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

Connecticut Mutual: 1907

Connecticut Mutual: 1907

Hartford, Conn., circa 1907. "Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Co., Main and Pearl Streets." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

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We found him!

Thanks, Dave, for posting the license number on that Packard: C2875. The auto was owned by James M. Thomson, founder of what had become the largest department store in Connecticut at that time: Brown, Thomson and Company. The business lasted into the 1960's after which its building was used by a competing retailer (G. Fox & Co.), then later converted to mixed retail and still stands.

Mr. Thomson deserved to drive this fine and expensive automobile. He was most certainly one of the wealthiest people in the state.

It's amazing what one can find from a mere license plate number, isn't it?

Number Please !!

If anyone can make out the license number on the Packard (the tag is mounted to the frame, just next to the left front wheel), I can tell Shorpyites to whom that auto was registered in 1907. The first character is the letter "C", being the initial of the state, but my monitor will not let me decipher the numbers. I have access to Connecticut motor vehicle registration records from 1903 to 1920. It would be fun to know who could have afforded that much luxury in 1907. Someone please post the full tag number, and I will post the owner.

[C2875. - Dave]

March of Time

That corner clock (or an exceptional copy) still keeps time in downtown Hartford, though it has migrated a few hundred feet down Pearl Street. Thanks to the ravages of Hartford's experiments with urban renewal, the clock now guards the entrance to a mid-block parking lot.

Awnings

Beautiful. But with the sun shining full on these two faces of the building furnished with awnings, at 9:30 in the morning, why are they not (with a few exceptions) all unfurled? I was thinking it might be a weekend, but the front doors are open.

Rolling in style

Looks like a brand new Packard Model S Touring Car at the far right. Someone was doing quite well in the insurance business.

Second Empire on steroids

Wow, what a circus of mixed style details. Yeah, it's over the top, but for me a lot more fun to look at than a sea of anonymous glassed in cubes. By Bryant & Rogers, whose work I do not know. Look at the detail around the roof, which almost no one would ever see from the street.

Hifalutin' Ride

That opulent-looking vehicle on the right appears to be a Packard "S" Touring, a stratospherically-priced breakout design that established the company as a premium American builder for half a century. Judging by the contour of the front fenders -- perfectly designed for launching water and mud onto hapless pedestrians -- the aristocrats building and buying Packards were not overly empathic with their more plebeian fellow citizens.

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