On another thread I was recently criticized for using period newspapers as research tools. Following is an example of where these trails sometimes lead (following old news accounts from newspapers and periodicals).
Guy Standing was apparently a well known actor shortly after the turn of the century (last one, not this one). In this paper he is the headliner for a show, and below that is headlined for an upcoming show at another theatre (Washington Times).
Mr. Standing was also pictured with his Ford Model S on the same day (different page).
I first encountered these articles as a result of this newspaper clip that included Mr. Standing's name along with an account of a Ford six (Model K) and Model S making a short trip (notice how long their thirty three mile trip took).
Yesterday, while looking at "Detroit Free Press" articles, this article caught my attention:
I thought this was an interesting trail to follow. A well known celebrity making headlines driving his Ford (that he claims is the first Model S sold at retail). Also interesting that he is going to look at the new Model T when he returns from England.
Thanks for doing the research and sharing it with us. SR Roadster #11 is not listed in Trent's Early database so the ledger that original distributor/dealer would have been listed in is not one of the ones that they have found and that they can currently access. The first one listed in the database is #17.
It also shows how the cars could be moved around without Ford Motor Company USA shipping it to their dealer in England but as a private individual shipping the car.
Again thank you for digging and sharing what you find. And of course any printed item can have some mistakes. They were written and type set by people and we make mistakes. And in some cases someone may slant a story one way or the other. But the early newspapers and other early written items often give us a window so we can take a glimpse of what happened back in the day. Not the whole story -- but a glimpse of what was going on. And with each additional glimpse we have a better feel for what the entire picture looked like.
Hap l9l5 cut off
Lots to learn. If this is correct, we have the owner of the first Model N identified (Frank X. Mudd, Chicago, July 1906) and the possibly the first Model S sold.
One thing I've noticed about the database, it doesn't appear to show the cars that went through Gaston Plaintiff and the New York Branch. If this is true, it leaves a big hole in the database, since Plaintiff was responsible for selling many Model Ks, along with runabouts.
While we're on pre Ts, this is another article I found yesterday. John Dodge was the victim of auto theft in September, 1908. This says he had a "special" $5000 Ford six cylinder car. I wonder what it looked like. Maybe there is a photo somewhere?
Did he have any kids? If not, he'd be the last guy standing! Sorry, couldn't resist ;>)
Great stuff Rob! Keep up the good work!
What if Standing was displeased with the car?
Would Standing the Plaintiff have standing to sue Plaintiff standing as the Defendant? This could devolve into a lawyer version of "Who's on First?"
Great research, Rob. Keep it coming.
Period publications are a great source foe research, but one must not take everything in print as being fact, newspapers and television have a reputation for getting things wrong now, and newspapers were not much different 100 years ago.
I agree. However, it becomes a matter of "who do you believe" the most, things as they appeared in print at the time, or printed history documented years after the event?
I think independent corroboration is always good, although not always available. I thought S Roadsters were sold earlier and so it would be impossible for Guy Standing to have the first one. However, I checked (I'm in Detroit one more day) at Benson Library and monthly fiscal reports don't show any Model S Roadsters on the sales ledger until March of 1908. So, it possible that Guy did indeed purchase the first one at retail.
Hard to see, but the 6th line down is the first time S Roadster shows up in the Ford monthly internal audit list. Also listed are Model S Coupe and Laundelet, in addition to models R, K and S.
LOL I'm surprised no one has mentioned that he drove the bejesus out of that Model S. Most of the time with 3 passengers and their luggage? Yowza. I can't imagine anybody putting an S through the paces like that now.