Discuss Detroit Hall of Fame Threads Old Car Factories Old Car Factories - 5
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Jjaba
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Post Number: 1530
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Posted From: 24.22.6.155
Posted on Sunday, March 27, 2005 - 2:51 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Absolutely the best thread ever on The Forum.
Lord Stanley's Cup is appropriate in this case.
jjaba
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Aiw
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Username: Aiw

Post Number: 3541
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Posted From: 64.228.193.180
Posted on Sunday, March 27, 2005 - 2:57 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here's the outline of the garage....

backyard
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Kathleen
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Post Number: 398
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Posted From: 69.14.122.57
Posted on Sunday, March 27, 2005 - 11:18 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

AIW: Thanks for posting the Windsor postcard and marking up what was where. And for the photos from the Albert Kahn book. Terrific!!!
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Kathleen
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Posted on Sunday, March 27, 2005 - 11:26 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Sven: I'm a member of Preservation Wayne, and am a Cultural Center tour guide. Over the last several years, I've taken most of the PW walking tours numerous times.

I have a deep interest in Detroit's history, and am enamoured by Detroit's automobile history, especially the people behind the cars, the architecture of the buildings, and the art of the car (primarily 20s-50s). As such, I've taken as many auto-related tours as possible. And I, like so many of us on this thread, have roamed around the city taking photos of the remains of the factories.

If you haven't taken the Preservation Wayne Auto Heritage walking tour, you should. I also recommend the various Auto Baron estates as each offers historic exhibits of their car company founder. The Edsel & Eleanor Ford House offers a series of Behind the Scenes tours, including one that specifically talks of Edsel Ford as an auto designer. The museums are terrific as well; I particularly enjoy the Olds Museum in Lansing (and the Olds sites around the city), and the Chrysler Museum in Auburn Hills.

Do I smell a FSC picnic theme??
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Sven1977
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Posted on Monday, March 28, 2005 - 1:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm very happy that people are enjoying and adding to the thread. Once the weather warms up, I won't be chimney chasing as much. There are to many other outside activities. I went out Friday to retrace my steps of previous adventures but this time I took my video camera. It's much easier to talk and shoot than it is to shot a still and then write down the location and other details. Thank goodness for radial tires and SUV's. I went through some ot the worst neighborhoods ever but saw some new construction that replicates the older style houses. I still use a film camera so I can't post pictures right away. Driving around helps me narrow down the area I need to check on the Sanborn Maps. I went west up Michigan Ave. to I think Military and then down to the river to see the Studebaker area in question. I then made my way up Jefferson. I don't remember the Husdson Factory or Chalmers or Continental, or Liberty and Kress Line for that matter but through the maps, I now pretty much know what was there. On Saturday, I went to the main library again. This time with a roll of quarters. This is new info I gathered: Studebaker Plant #2 was east of Hastings and north of the tracks by Milwaukee. It formed a triangle but didn't reach to to the East Grand Blvd. At the times the maps were drawn, the Ford Piquette plant must have belonged to Studebaker thus my confusion why I didn't have a copy of it. The Detroit White Lead Works-A Division of Sherwin Williams was between Milwaukee and Trombley, west of the Dequindre tracks not quite to Widman Pl. These are the buildings across from the Lincoln/Cadillac site. The buildings are still there and fit the map plan. The building across Trombley that MikeM. thought might be the Lincoln/Faukoner doesn't fit the map or look like the picture on page 23 of the "Auto Factory" book. Between Orleans and the tracks and north of Trombley for half a block wast the Auto Parts Manufaturing facties. The are two buildings and the white one is on the map.
Auto Parts Mfg.
There was a big American Can complex south of Trombley to the tracks and between Russell to about Riopelle. Fisher Plant #21 (before re-numbering I guess) on East Grand and Russell still stands.The adress is 2679 or 2681. It's on the building and matches the maps. I looked for 2460 East Grand but that's in another volume. Sorry Jjaba. I'll keep looking. The next microfilm I pulled was of the Jefferson Chrysler area. Lots of stuff there. Whew! The Continental Motors complex is tat the same location where Continental Aluminum is so they must have changed their focus at one point. Some of the street names are different now. I believe Vernor used to be Waterloo and the was a Bezner Ave. which today must be Algonquin. Hudson had another plant between Waterloo and Charlevoix west of Connor. There were also two Liberty factories in the area. Here's a Maxwell map.
Maxwell
Now that I had an idea what was where, I headed back down on Sunday. The plant south of Mack has old parts of the original factory showing. It's a nice way of paying tribute to the past. I found the old Liberty headquarters on the Budd facility and the guard let me take a picture. Photo to come. There were a number of factories between Jefferson and the river. There are a few building remaining but it's really tough to figure out what they were. Especially on Lycaste. I need to go to the aerials. The maps are fun but it is really slow-going. The ones I have been looking at were drawn around 1915 to 1920. I think they were made over a period of years. Then they skip to 1941. I don't think I will find any that were made between 1910 and 1914 when so many of the smaller companies were around.
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Sven1977
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Posted on Monday, March 28, 2005 - 4:50 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here are some more copies from the Sanborn Maps.


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Jjaba
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Posted on Monday, March 28, 2005 - 5:28 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

And batting clean-up again on the Old Car Factory Tour is SVEN! Whack, another homer.

