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  1. #1

    Default Woodward Avenue, 1910

    Shorpy does it again. This is absolutely a stunning photo! You really need a wide monitor to appreciate all the detail. I also am amazed at all the automobiles in the shot for 1910. Makes me think that perhaps it's actually a half dozen years later.

    http://www.shorpy.com/node/9767?size=_original
    Last edited by Ray1936; January-23-11 at 12:28 PM. Reason: butterfingers

  2. #2

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    One of the persons who already commented on Shorpy about this photo has provided the wrong location for it. He apparently did not know that Detroit renumbered all of their street addresses in 1920 because he used the old 260 address on the building at the far left to provide the Google Street Views.

    Using the 1910 Detroit City Directory, I've confirmed that that this photo was actually taken from Grand Circus Park where Park Ave. (foreground) intersects with Woodward. [Google Street View]

    According to the 1910 Directory, the building on the right was the Grand Circus Bldg. at 261-271 Woodward. Its tenants included "Keenan & Jahn Furniture" (261-263), "Goodyear Raincoat Co. and Rubber Store" (265), "H.R. Leonard Furniture" (267-269) and "T.C. Mau Furrier" (269). Sharing the 271 address were "A.L. Le Gro, Dentist" and "Frederick W. MacDonald, Dentist".

    I have submitted a comment with the above information, but they moderate their comments and it might not appear for some time, if at all.

    From the shadows and the furniture sale sign, it appears that this photo was taken at about 5 PM on a hazy summer day. The Detroit River and Windsor, Ontario should be visible off in the distance at the foot of Woodward, however, all I see is a mysterious looking, dark angular object. Is that a ship on the river or just some banners strung across the roadway?

  3. #3

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    I see some of the early cars have the steering wheel on the right, when did this change?

  4. #4

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    My dad had a restored 1913 Studebaker. It had right hand drive and the driver did not rate a door.

  5. #5

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    Incredible photo, thanks for posting and the location info.

    The strange object floating over Woodward must be a banner. It would be wild if you could see a ship floating like that on the Detroit River from Park & Woodward.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by dtowncitylover View Post
    I see some of the early cars have the steering wheel on the right, when did this change?
    To answer my own question, Ford changed in 1908 with the Model T and Cadillac in 1916. Interestingly enough, the US Virgin Islands still drive on the left. But I digress, the photo is amazing!

  7. #7

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    Thanks, Mikeg, for confirming the photo was taken from Grand Circus Park. That was my initial thought, but it is difficult to discern where the cross streets go through.

    I did note the Ferguson Building on the east side of Woodward. That building is still standing two doors south of John R. and Woodward. My great-grandfather was a tailor at the English Woolen Mills located in the Ferguson Building.

  8. #8

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    Little remains this day. Maybe some buildings on the right side of the picture and of course the Soldiers and Sailors monument in the distance.

    This was boomtown!


    was this one overlooked in this forum? Great view of Campus Martius .

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by dtowncitylover View Post
    I see some of the early cars have the steering wheel on the right, when did this change?

    Right hand drive countries.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Whitehouse View Post
    was this one overlooked in this forum? Great view of Campus Martius .
    Nope! Covered in http://www.detroityes.com/mb/showthr...-at-night-1910

  11. #11

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    I wonder what they would think of today's cars.

    That might make an interesting theme for a science fiction movie. Send a car back in time then show their various reactions to it.

    I think they'd recognize it as a car because of the four wheels and the steering wheel but I wouldn't be surprised if they thought today's cars were ugly. Did they even know of the concept of streamlining back then? They certainly didn't need it for speed.

  12. #12

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    How many business names can we find in this photo that are still active today?

    I'll start with the General Ice Delivery Company's horse-drawn wagon in the middle of Woodward with their "Absopure" brand name on the side.

  13. #13

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    You can still find the Annis Furs name although it points to another fur business in Birmingham.

    Goodyear, of course, is still around....as we know from the blimp at so many sporting events!
    Last edited by Kathleen; January-23-11 at 06:48 PM.

