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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • UP N' ATOM: c. 1950s

And Step on It: 1910

And Step on It: 1910

Detroit circa 1910. "Bastendorff block and G. & R. McMillan Co. store, Jefferson Avenue." 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

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Postdated Photo With a Peculiar Packard

A review of Detroit city directories indicates that this photo is actually from 1906 or 1907. By 1908 the Belle Isle Bakery had become the Park Dining Parlor, and by sometime in 1907 the 1389 Jefferson address was the pool hall of Joseph P. Theisen instead of a cigar and tobacco store. Several other changes took place in this block prior to 1910 including the G. & R. McMillan grocery store becoming Clifford Brothers confectioners. Of interest is the unusual striped barber's pole near the street which is for Joseph Quenby's barber shop (he was also the proprietor of the cigar and tobacco store there and next door).

The Packard body seems to be from a 1906 Model S, also called the Model 24, based on the detail difference between the 1906, 1907, and 1908 years. The covered aprons above the running boards and the height of the fenders next to the hood point to the chassis being from a 1907 Model 30-U. The 1908 Packard Model 30 hood was much lower with the front of the fenders at nearly the same height as the outer edges of the radiator. This leads me to wonder if this particular car was built at the beginning of the 1907 model year using a leftover body from 1906. You can see some of the model year differences in the images below. The Packard Model 18, mentioned below, was not introduced until the summer of 1908.

The Model 30-U was introduced in August of 1906 as a 1907 product, and was made until May 23, 1907. This model of Packard was made for six years. Base price for a Touring body was $4,200 which was up $200 from the 1906 Model S Double Side Entrance Touring car. Packard made 1,127 for the model year. When the last 1907 built rolled off the assembly line, Packard decorated the car and paraded it through the streets announcing their achievement. They ceremoniously drove the first 1908 Model 30-UA through the streets on July 6, 1907.

Going to Grandpa's house?

This is the block between Helen and East Grand Blvd. A block to the east of this shot on Field my then 6 year old grandfather is growing up. With a large public park (Belle Isle) just across a short bridge, and a complex of amusement parks, beer gardens, and breweries just across the street, this was a bit of a honky-tonk area in those days. By the age of 12, before the advent of prohibition, my grandpa was earning dimes selling papers, shining shoes, and delivering buckets of beer for the patrons of the neighborhood saloons.

Interesting to see that Packard speeding through the shot. My great-grandfather worked at Packard, whose main plant lay a couple of miles north on Grand Blvd., before his death in the year of this photo. Over the next several decades my grandfather, my grandmother, and my father would all at various times work for the company too.

The buildings shown in this photo were replaced in the early 1960s by a Howard Johnson's restaurant, which soon became a Big Boy. That Big Boy just closed in April 2017 and will be replaced by a new housing and commercial development in suddenly booming Detroit.

And Step In It

Looking at whatever is along both sides of that road (mud? leftover winter slush?) I say these people are most likely to step in it.

William B. and the Belle of the Bakeries

On June 5, 1906, the Common Council of the City of Detroit granted the Belle Isle Bakery permission to erect in front of 1383 Jefferson Avenue a “temporary canvas banner, about 15 feet above the sidewalk, for a period of 3 months.”

In October of that year, the Michigan Labor Inspector noted that the bakery employed 3 males and 2 females, all over the age of 16.

William B. Thompson was the City of Detroit Treasurer from 1898 to 1906 and served as Mayor from 1907 to 1908 and 1911-1912.

It's a Packard model 30

It's a Packard model 30 - the car that made Packard one of the premier luxury marques. Easily distinguishable from the junior model 18 by the longer, larger hood and leather retaining strap.

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