Thanks.
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Jjaba
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Posted From: 24.22.6.155
Posted on Monday, March 28, 2005 - 5:41 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Edward C. Budd Manufacturing Company
1915-1940, Detroit Plant.
12141 Charlevoix, Detroit Eastrside.

Edward C. Budd opened his company in 1912 with $100,000 capital. He had worked in Philadelphia.
And as we all know, Budd Co. has been in Philadelphia and Detroit a long time.

Budd was convinced that the all-steel auto body would replace the wooden bodies first of the carriages and now early autos.

Budd delivered bodies around town in moderate quanities until The Dodge Brothers place some orders. Budd went from sales of 5,000 bodies in 1914 to 50,000 delivered car bodies the next yr. In 1917, he was making them for Buick, Studebaker, Dodge, Ford, and others.

Then Budd expanded. Now it was Budd wheels, brakes, RR passenger cars, and a whole bunch of other products.

The Budd complex consists of many buidings of different sizes and heights, depending upon function. The office is an Independence Hall replica.

Budd Company has built many of our subway cars rolling stock. Budd Cars are everywhere. These were not Made in Detroit however. Detroit wasn't smart enough to ever build a subway. Imagine that, with Budd right here.
jjaba
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Sven1977
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Posted on Monday, March 28, 2005 - 6:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have a correction to one of my pictures a few posts above. It's the white long building I said was Auto Parts Manufacturing. It is actually the showroom for Schwanbeck Bros & Showcase Factory. It faces Milwaukee and half block back is EGB. The tracks are to the east. It gets confusing looking at the overhead photos when the streets aren't labeled.
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Skulker
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Post Number: 2363
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Posted From: 67.103.104.93
Posted on Monday, March 28, 2005 - 6:09 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have been lurking on this thread with nothing at all to add because I am in complete awe of the amount of information and research being done as a passion for this subject.

A deep and heartfelt thanks to all on this thread and Mikem in particular. I have actually printed off copies of the first three threads so as not to lose them to posterity.

I think I speak for many when I wish to thank all of you for the incredible insights, history and great thread. Please don't stop. This has got to be one of the greatest threads known to the Forum. If Lowell doesn't do it, I'll take you all out to dinner one night.
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Jjaba
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Post Number: 1547
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Posted From: 24.22.6.155
Posted on Monday, March 28, 2005 - 7:21 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

BUDD COMPANY PART TWO.

Today, Budd is called Thyssen-Krupp-Budd Co. of Troy, Michigan. Annual sales, $6.00 Billion.

Budd pours more iron for auto castings in one day than the iron in the Eiffel Tower at one foundry in Waupaca, Wisconsin. Budd make bodies, trnasmissions, wheels, brakes, sheet metal stampings, frames, chassis, autobody panels, pick-up boxes, bumpers in 30 N. American plants.

50% of the Budd production is at plants in NAFTA areas.

Budd-Canada and Budd-Fabco Canada are in London, Windsor, Kitchener, Dresden, and Ridgetown, Ontario.

USA factories and offices are in Auburn Hills, Troy, Fowlerville, Mich, Tupelo, Miss., Springfield, Tenn., Columbia, Tenn. They have 30 plants in N. America.

100 different models of cars and trucks have Budd products in them, 2005.

jjaba, what a Detroit legacy.
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Sven1977
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Posted From: 209.220.229.254
Posted on Monday, March 28, 2005 - 7:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ah yes, Krupp. One of the Allies main targets during WWII. They made the big guns for Germany during both wars.
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Goat
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Posted From: 67.70.117.77
Posted on Monday, March 28, 2005 - 9:00 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

...not to mention the slave labour!

Krupp had many patents and sold guns to BOTH the Allies AND Germans in WW1. They also helped procure the materials for ships in WW1 for both sides. Krupp had so many patents that there were few companies that could even bid on projects that Krupp was bidding on. (just a little info. Sorry for the sidetrack)
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Mikem
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Posted From: 68.43.13.241
Posted on Tuesday, March 29, 2005 - 3:35 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks for the kudos from everyone. I'm glad people are enjoying the thread; I just thought of us as a handfull of nerds at the party, off talking to each other in a corner without anyone noticing us. Skulker, I'm hungry for ohhh...steak & lobster?

Andrew, a few notes on your excellent black & whites:

From 1922, the American Blower Co, as it now exists, was incorporated January, 1909, under the laws of New York, and was a consolidation of the fan and blower business of the old American Blower Co at Detroit and the Sirocco Engineering Co of Troy, NY. In 1913 the company purchased the air washer interests, includuing the patent rights, of the McCreery Engineering Co of Detroit. The plant, which is located at 6004 Russell, is used by approximately 600 employees. (I think it's long gone.)

Chevrolet Forge & Heat Treating - we know that is now American Axle. Using the CULMA aerial photo collection to check some details just to be sure, I see the shape of the roof and the two stacks behind (northwest of) the plant still show in this 1981 aerial:

Chevy

Your photo (re-posted below for comparison) shows a factory with, what I call, an opposing sawtooth roofline, a two-story office on the left, a yard between the plant and the street, and the right end of the building ending short of the stacks, although it doesn't look like it due to parallax. In the close-up below, I see the original factory is the building on the left, another similar building was built to the right in the yard, and the modern office to the south of both was added later.