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray1936 View Post
    Shorpy does it again. This is absolutely a stunning photo! You really need a wide monitor to appreciate all the detail. I also am amazed at all the automobiles in the shot for 1910. Makes me think that perhaps it's actually a half dozen years later.

    http://www.shorpy.com/node/9767?size=_original
    This really is an amazing shot. Can anyone date the cars and be sure? I bet you no other world cities had as many cars in their CBD's as Detroit. You could probably find 1910 shots of Lower Broadway and the Magnificent Mile in Chicago with as many cars but barely. When will we get a proper movie done about this amazing period in Detroit which changed the world forever?

  15. #15

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    In fact, I can only discern two horsedrawn vehicles, in the picture, almost anywhere else at that time would yield the opposite. Everywhere else looked sleepy but duh Dee! Slam Dunk! I am becoming more and more proud of your hometown by da minute! Help!

  16. #16

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    Mike is right about the location. I recognized that immediately by spotting the old Pontch hotel on the left side of the street.

    Neat thought about a time machine taking a 2011 Escalade back a hundred years. Unlike today, I don't necessarily think it would get carjacked.

  17. #17

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    By the way, here's how that photo appears on a wide screen monitor. My son got me this for Christmas, and I can't believe how much I love it!

  18. #18

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    How bizarre!!
    My family and I went to a small restaurant here in Lincoln Park for brunch this afternoon. They have a copy of this very photograph on their wall and my son and I spent some time looking at it and discussing. He was amazed at the men wearing hats and I told him that all "gentlemen" wore hats back in the day!
    So strange that I'd come on this forum this evening to find discussion of the very same photograph! Can't wait to delve into the information that is provided and being discussed!

  19. #19

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    I can't tell what is still standing today. Great find, Ray....you da man!!!

    Stromberg2

  20. #20

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    Been trying to date this by the Perfection Fireless Range ad in their shop window. I found magazine ads on ebay for ads dated 1908 but not for fireless. A google search leads me to the Chambers flameless or fireless range invented by a mr Chambers in 1910. I found an ad dated 1911 for a company in Detroit William Campbell's , who claims to be the Original Fireless Cooker Man.
    To which his sweet half would answer; Baby, baby light my fire!

    The Fireless or flameless cookstoves would shut off after reaching a desired temperature and slow cook in a well insulated box, saving fuel.

    So, there is a Perfection Fireless Stove made by the Johnston Slocum company in Caro Michigan and a New Perfection Stove co. in Cleveland in those years... The picture is post-1910 but how much later is still up in the air.

  21. #21

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    Incidentally, someone with a crack knowledge of fashion could date by ladies hats and dress fashions by increments of 3 to 5 years. Costume designers are the chosen few for that job.

  22. #22

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    Wow, that Piano row is another side-story. I count five shops in the image. Grinell's appears to be in the location that it had until the 80's,

  23. #23

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    This is fun!!!

    Love the English Woolen Mills signage!! As I mentioned above, my great-grandfather worked there as a tailor for many years. I don't believe I've ever seen a photo showing the company sign.

    Following up on the Eureka Vacuum Cleaners sign, the company was founded by Fred Wardell in 1909, so this is a relatively new company at the time the photo was taken. The company, of course, remains in business. http://www.eureka.com/company-information

    Fred Wardell is the one responsible for today's Park Shelton, which was originally known as the Wardell Building when built in 1926!
    http://www.theparkshelton.com/inside_building.htm

  24. #24

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    Wright kay building still stands. Was the old Endicott Dept used for part of the Hudson's building? Annis last location Downtown was a couple blocks east of there.

  25. #25

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    The tall building with the blank wall on the east side of Woodward became the center Woodward bay of the Hudson complex...was that built initially by Newcomb-Endicott and Company? Also, I was not aware that there was a early Majestic Theatre on Woodward (west side) with the vertical sign that partially HIPPO...any info on that---Gistok, would you know?

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