Since I live near the Ford Piquette Ave. Plant, I do some volunteering there and serve on a couple of committees. The museum has Henry Ford's office nicely restored and arranged nearly identical to the only known photo of it. However, there a couple of items missing.
First, Henry Ford's calendar. Since I believe the photo was taken in 1907, it would obviously be a 1907 calendar. The image appears to be of a "Gibson Girl". It would be great to have one just like it hanging there today. Can anyone identify this calendar and/or suggest a source for one?
Next, a framed photo of what appears to be a steel mill located along a river. But, what steel mill? I've searched photos on eBay. There's lots, but not one exactly like this. Anyone???
Since this forum has so many experts, on so many topics, representing so many varied interests, I'm hopeful of a good response.
My first thought on seeing that picture with those smoke stacks would be the Ford Rouge Factory,.....???
But then, Ford did own two Great Lakes ore boats in connection with steel,.....so,.....???
Jerry,Could it be a drawing/painting of what Henry was thinking of the future?? Bud in Wheeler,Mi.
I'm thinking it might be John R. Keim's Mill and Stamping facility in Buffalo which was a source for stampings and eventually the supplier of the T-pan.
Henry Ford purchased the mill in 1911.
I'm thinking something more like a Coca-Cola calendar.
And, since the large picture is the Michigan Automobile Industry in 1907, I suspect the photo was taken in 1908. Perhaps at the same time James Couzens photo was taken on June 16, 1908.
I know those are "blow ups" of portions of the photograph. Early photographs are actually higher resolution than today's photos, especially if from a glass negative. You'll need to work from an original print, if possible, as it looks like you can almost make out the year on that calendar--and the month maybe?
Very cool stuff.
May or may not be a Gibson girl.
Also - note that there is a collie in the picture.
The original illustration could have been used for a number of things, not just that particular calendar.
For starters, I would do Google searches of woman, collie including one of the following terms: print, painting, illustration, lithograph, calendar, etc. for each search.
Hope that you get lucky and get direct answers to your questions...
If you have to unfortunately go and seek, my hunch/guess for the mill photo would either be the Swedish Steel Mill that first made Vanadium steel that Ford witnessed in that broken part...or...The steel mill in the USA that agreed to melt up crucibles of Vanadium steel mix.
It is really remarkable that Ford was even able to convince an existing steel mill to pour him Vanadium steel. No one yet knew where the automobile was even going to go.
In those days the mill resident 'alchemist' came up with things that drove the tensile testers wild and the steel mill then learned how to sell it...but to have a buyer come and say 'here is what I want' and to also supply an 'overseer' for the pour to me is remarkable that he was taken seriously.
Having a picture of a steel mill of substance hanging on the wall was meant to be a conversation piece, size, stability, large capital investment...but why? Credibility for Vanadium Steel production...it wasn't mojo, it had substance behind it...
Just my thought...
My guess would be along the same lines as George, maybe the American Vanadium Company of Pittsburgh or United States Steel Company of Canton OH. J. Kent Smith introduced vanadium to Ford as a representative of Am Vanadium and by mid September 1907 two pours of 40 and 45 tons of vanadium steel were completed at Canton for Ford. Just a guess...... I wasn't ale to find any period photos of either factory:
Thanks for the great suggestions guys. In looking for the steel mill, I found a couple photos of Carnegie Steel plants in New Castle, PA & Youngstown, OH that have a building that looks just like the one next to the 6 stacks in Henry's photo. Figuring that Carnegie used similar architecture, I'm thinking it's one of his plants. This can't have been a "one off" photo. There must be other copies out there.
Here's the New Castle, PA photo;
Here is a sample illustration from my original Brown & Bigalow calendar catalog from 1904
My1903 catalog has several more that are similar art and size.
The white squiggly, smokey looking area below what appears to be a lady reminds me of a genie "Jeanie" coming out of a bottle. LOL!
The photo of the girl appear to be of a woman with a Collie dog looking up at her.
The first batch of Vanadium steel in USA was made in July 1906 for Ford at United Alloy Steel Co. in Canton, Ohio.
Can't find any old pictures of that mill on the net?
The sharpness of old photos isn't because they were on glass plates, but because they were made with large format cameras that had good lenses. A professional camera of the period would produce equally good photos on glass or film. Even a cheap fixed-focus box camera would produce pictures far superior to what you could get from later versions, because they used big film sizes like 116, 122, and 124.
And really old cameras just had a pinhole. That is why some of the Transcontinental Railroad photographs have unlimited depth of field. The photographer controlled exposure by how long he or she keep the lens uncovered.