Original:
CF&HT

1981 detail, south end, original on left:
CGA1

In this detail below, you can see where both buildings were extended farther north, more than doubling their length:

CGA2


Fisher Body - I claim your photo is of the northwest corner of the Fleetwood plant. In my post #1306, before the Nash-Kelvinator pictures, I have this info on Fleetwood: "Building Number 6 (1922) is a six-story reinforced concrete structure, 100 feet wide and 979 feet long, designed by Albert Kahn."

Fleetwood

Your pictures are of Kahn buildings. This one, re-posted again for comparison, is of a six-story structure. Look through the stacks and notice the stone or concrete detail, the window bays, and the slight peak to the roofline on the side.

Fisher18

The distortion at the edges of aerial photos (a desireable effect, actually) is noticeable in these 1981 CULMA photos. Using them to examine the the Fleetwood plant, I see a six-story building, width about one-tenth of length, with four window bays across the width.

Northeast corner:
18ne

Northwest corner, which I rotated 180 to get the proper perspective:
18nw

Close-up:
18nw2

South side:
18s

Check these two Virtual Motor City photos as well:
Fleetwood 1960s and Fisher Body 1920s.
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Aiw
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Posted From: 64.228.193.180
Posted on Tuesday, March 29, 2005 - 8:26 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks Mike.

Interesting about American Blower. As of 1937, we still had the Canadian Sirocco Company. They must have been an independant arm, unaffected by the merger.

cdnsir
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Aiw
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Posted From: 209.216.150.127
Posted on Tuesday, March 29, 2005 - 9:25 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Humm... Drove by on my way to work. The Sirocco factory is still standing. It has a later office slapped on the front.

Photos later...
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Aiw
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Posted From: 209.216.150.127
Posted on Tuesday, March 29, 2005 - 1:59 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Looks like a lage portion of the Studebaker plant in Windsor was demolished between 1952 & 1961.

Studebaker is the box on the left, Graham-Paige is on the right.


1952:

51

1961:

62
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Sven1977
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Posted on Tuesday, March 29, 2005 - 2:46 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here is a shot of the old Liberty headquarters. It is now on the Budd Co. complex at Charlevoix & Conner.

Liberty

Next is a picture of the Hudson plant on Conner. I believe a box company uses it now.

Hudson

I've also included two picture of buildings on an anex road next to Mack off of Conner. One was built in 1919 and is next to a park. If anyone has an idea of what they once were, let me know.



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Jjaba
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Posted From: 24.22.6.155
Posted on Tuesday, March 29, 2005 - 4:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

SIROCCO. From jjaba's Webster's Dictionary and apropos of Windsor.

"A warm moist oppressive Southeast wind."
"A hot or warm wind of cyclonic origin from an arid or heated region."

No wonder a compnay dedicated to blowing hot air is located Windsor. Incredible, eh!

This thread just keeps on keeping on. Merci.
Just after jjaba describes Budd Cos. Independence Hall, we get a beautiful picture of it. This architecture was used a lot in the 1920s in industrial, educational, and even retail buildings.

jjaba, upwind on the Westside.
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31ford
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Posted on Tuesday, March 29, 2005 - 5:31 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

For Jjaba and others... I finally dug up enough material to start a thread of Ford's Village industries.. the river mills etc..... look for it tonite...
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Mikem
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Posted on Tuesday, March 29, 2005 - 9:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Sven, I stopped in the library today to check the Sanborn's. That factory on Shoemaker, west of St Jean, was Federal-Mogul, maker of bearings and other automotive components.

FMC aerial

From their website:

quote:

"Federal-Mogul Corporation was founded in 1899 as the Muzzy-Lyon Company. At that time, founders J. Howard Muzzy and Edward F. Lyon sold mill supplies and rubber goods. The company's first location was on Woodward Avenue in Detroit, Michigan.

"The same year, the partners set up an early subsidiary company, the Mogul Metal Company, to manufacture new bearing alloys. At that time, it was common practice to sell one type of bearing metal for all types of uses. Muzzy and Lyon adopted the theory that bearing metals for high or low speed, heavy or light load jobs, all required different qualities and structures. As a result, they blended two babbit metals, which were sold under the brand names of Duro and Mogul. Duro was made according to a purchased formula but the Mogul formula was developed by founders Muzzy and Lyon.

"In the early 1900s, bearings were made by pouring molten babbit metals directly onto the motor block and shaping the metal to fit. To replace a bearing, a mechanic had to gouge out the old one and pour in new metal. Muzzy and Lyon believed metals could be die-cast directly into replaceable bearings of the required size and shape, so the partners bought an old printer's type casting machine and began experimenting. Their die cast machine became so successful that they stopped selling mill supplies and began selling automotive bearings and metal projects.The Buick 10 was one of the first cars to use parts produced by Mogul Metal. In 1910 Buick had placed an order for 10,000 connecting rod bearings for this automobile.

"Federal-Mogul has seen its name change throughout its history. The Mogul Metal Company became Federal-Mogul Corporation on May 1, 1924, when the company merged with Federal-Bearing and Bushing, a manufacturer of engine bearings and bushings. Then on July 29, 1955, Federal-Mogul merged with the Bower Roller Bearing Company, a producer of straight and tapered roller bearings, to form Federal-Mogul-Bower Bearings, Inc.

