory, coal car and "dignified credit." 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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Hancock Street

Less than a mile west of here, at 98 W. Hancock, my great grandmother had just purchased a four story apartment building on the Wayne State University campus.

Isabelle O'Connor Breen owned the apartment building at 98 W. Hancock St., Detroit 48201 circa 1915-1925. She had moved from Emmett, Michigan sometime after her husband, Henry, died in 1905 at the age of 40. Henry died of heat stroke while taking a load of hay to Capac. He leaned over the horses' water to fill his hat and collapsed. "Belle" and Henry had only been married six years and had three children ages 5, 3 and 1.

Besides living on a farm in Emmett, she also owned a millinery store in town. She moved to Detroit to educate her children at Wayne State University.

When she died at the age of 43 in 1922, she left behind three children--Mary, 22; Helen, 20; and Daniel, 18 (my grandfather)--to manage the apartments. It proved to be too much for them and they sold it (exact year unknown). Both Mary and Helen received degrees from WSU.

It is still amazing to me that all of the ephemera received (tax bills, correspondence from attorneys, etc.) after my great-grandmother died is addressed to my grandfather because he was the surviving male in the family.

Today, the apartments are rented by students and professionals.

Mr. Maul's Son

The guy without the necktie.


The difference between the 1913 shot and the 'today' shot by Mike_G. Yep, been some changes in the last 98 years or so, yes indeed.

Casual Friday Mistake

The guy standing near the middle (in white overalls, white cap, hands on hip) must have not worn his tie mistakenly thinking it was casual Friday.

I love this photo!

Great group of faces there. At a glance, it appears that the working grunts don't like posing with the administration. Or maybe they're all just anxious to get back to work instead of posing so long for this picture.

The two fellows back right could be brothers. Interesting how the far right guy appears to be dressed more artistically than the rest.

And the weaselly looking guy in the back middle? I don't think I'd want him watching my kids!

Leszczynski & Lesinski

Leszczynski: original name.
Lesinski: Americanized version, same pronunciation.

Ridge 365

Maul Co.'s phone number.


There is still a Boomer Construction Company (now at Forest and Russel) in this neighborhood. Anyone know if it's related to the company seen here?

: )

Yay! Colorized Times Square no longer sucking up all the FB love.

: (

Not even one person "likes" this photo? Sad face! I thought it was quite cool, esp. the old buildings in the background.

Ultimate Sign

Not only is firm's name unpronounceable, but the next line is spaced over a window. And then there is "Dignified Credit" Does this mean they don't collect with baseball bats at hand?


Gotta have one to work here.

Tie Game

Imagine cutting stone all day long -- while wearing a tie!

Gathering moss

The railroad tracks and the spire of St. Albertus church remain but the rest of the scene has been hammered by the passage of time.

All those wires

Get a load of those overhead lines in the background!

I'm guessing telephone and power?

Proper attire

Interesting to see the workmen wearing ties. My father (a plasterer) did the same through the 1960s.

Artificial Stone

According to the 1913 Detroit city directory, The Maul Co. made "artificial stone."

Its yard was at the southwest corner of Hancock and Dequindre and apparently ran all the way south along Dequindre to Forest. Dequindre shares its right of way with the rail line on which those coal cars are sitting. The I.E. Boomer Mason building in the background was on Forest and today is the site of its successor, Boomer Co., where I occasionally stop in to buy stamped concrete maintenance products. This Google Street View is taken from almost the identical spot and angle as the 1913 photo.

View Larger Map


Maul branched out into the artificial stone business and created innovative porcelain enamel panels backed by lightweight concrete and featuring stainless steel edging. The product was used extensively in Canada and the U.S.on retail stores, groceries, theaters, and the like. The Knapps Department Store in Lansing and Bastone Restaurant, formerly B&C Super Market, in Royal Oak, Michigan, are examples.

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