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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • SPANGLES: THE CONTINENTAL CIRCUS

At Anchor: 1919

At Anchor: 1919

        Saxon, the seventh largest American car maker in 1917, went wheels-up in 1922.

San Francisco, 1919. "Saxon touring car at boatyard." Today's entry on the Shorpy Roster of Musty Marques. 5x7 glass negative by Chris Helin. View full size.

 

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Vanity License Plate

The 'STAR' embossed on the license plate indicates the men were law enforcement officers, detectives, etc.

[No, the star is a validation tab to indicate vehicle registration for the year 1919. -tterrace]

Star Plated in 1919

The encore of the car and gentlemen previously seen along the docks here. With the license plate now visible we know that the vehicle belonged to Mr. Charles E. O'Day of 1763 Geary Blvd., San Francisco. At the time the photo was taken he was a salesman at DuBroy Motor Company, Inc.

DuBroy Motors started out as the Saxon Sales Company circa 1916 at 690 Van Ness. President and general manger was Francis Louis DuBroy. By 1917 the company had moved to 1529 Van Ness Ave which was the southeast corner of Van Ness and California at the time. In addition to the Saxon the dealership was also selling Nash automobiles. By 1920 the firm had relocated again to 1290 Sutter with a service department at 1615 Pine. The old location on Van Ness became the Pacific Nash Motor Company so it appears that DuBroy either lost or sold his Nash distributorship.

Prior to working at DuBroy Motors Charles O'Day had worked as a chauffeur since at least 1909. He stayed on at Pacific Nash when DuBroy moved his business, and he later became the sales manager for the dealership. We know he left that firm around the year 1933 as he had become the sales manager for James W. McAlister Chrysler and Plymouth by sometime in either 1933 or 1934. He remained there into at least 1944. By 1945-1946 he was with George S. Daniels Pontiac Motor Sales which became Weltner Pontiac circa 1954. Weltner was located across the street from the former DuBroy dealership when it was on Van Ness with an address at 1560 Van Ness (with street renumbering still at California & Van Ness).

So, 25 years after O'Day started selling cars, he was right back where he began. He remained at Weltner into at least 1954, but he later sold cars at McAlister Buick from about 1955 - 1958 and Volkswagen cars for Reynold C. Johnson during the years 1959 - 1968. By 1971 he was retired, he died on September 2, 1982, and he was buried in Colma, California along with his wife Leona who died in 1976.

A feature in the UPI archives on the 75th anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake included a story from O'Day. "Charles O'Day told of how his family lost their house but happened to have crates of dishes in the wreckage. In the following months, the dishes were sold piece by piece and produced $1,600 with which the family opened a restaurant."

Getting in on the ground floor...

as a Saxon dealer in the small town of Waldron, Arkansas, circa 1914.

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