"Federal-Mogul-Bower Bearings, Inc. acquired The National Motor Bearing Co. (National Seal Division) on July 27, 1956. At the time of the merger, National was one of the country's largest manufacturers of oil seals and a variety of other specialized parts ranging from grommets and gaskets to fiberglass ducts and railroad journal boxes.

"The company's name was changed back to Federal-Mogul Corporation on April 27, 1965. Just over a year later, on July 28, 1966, Federal-Mogul's World Headquarters officially relocated from its location in downtown Detroit to Southfield, Michigan."




FMC Sanborn

Some interesting items from their history timeline, also at their website:

1899 J. Howard Muzzy and Edward F. Lyon formed Muzzy-Lyon Company, Ltd., to sell mill supplies.

1900 Doors to first Muzzy-Lyon building opened at 56-58 Woodward Avenue, Detroit. Began experimenting, in a shed on Jefferson Avenue, with Babbitt metals and alternate ways to manufacture automotive bearings.

1901 Created new Babbitt metal called Mogul, which sold under the brand names Duro and Mogul. Established the subsidiary Mogul Metal Company.

1907 Decided to drop the mill supply business, and concentrate on manufacturing. Made first die-cast bearings for Gray Motor Company. Moved facility to 149-151 Larned Street West, Detroit.

1910 Order of 10,000 connecting rod bearings for the Buick 10 boosted production.

1921 J. Howard Muzzy purchased the American Radiator Company plant on Shoemaker Road, Detroit, for future expansion.

1922 Moved operations to renovated Shoemaker plant.

1924 Federal-Mogul Corporation created with merger of Muzzy-Lyon (Mogul Metal) and Federal Bearing and Bushing, becoming a major supplier of Babbitt and bronze.

1928 Constructed a new bronze and Babbitt foundry at Shoemaker facility.

1931 Introduced Equi-Poise propellers, developed by the Research Division. Formed Marine Division.

1932 Equi-Poise propellers helped boat racer Gar Wood win Harnsworth Trophy. Research staff developed new alloy, C-100, the first new bearing metal since the discovery of Babbitt metal.

1955 Merged with Bower Roller Bearings, and became Federal-Mogul-Bower Bearings, Inc.

1971 Closed Bower Plants in Detroit.

FMC Shoemaker

FMC Fairview

From the 2003 Detroit Free Press special on lead contamination in the city:

quote:

Wild dogs roam on the sliver of land on Detroit's east side. So do pheasants and rats. Children sometimes cut through, stepping over the bent barbed-wire fence. Scavengers come, too, hauling away brick after brick, leaving gaping holes in the old factory's walls.

"For decades these once-proud buildings were part of the now-bankrupt Federal-Mogul Corp. Workers came by the hundreds to build lead engine bearings. The smokestack from the former lead foundry still towers above homes a few feet away on Fairview Street...

"...'They need to tear that building down,' said Clinton Franks, 43, of the hulking Federal-Mogul factory that overlooks his backyard. Franks and his wife, Veronica, live on Fairview. Franks forbids the five children who live in the house from going on the foundry property, which runs the length of the street behind each home.

"Mollie Brown, 78, lives on the other side of the street. The view out her front window is the former factory and foundry. Brown and her late husband moved to the street 36 years ago when the factory was thriving. Brown said she never heard anything about lead being processedthere. The plant closed in the early 1970s.

"It seemed like back in the day, everything could get by without anybody knowing it," Brown said.

"Kimberly Welch, Federal-Mogul's vice president of corporation communication, said the engine bearingsfactory operated from 1922 to 1973 and had a lead foundry until 1955.

"A tall brick tower that was part of the foundry still stands on the 14.5-acre site. Welch said a foundry typically burns metals at a lower temperature than a smelter, making it less likely to spread airborne substances like lead."



FMC stacks
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Aiw
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Posted on Tuesday, March 29, 2005 - 10:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Excellent work Mike!

Great stuff.
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Jjaba
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Post Number: 1553
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Posted on Wednesday, March 30, 2005 - 1:07 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

FEDERAL-MOGUL CORP., SOUTHFIELD, MICHIGAN.
2004 SALES: $6.17 bILLION. 45,000 EMPLOYEES.
FOUNDED IN 1899.

Federal-Mogul has 23 brands of automotive products. Among them are MOOG, Champion, Power Path, Wagner Brakes and Lights, Fel-Pro, ANCO wipers, National Bearings.

Products:
Glow plugs, wipers, friction products, car chassis, bearings, pistons, pumps, power cylinders, gaskets, seals, brakes. Plants like Skokie, Illinois produce 12,000 items under one roof (gaskets).

Plants are all over the world. Mexico, Van Wert, Ohio, Alabama, Skokie, S. Carolina, China, Brazil, Europe, Thailand, Japan, Belgium, South Africa.

