Old Photo - Model T Era - Belle Isle Bridge

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2016: Old Photo - Model T Era - Belle Isle Bridge
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jay - In Northern California on Monday, December 28, 2015 - 11:38 pm:


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By charley shaver- liberal,mo. on Tuesday, December 29, 2015 - 08:25 am:

the body on the elc looks just like the woods body out in my shop.charley


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Tuesday, December 29, 2015 - 08:38 am:

I like the sign on the building that say's The home of Nobby tread tires!! When i was young many in the country ran nobby tires in the winter.It's been a long time since i last saw a pair.Bud in Wheeler,Mi.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Wells, Hamilton Ontario on Tuesday, December 29, 2015 - 09:18 am:

Looks like large groups of cyclists were aggravating motorists back then too.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Tuesday, December 29, 2015 - 09:22 am:

Or the other way around.... :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem - SE Michigan on Tuesday, December 29, 2015 - 10:58 am:

That is the first Belle Isle Bridge. It was made of wood and burned in the 1920's I believe. The replacement bridge still stands to this day. By the way, it's proper name is the MacArthur Bridge. It connects Detroit to Belle Isle, an island in the Detroit River and a beautiful park since the late 1800's. The island was originally known as Hog Island, so named for the wild boars that used to inhabit it.

The "Nobby Tread" tire company was US Rubber. It was torn down in the early 80's as I recall.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bill Elliott on Tuesday, December 29, 2015 - 02:30 pm:

It looks to me like the only Ford's visible in the photo are all brass radiator Ford's, so I'm thinking 1915/16?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman Bolz on Tuesday, December 29, 2015 - 03:27 pm:

Jerry, you should have checked with me. The bridge shown is the second Belle Isle bridge. Let me digress. Bridge number one opened June 25, 1889
and burned under unusual political circumstances
on April 27, 1915. The remaining pillars are visible just west of the bridge (upriver) in the
photo. The second temporary bridge opened in July
of 1916 and was used till the third and present bridge was opened in November of 1913. Did the
mayor have the bridge burned in order proceed with
his plans for an automobile conducive bridge that
was opposed by the populace????
The photo could be opening day for bridge #2.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman Bolz on Tuesday, December 29, 2015 - 03:31 pm:

Additionally, Belle Isle is the site where Henry
Leland's friend allegedly injured himself while
cranking his automobile and subsequently died.
Inspiring Leland, as the story goes, to develop
the electric self-starter. Eventually used in
model T's to get back on topic.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ken Parker on Tuesday, December 29, 2015 - 03:34 pm:

The third Ford behind the electric seems to have a 15/16 cowl. The Michigan plates for 1916 would be white with dark blue numbers. Seems like 1916 would be the earliest combination that fits.

Ken in Texas

Norman already knew the year while we were trying to figure it out!

(Message edited by drkbp on December 29, 2015)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman Bolz on Tuesday, December 29, 2015 - 03:52 pm:

Third bridge opened in November 1923 before Jerry catches my typo.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Tuesday, December 29, 2015 - 04:01 pm:

If you go back before the bridge was it Hog Island where Cheif Pontiac had his camp?? Bud in Wheeler,Mi.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman Bolz on Tuesday, December 29, 2015 - 04:35 pm:

Hog island or Pig island depending on translation.
Renamed when developed. Olmsted was involved with that.
Pontiac's camp was not on the island but a few miles
away at what is now Elmwood cemetery. The British attacked his camp in what was referred to as the battle of Bloody Run. Original topography of Detroit
still exists at that site. Not far from the site where Henry Ford built his first few vehicles before
he went on to build Piquette, Highland Park, and The Rouge. But that would be on topic.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dewey, N. California on Tuesday, December 29, 2015 - 06:49 pm:

Temporary bridge would explain the railings, which appear to be just wood. Interesting that the 'temporary" bridge served for 7 years. I suppose it took that long to raise the money and defeat the opposition? Does the "new" bridge use any of the original bridge's piers?
Also note that it took just a bit over a year to build the "temporary" bridge.
Any photos of the new bridge, maybe with the temporary bridge still in place?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gary H. White - Sheridan, MI on Tuesday, December 29, 2015 - 11:27 pm:


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gary H. White - Sheridan, MI on Wednesday, December 30, 2015 - 08:53 pm:

Looking East toward island.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Marty Bufalini - Grosse Pointe, MI on Thursday, December 31, 2015 - 11:59 am:

Norm, you should have checked with me first.

As the story goes, Byron Carter -- of Cartercar fame (Cartercar was a part of GM at the time) -- was driving on Belle Isle when he came across a young lady whose car had stalled. Byron cranked it, it kicked back and hit him in the jaw so bad that he had to be taken to the hospital. Byron died of complications from this injury.

He was a close friend of, if I remember correctly, Henry LeLand, who was at that time, head of the Cadillac division of GM. Byron's death upset LeLand greatly and got Charles Kettering involved in developing the first successful car electric self-starter (actually, Kettering developed a complete, self-contained automobile electrical system). That's why the first car to have the Delco (Dayton Electric Company) system was the Cadillac in 1912.

Kettering had developed an electric motor for the National Cash Register Company that developed high torque at low speeds (or vice-versa -- I can't remember). Kettering applied this development to the car starter motor and developed around that the complete electrical system.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Thursday, December 31, 2015 - 12:14 pm:

I'm getting old and senile as Leland just did not sound right.At the Olds main plant in Landsing there was a big brass placque dedicated to Kettering who designed the Olds V8 in 1949?? I think there was a 1906 National with a two stroke engine and a air starter at the OCF year's ago?? Bud.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman Bolz on Thursday, December 31, 2015 - 12:29 pm:

Sorry Marty. So Leland's inspiration led to having
him assign Kettering to do the work. This was the
first electric starter. Spring and air starters had
been around for years. I just have friends start
my cars. Much safer.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jon Crane on Thursday, December 31, 2015 - 03:47 pm:

A lot of Boss Kett's materials, library and office cabinets are on display at the Kettering Institute (formerly GMI) in Flint, Mich. There is a real treasure trove of info in the collection, similar but not as organized as the Benson Ford Collection.


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