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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • WE CAN DO IT! BUT FIRST, COFFEE

Ferry Building: 1905

Ferry Building: 1905

Detroit circa 1905. "Ferry Building, Woodward Avenue, looking south from Grand River Avenue." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

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What are they?

Okay, I'm stumped. There are two automobiles mixed in with all the horse-drawn vehicles in the photo. I've been looking through hundreds of pictures, trying to identify them, but without success.

The first one is near the beginning of the line of parked vehicles, partially blocked by the horse and buggy whose driver must be ogling the new-fangled invention. I thought it must be a Buick, maybe an Oldsmobile, possibly a Ford Model C -- I can't figure it out. There were so many manufacturers back then it boggles the mind.
Farther back in this line is what looks to me to be an early electric car, maybe a Baker.

Where are all you automobile experts?

If this was a drawing

The artist would have drawn those ladies in their erect grace just the way they are in the photo.

Forward to 1995

It probably was a pic like this with little time-eating monsters that prompted Stephen King to write The Langoliers.

Dexter M. Ferry

Is this related to the D.M. Ferry & Co. seed warehouse in Detroit and Ferry Field in Ann Arbor?

Marching up Woodward

Columns. Row after row, building after building. A Corinthian army.

Imaginary audiences

The lady (walking, I assume) in the forefront of the photo appears to be standing still, perhaps having a momentary Vulcan mind meld with the cartoony age artifacts (I don't know what else to call them), who strike me as a line of odd little Daliesque or Kokopelli-like characters. Meanwhile over on the sidewalk, walking between the fourth and fifth awnings from the left, a man is doffing his hat to what appears to be an imaginary person. Was it someone who just passed him, or is it the gentleman walking towards him (who seems to me to be too far away for doffing until the space closes by several paces on each end)? Either way, the kid lounging in the Windsor chair near the fire hydrant at the curb has the right idea: Lean back and watch the world go by.

In the year 6 B.H.

B(efore) H(udsons) would break thru to Woodward - at the time of this pic, the store was still confined to the other side of the block on Farmer St. - on it's way to taking over the whole frontage; eventually merging with, and demolishing, Newcomb and Endicott - the occupant of the Ferry Building - in 1927

Photo wear

I must admit, I had to look twice to see what the little row of "creatures" was that seemed to be following the elegant lady!

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