Detroit makes, the world takes.
jjaba
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Sven1977
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Posted on Wednesday, March 30, 2005 - 11:54 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

MikeM, thanks for the info. I looked at the Sanborn map for 1915-1920 (?) and it listed that site as something pretty insignificant. I've never been able to get a good picture of it either. The Sanborn maps are interesting but the index is confusing. The microfilms have mixed areas and different years on each film.
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Mikem
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Post Number: 1325
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Posted on Wednesday, March 30, 2005 - 5:31 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yes Sven, I noticed the indexes are quite bewildering, with various parts of the city and various years combined in different formats. I looked at a few eastside microfilms from '41 through '57. The microfilm machines need to have their lenses cleaned and every copy I made had a lot of "dirt" copied onto the maps.

You posted a couple of pics I wanted to follow up on. For quite a while, the Budd Co's buildings have been wrapped in siding, but there appears to be some damage, maybe from a storm. At first I thought the siding job was still in progress, but looking closer, parts of the siding seem to be damaged:

Budd



The Hudson-Cadillac plant on Conner, north of Harper; I can't remember if we figured out what Hudson did here, i.e., bodies, frames, parts, etc, or when they moved out? A 1949 aerial shows the Hudson name on the roof:

HudsonConner

Yet, by the 1950s Cadillac moved in, probably after Hudson was merged into AMC. Not sure what they did there either. I remember the plant being used right up until the Hamtramck plant opened.

CadillacConner
entrance


Most of these plants that have been disposed of by the auto companies seem to get handed down to several types of firms. Possibly a metal processor moves in for a while, then they go out of business or move. Then it turns into a company's warehouse. Then it is sold and the new owner subdivides the building into parcels and rents space to small firms, if it's not torn down altogether.

There does seem to be some activity at this plant, but the yard has turned into an informal museum of manufacturing tools. As large as Detroit's auto assembly history has been, I'm even more impressed by the necessary support industries. Think of all the companies and people necessary to make and maintain the tools used in these factories. From the south yard:

Here is a "Conomatic". I read where Conomatic is a maker of multi-spindle bar and chucker machines. If your job was to operate a Conomatic, what were you making?
Conomatic1
Conomatic2

This beauty looks pre-depression:
junk2

How would you like to drop this on your toe?
junk3

This one looks like a large Gatling gun:
junk6

I can feel the motion in these beauties even while they're standing still:
gears

More museum pieces:
junk1
junk4
junk5

Think of all the hands who have worked this machinery, many now pushing up daisies, while the parts and cars they made sit in scrap heaps or have been recycled themselves.

Cadillac worker1
Cadillac worker2


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Aiw
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Posted on Wednesday, March 30, 2005 - 10:46 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Mike great stuff as usual...

Ever see anything like this one on your journeys?

ggc

Anyone know what they did? I'm guessing this photo to be around c. 1920...
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Aiw
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Posted on Wednesday, March 30, 2005 - 10:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here's a 1930's photo of Windsor Assembly Plant 3, Albert Kahn, architect (where the Mini-van is made today).

1

2
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31ford
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Post Number: 200
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Posted From: 152.163.100.195
Posted on Wednesday, March 30, 2005 - 11:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Conomatic looks like a general purpose lathe. guesstimating about a 6 inch chuck. Other stufflooks like some sort of conveyor motors, etc.
Anyone ever run across any old car parts etc while in the factories? When I went thru the Jacksonville, FL Ford plant(Closed now) I found several misc parts still in Ford Boxes. With permission of the property owner these went home with me. Also have one of the original time card racks too. I wish I could contribute more to this thread as I'm learning more facts.. excellent thread
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Mikem
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Posted From: 68.43.13.241
Posted on Wednesday, March 30, 2005 - 11:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That Gear Grinding Machine Co looks familiar, but I see those diamond details in quite a few buildings from that era. I'll look through my notes. A search on Gear Grinding in a WWII production contract database shows the company in Hamtramck but maybe they moved or had more than one plant. The pole that expands to the tubular, wire-braced framework in front of the building is one of the former arc lighting towers. Can't remember when the arc lighting system was discontinued but the towers were around for years after. I wouldn't expect to see them as far away as Hamtramck though, and the building looks like something within the inner industrial belt.
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Aiw
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Username: Aiw

Post Number: 3588
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 64.228.193.180
Posted on Thursday, March 31, 2005 - 12:40 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That's a big problem with the old books, back then every thing was Detroit, weather it was Dearborn, Hamtramck or Highland Park... lol

I too noiticed the Arc lighting tower, however I never realized that the base was that tapered. The diamond pattern isn't very rare...

To put this into a good time frame, here is a picture of the Highland Park Plant (called Detroit in the book) it looks brand new, so it may actually be about a decade earlier than I posted above.

HP
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 1570
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 24.22.6.155
Posted on Thursday, March 31, 2005 - 1:03 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

You folks are really productive with your photos and descriptions. Thanks.

jjaba has the goods on CONOMATIC MACHINES.

Since 1917, Conomatic has made machines. Your machine in question as pictured is a "Multiple Spindle Automatic Bar and Chucking Machine."

If you call 800-528-5932, you can get Field Services to go to your Eastside abandoned field at your ruins of a factory and get her running again. But, we'll need the serial number to bring correct parts.

The Bar Machines come in sizes 9/16" to 5 1/4" and the Chuckers are 5 5/8" to 8" capacity.
So you must specify whatcha got out there.