I have heard that Vanadium Steel was used in Battle Ships long before?? Bud.
I enjoy old photographs. Nothing better than putting on some mellow music, having a cold beer or two, and browsing at Shorpy for a few hours. The detail is amazing.
I agree about some of those photos on Shorpy! I remember one photo I must have spent an hour on. Must have been a dozen cars. Lots of business fronts, pedestrians, rooftops, architectural details, and a few windows to peek into.
The photo is not that of United Steel Company in Canton, Ohio. The phone directory of 1908 states the company was at the corner of Belden Ave and the Pennsylvania Rail Road track in Canton Ohio. This is the old Republic plant as of this morning.
Knowing that Mr. Ford was an agricultural guy, I tried things like DM Ferry Seed Company, but their calendars seemed cartoony.
So then I tried searching for something like Malcomson Coal Company, and got warmer...
So with a little refinement, I found this.
It is advertising for "Zenoleum" cleaning supplies.
All searches were for 1907 Detroit Calendar on google. I'll try and play some more at lunch. I'm sure Uncle Henry wouldn't appreciate me goofing off on his dime. ;)
Hey Jason, thanks for taking this on. Hope you can help. Those were some great thoughts, looking for Ferry Seed & Malcomson Coal calendars.
As an aside, my grandfather became a salesman for Zenol products, trying to earn a few bucks during the Depression. I think the only "benefit" was that he ended up with a 10 year supply of Zenol products.
No problem Jerry. I'm a history type of guy, so it's fun for me. I just tried to think of who would be advertising in Detroit that Henry would have gotten a calendar for. Stroh's looked promising, but I remembered he was a tee-totaller. lol
BTW, I just paid for a membership at Piquette yesterday, the family and I will be headed down there after church for the party. Will you be down there? Hope to meet a lot of members here, and from the EFR, which I also registered on this week. ;)
I'll be in Indiana, on the Covered Bridge Tour.
Hope to meet you at some other event.
Sounds like an enjoyable weekend!
So, my original thought is coming up empty- there was a Ford sales branch at 24 Woodward, which would basically be across the street from 33 Woodward, or the home of Vernor's. I can't find any Vernor's calendars yet though.
Just gotta keep digging.
Some digging at lunch makes me believe the girl is Evelyn Nesbit.
Original calendar photo posted:
Picture of Evelyn I found:
The outfit "appears" to be the same hat and dress, just different angle.
Will need to keep digging, but I'm thinking I'm on the right track.
Evelyn was a looker!
Yeah... not a bad way to spend lunch google searching images of her! ;)
My next step will be trying to find a business directory for Detroit ca. 1907 that could give leads on who would have handed out calendars- groceries, coal dealers, banks, etc. Then try to find one close to that area that Mr. Ford may have used. If we can come up with a business name we can deduce what it is at the top of the calendar and go from there.
OK- a potential calendar giver could have been Fredric M. Sibley Lumber Co. on Jefferson. I'm looking for things with long names as it appears to be something long at the top of the calendar. I'm sure it's before the 'rift' over the boat trailer. ;)
As an aside for those that don't know, August Fruehauf developed the 'semi-trailer' for Fredric Sibley's son to pull behind a Model T hauling an 18' boat. Mr. Ford didn't like that idea and cancelled the warranty on any 'modified' car like that.
Still looking, and learning a lot about early 20th century Detroit. I may be convinced after all (the wife is trying hard) to buy a house in Boston-Edison.
My wife and your wife will agree on Boston-Edison.
There are some LOVELY vintage homes in that area!
Still trying to see if I can make it to the party on Sunday, I have to work Saturday Night until 7am Sunday.
I hope to see you there Chuck. But we should probably keep the wives away from each other, or we'll both be helping each other move. lol
I am at work now myself. ;) Only another hour and a half! (Been here since 5 AM).
More information on Evelyn Nesbit:She started modeling at age 14. John Jacob Astor took her under his wing. She modeled and was an actress. Stanford White who was a famous architect, was memorized with her. When she was 16 he either drugged her or got her drunk and raped her. After this he supported her mother and brother, giving them extravagant gifts and an elegant apartment. Evelyn became Whites mistress. that lasted a year. Two years later she married multi millionaire Harry Thaw. Thaw became angry at the thought of her being raped by White. He could not put it to rest. He approached White at a play at Madison Square Garden and shot him dead. She is considered the first super model, and Americas first sex goddess equal to Marilyn Monroe. Her ghost has supposedly been seen by the Thaw family at their summer home.