Now owned by DeVlieg Bullard of Twinsburg, Ohio, we'll offer quick service for limited down time. You know on the line, you can't have your down time.
jjaba, Service Dept.
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Aiw
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Username: Aiw

Post Number: 3589
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Posted From: 64.228.193.180
Posted on Thursday, March 31, 2005 - 1:08 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Upon further review, I'm going to date the last few photos I posted to 1908-1909. There is reference to a building that was complete in 1908, and there are photos of the Packard sections facing E Grand Blvd., under construction, and I know there's a date of 1907 over the western most door.

As an interesting side note there is a picture of a Foundry in "Delray, Michgan". When did Detroit annex Delray?
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Sven1977
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Username: Sven1977

Post Number: 42
Registered: 04-2004
Posted From: 209.220.229.254
Posted on Thursday, March 31, 2005 - 12:22 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I checked out the Sanborn maps again last night. The index is so vague. I'm interested in the really old buildings so I asked for 1922-1961. The reel I got started in 1941. MikeM, I looked for the Norton Building but couldn't quite find it. Next time, I'm going to just ask for the real books. On another reel, it looked like the Hudson plant on Mack and Beaufait was part of Pfeifer Brewing by the early 20's. One of the areas I am interested in is the warehouse district by the river. Unfortunately, the maps seem to skip from 1895 until the early 1920's. I think it's fun to "discover" some of the buildings that are still around. MikeM, did you have any luck figuring out the Studebaker question on Jefferson?
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Rustic
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Username: Rustic

Post Number: 1386
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 130.132.177.245
Posted on Thursday, March 31, 2005 - 1:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Aiw re delray see:

http://detroit1701.psc.isr.umich.edu/Annexation%20Map.html
looks like 1905-07.

Mikem posted a great map on and earlier thread:
https://www.atdetroit.net/forum/messages/23585/33297.html
mikem's image
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Rustic
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Username: Rustic

Post Number: 1387
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 130.132.177.245
Posted on Thursday, March 31, 2005 - 1:40 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

here is the whole map again from MikeM from:
https://www.atdetroit.net/forum/messages/23585/30200.html
whole map
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 1571
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 24.22.6.155
Posted on Thursday, March 31, 2005 - 2:45 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It looks like nothing has happened with City Limits since 1926. The street names are hard to read. Is this about it?
jjaba, Westsider
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Rustic
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Username: Rustic

Post Number: 1389
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Posted From: 130.132.177.245
Posted on Thursday, March 31, 2005 - 2:59 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

jjaba, that first forum link I gave has details of that larger map. Street names can be made out better. (Again this is all MikeM's work.) You'd know better than most, but after Redford Aviation and Brighmoor that's about all she wrote for Detroit expanding.
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Mikem
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Username: Mikem

Post Number: 1336
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 68.43.13.241
Posted on Thursday, March 31, 2005 - 7:29 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

jjaba, thanks for the tips on the Conomatic. Can you get me an operator's manual?

AIW, Rustic beat me to the punch; Delray was annexed in 1906. Thanks Rustic.

Sven, I had the same thing happen; ask for a film roll covering 1922 and end up with one starting in 1954. All I've looked at so far is area/volumes 4 & 19, covering parts of the eastside, in mid-century. I'd rather look at the paper maps too, and I want to try taking a digital photo instead of making B&W copies. I'm going there tomorrow for another round.


What happened to Fruehauf? I know they moved out of town and declared bankruptcy not too long ago, but are they still in the trailer making business somewhere? As a kid, I never knew of any truck trailer other than Fruehauf.

"August Charles Fruehauf (1868-1930), was a blacksmith and carriage builder in the Detroit area. In 1914, he built a trailer to carry a merchant's pleasure boat, which was to be hauled by a Ford automobile. The trailer was a success. The merchant asked Fruehauf to build additional trailers to haul lumber. These trailers, which Fruehauf called "semi-trailers", became very popular. Business boomed, and four years later, in 1918, Fruehauf incorporated the Fruehauf Trailer Company. Over the next few decades the company prospered and introduced several new concepts in trailer design and size--first under the founder and then under his son Harvey Charles Fruehauf (1896-1968)."

Fruehauf's plant on both sides of Harper, east of French Rd is now home to PVS Chemicals. They make ferric chlorides there which are used for water treatment among other thing:

"In 1991, PVS Technologies completed construction of its new East Side Detroit ferric chloride manufacturing plant. Corporate offices moved across the street from their original location to a 225,000 square foot building that had previously been the Fruehauf Corporation's world headquarters."

Here is the part of Fruehauf on the south side of Harper, wedged between Harper and I-94:

Fruehauf1

Fruehauf2

The older, larger part of the plant is on the north side of Harper but it's not very photogenic, and I didn't want to arouse suspicion by taking photos of a chemical plant. The open lot just south of the south side building once contained another plant that might have an interesting history.

Fruehauf2003

Here in these images from 1952 and 1961, one before the Ford Freeway went through, and one after, you see a building between Fruehauf's and I-94. The Sanborn maps I checked showed it belonging to Bundy Tubing Co in 1941, manufacturer of welded metal tubes. I thinks these were popular for use in brake lines.

However, a 1952 map lists it as Motor Products Corp "aircraft factory" and also as the "Hern Aircraft Plant", the street along its south side being Hern, and later the I-94 service drive. Motor Products Corp had a contract during the war to produce B-24 tail gun turrets. I'm thinking this was the plant that made them instead of Motor Products' main plant on Mack Avenue.

Fruehauf+MotorProducts1952

Fruehauf+MotorProducts1961

By 1962, the owner is shown as Nautec. I found a source that says in 1960, Motor Products bought the Bertram Yacht Co and changed its name to Nautec. Their Mack Avenue plant is also shown as Nautec on the Sanborn maps, but I thought that Motor Products simply went bankrupt in the '50s. I can't find much on the history of the Motor Products/Bertram/Nautec relationship.
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Sven1977
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Username: Sven1977

Post Number: 43
Registered: 04-2004
Posted From: 209.220.229.254
Posted on Friday, April 01, 2005 - 12:07 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There are a number of factories arount Mt. Elliot between the Packard complex and GM's Poletown. Does anyone know what they all are/were?
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 1581
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 24.22.6.155
Posted on Friday, April 01, 2005 - 2:26 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The two shots in black and white of Fruehauf, before and after I-94 are outstanding. You can really see the "progress." The historical notes are wonderful.
Thanks MikeM.
jjaba
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Bate
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Username: Bate

Post Number: 29
Registered: 02-2005
Posted From: 4.247.239.182
Posted on Friday, April 01, 2005 - 3:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Just got back from vacation. Ten days of Colorado mountain bliss. You have all been quite busy here. It is going to take me days to get caught up on this thread- which by-the-way, is becoming the complete knowledge base on the subject. I know what I'll be doing this weekend. Thanks.
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Mikem
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Username: Mikem

Post Number: 1344
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 68.43.13.241
Posted on Friday, April 01, 2005 - 7:35 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Sven, I assume this is the area you are referring to. Mt Elliott cuts through from bottom center to top left. I-94 slices off the southeast corner. To the best of my knowledge, P = Packard, H = Hupp, M = Midland Steel, G = Gemmer, and A = Chrysler Amplex.

MtElliott2003

Going back to 1961, Amplex, which was at 6501 Harper is still standing:

MtElliott1961

Going back further to '56, there is a plant located where the ?-mark is. I don't know what it was. You can see the clearing for I-94 is underway as well:

MtElliott1956

Hupp of course was where the Huppmobile was produced until the war. A good history and a few photos are at the HAER site: Hupp

How could we forget Gemmer, inventor of power steering? Gemmer came to Detroit from Indiana in 1907 and set up Gemmer Mfg to make steering gear, originally at 741 Merrick, west side. not sure when they moved to this plant but the stack looks old:

Gemmer1
Gemmer2

Chrysler's Amplex division was created in 1930 to make parts using the Oilite process. Chrysler engineers the method of making parts by using powdered metal and compressing it into whatever shape they needed. It was quicker to make a part that way than to machine one from raw stock. A briquette, called Oilite, made of iron, copper, bronze or aluminum powder is shaped by a press, passed through a furnace and pressed again into final form, without any machining necessary. The parts made in this way are used in low-strength areas, not crankshafts, connecting rods, etc. A benefit of this process is that the pieces can be impregnated with oil, hence the name Oilite, and can be used for self lubricating bearings. The parts are actually porous and absorb oil and excrete it when heated. They started production at the Dodge plant then moved here in 1937. During the war they made gun turret forms, 40mm shot, worm gears for turrets, and of course steering gear assemblies.

Amplex1
Amplex2

Up the road is the former Midland Steel plant, 6656 Mt Elliott. They made automobile frames and other stampings. Midland Steel was a Cleveland company that took over Detroit Pressed Steel early in its history (1920s). This was originally a Detroit Pressed Steel plant. Detroit Pressed Steel started in 1909 and had two plants in Detroit, this one and one on W Warren. The one on Warren made the famous "Disteel" wheel which was a single-disc, steel wheel. Seems to me I read somewhere that the UAW's first sit-down strike in the 1930's occurred here at this plant on Mt Elliott.

You'll find more interesting sites in the area, including the few remains of Dodge Main that are still standing:

Lot9Lot10
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Sven1977
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Username: Sven1977

Post Number: 44
Registered: 04-2004
Posted From: 209.220.229.254
Posted on Friday, April 01, 2005 - 7:54 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

On the nose MikeM. I saw those plants last weeks and started the wondering process. A wealth of knowledge you are. And who could forget Germer? I never knew about it, but though the collective knowledge of this website, I'm learning all kinds of things.
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Mikem
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Username: Mikem

Post Number: 1345
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 68.43.13.241
Posted on Friday, April 01, 2005 - 8:21 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I don't want to claim that we are any kind of authority on this stuff, we're just talking shop, speculating, hashing it out, and trying to put two-and-two together.

Bate, welcome back! I have to leave now for the weekend so you can take up where I left off.

Opps, that Hupp link was bad. Go here and do a search on Hupp: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/habs_haer/index.html

(Message edited by MikeM on April 01, 2005)
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 1584
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 24.22.6.155
Posted on Friday, April 01, 2005 - 8:50 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

GEMMER STEERING BOXES

Gemmer steering boxes had either worm and roller or worm and peg set-ups.

The Gemmer 305 was used in Fords 1937-40. Mercury 1939-42.
Of the same design, Ford made worm and roller steering boxes for models 1941-48 themselves.

Citroen Traction Avants had Gemmer steering to 1939.

Morgan Cars used Gemmer Steering.

The 1960 VW Beetles had Gemmer Steering.

The 1929 Stutz Pikes Peak Special (yes that one which climbed mountains) had Gemmer Steering Boxes.

Quite a legacy. More later.

jjaba, research dept.
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 1585
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 24.22.6.155
Posted on Friday, April 01, 2005 - 9:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Gemmer Again.

Gemmer Model B-60 worm and sector type steering boxes were on Dodge M37 3/4th ton Cargo Trucks, delivered to US Armed Forces.

Hudson Motor Cars were equipped with Gemmer Steering Boxes.

1974 BMW 3.0SI, Gemmer Steering Boxes.

Austrian built PINZGAUER 12 passenger service utilities made by Steyr-Daimler-Puch, These were ex-Swiss Army vehicles. Yup, Gemmer Steering Boxes.

1950s Alfa Romeo Service Vans, Gemmer Steering.

jjaba, adding to the knowledge. Just trying to steer my way through the 5 o'clock traffic.
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623kraw
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Username: 623kraw

Post Number: 577
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 68.41.224.200
Posted on Saturday, April 02, 2005 - 7:32 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Amazing job everyone! I thought this thread died a month ago. IMHO, this is what the Forum was meant for.

I found 2 so far that I hope were not covered:

Ivan Doverspike Co. which was an old Hudson Plant
not too be confused with the store
Not sure, but may be the recently demoed Mound Road Engine Plant:
Not too sure
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Aiw
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Username: Aiw

Post Number: 3612
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 64.228.193.180
Posted on Saturday, April 02, 2005 - 9:52 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Great stuff Mike.

Those Dodge Main Parking Signs are something else...

I love driving by those.
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 1587
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 24.22.6.155
Posted on Saturday, April 02, 2005 - 7:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

AIW, are you salaried or hourly over in Canada?
(Dodge main lot)

In Flint, it's pets or meat!

AIW, what's your sign?

AIW, you got any "No foreign cars allowed in this parking lot" signs in Canada or would such a statement be too offensive for the polite folks that you are?
jjaba, working stiff, former car-shop John
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Aiw
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Username: Aiw

Post Number: 3618
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 67.71.66.194
Posted on Saturday, April 02, 2005 - 8:12 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

jjaba, I have one for you....

gm
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Aiw
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Username: Aiw

Post Number: 3619
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 67.71.66.194
Posted on Saturday, April 02, 2005 - 8:16 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

OK, Sandborn map guys....

Does anyone have a copy of the Studebaker Plant on Piquette?

Can anyone tell me the function of this building? The one that used to have all the glass curtain walls...

studebaker

It is located along the John R. Side, in between the main plant and the smokestack on the extreme west side of the plant, in between the Railway and Piquette.

Press shop?
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Aiw
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Username: Aiw

Post Number: 3620
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 67.71.66.194
Posted on Saturday, April 02, 2005 - 8:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It's the part circled in red on the photo below...

Quick quiz! Identify the portion of the factory still in use....

stude
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 1589
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 24.22.6.155
Posted on Saturday, April 02, 2005 - 10:57 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

AIW, Generous Motors Canada Limited uses Chrysler Blue for the aweful sign. Is that at the world famous Windsor Transmission works?

It is hard to believe that sign refers to Canada, where peace, law, and civility rules, eh.
Must have been screen printed FOR Canada out of Detroit GM HQ. We know this becuase it left out the part about Her Majesty's GM. BTW, can jjaba park his Ford Cortina lefthand drive in that lot?
jjaba, LOL.
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623kraw
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Username: 623kraw

Post Number: 579
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 68.41.224.200
Posted on Monday, April 04, 2005 - 4:55 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Chrysler Lynch Road Assembly
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Aiw
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Username: Aiw

Post Number: 3624
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 67.71.66.194
Posted on Monday, April 04, 2005 - 1:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jjaba, the line about "Permission to use this lot may be revoked by General Motors at anytime" leads one to belive that if they wanted to ban foregin cars, they could do so.
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 1596
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 24.22.6.155
Posted on Monday, April 04, 2005 - 2:35 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

623, can we get a description of your photo? Thanks. Excellent photo.
jjaba
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Sven1977
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Username: Sven1977

Post Number: 45
Registered: 04-2004
Posted From: 209.220.229.254
Posted on Monday, April 04, 2005 - 3:13 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I just spent the last half hour uploading imagages and descriptions but one was too big. Which one? I don't know. Included in these files are the Sandborn maps for the Studebaker plant on Piquette and the Studebaker plant on Jefferson.













Lots more to come later but in color!

Jjaba, your "Temple of the Westside" is a wonderful building. I was there yesterday.
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Toolbox
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Username: Toolbox

Post Number: 426
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 63.115.63.131
Posted on Monday, April 04, 2005 - 3:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


quote:

Jjaba

623, can we get a description of your photo? Thanks. Excellent photo.
jjaba




Chrysler Lynch Road Assembly.
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 1602
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 24.22.6.155
Posted on Monday, April 04, 2005 - 3:18 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Westside makes, the World Takes.
jjaba
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