We pardon the interuption…

OK, for those regular readers who have wondered why the posting has been so sporadic lately, the reason because Bell sucks. They are my ISP at home, and I have been recieving intermittant service at home over the last few months.

They have sent a technician from both the phone side and the internet side to my house at least 5-6 times and none of them have done a single thing.

Whenever it rains, or it is damp, I have no internet at home. The funny thing about this, is that I had the same problem about 4 years ago. Last time they replaced the phone line from the pole to the house (about 10 feet) and the service has worked fine for 4 years. This time however, they don’t want to/are too lazy to do it.

So in the next week someone is supposedly coming again, and they’re sending a new modem…

If they don’t fix it, I’m going to have to change ISP’s… Once this gets sorted, posting should resume normally…

Fisher Body – Fort & Livernois

To the corner of Fort & Livernois for today’s P.D.J.

This handsome peice of automotive history was built in 1928

The same artist who painted the windows at the U.A. prior to its superbowl wash also did the former offices of Fisher Body. Does anyone know the significance of the “S” and the “C”?

Although the name has been off the building for a long time, the GM logo as well as Fisher Body are both still visible.

Here is a present day shot from Google Earth of the offices. You can see the original structure outlined in red, as noted on the Sandborn below.

From the Sandborn map from 1921, the office building (much smaller) and factory show up as the Ternstedt Manufacturing Company.

Here’s a little blurb from 1968 about Ternstedt:

Ternstedt Rejoins Fisher Body

DETROIT, MICH., Nov. 4, 1968– Ternstedt and Fisher Body Division– separated two decades ago when Ternstedt was made a separate General Motors division– are being united again.
Chairman of the Board James M. Roche announced today that consolidation of Ternstedt into Fisher Body Division will permit increased coordination of automotive body design and engineering. The headquarters of the two divisions now face each other across one of the Technical Center lakes.
Ternstedt was named after its founder, Alvar K. Ternstedt, inventor of the first practical car window regulator. A native of Sweden, he applied for a patent on his invention in 1911 but it was not granted until 1916.
The regulator utilized a chain and sprocket mechanism that offered greater east of operation than any previous device. Ternstedt needed financial backing to start his own company so in 1917 he invited the Fishers and several others to join him. At that time, the Fisher organization was already the largest body-building firm in the world.
At a meeting in Detroit on April 17, 1917, the Ternstedt Manufacturing Co. was incorporated. Ternstedt was elected chairman. The seven other directors were four of the Fisher brothers and three other major Fisher Body Company shareholders.
But Ternstedt didn’t live long enough to enjoy the success of his venture. He died six months later and in 1920, Fisher Body acquired the Ternstedt firm.
When Fisher Body became a division of GM in 1926, Ternstedt became a division within Fisher Body. Ternstedt became a separate division in 1948 and now, 20 years later, is now rejoining Fisher Body.
Alvar Ternstedt lived long enough to start manufacturing operations at a building located at Fort Street and Livernois in Detroit, site of the present Fisher Body Fort Street Plant. That remained the Ternstedt headquarters until a new divisional office building on the Tech Center site in 1962.
At present, Ternstedt operates seven plants and has nearly 25,000 employees. There are 400 Ternstedt products on the average GM car such as door handles, window regulators, locks, wheel covers and many of the brightly-plated trim parts found on vehicles.

Info above can be found here.

Also from the GM corporate history section of their website:

1926 – General Motors purchases the Fisher brothers’ remaining interest in Fisher Body Co. William Fisher, president of Fisher Body Corp., becomes general manager of GM’s new Fisher Body division. The acquisition includes Ternstedt Manufacturing Company, which is engaged in the manufacture of automobile body hardware and metal stampings. In 1933, Ternstedt is made a division of General Motors. Brown-Lipe-Chapin, a supplier of differential gears for General Motors cars acquired in 1922, is made a division of General Motors in 1926 and consolidated with Ternstedt in 1962. In 1968, Ternstedt Division is consolidated into Fisher Body Division.

Click here to see some the the radiator caps produced by the Ternstedt Mfg. Co.

Walkerville – 1899 – Part III

Today is the thrid and final installment.

An interior view of one of the warehouses. This one claimed to hold 20,000 barrels

A view of the bottling line. Must have been comfortable to work all dressed up :)

A view of the train station (demolished), the Jubilee Fountain (erected in 1887, now in Willistead Park, moved in the 1950’s) and if you look closely you can see the ferry to Detroit at the right hand side of the photo.

A pair of street scenes. Most of the houses in the photos are still standing. Walkerville is truly one of the best preseved areas of Windsor.

I hope you enjoyed this trip to the past.

Walkerville – 1899 – Part II

Continuing the tour, today is part II…

The Directors lunch room. Looks almost the same, and is today the corporate art gallery.

A few views of the hallways of the offices. The animal heads are however gone.

A view looking towards the river. The buildings on the left are long demolished.

The rack warehouses. All demolished. Replaced by newer buildings along the years. The last of the rack warehouses were built in the 1950’s. Today the product is stored off site about 20 miles east of the distillery.

…Tomorrow, Part III

Walkerville – 1899 – Part I

Into the time machine today. We’re heading back to 1899, back when Walkerville was still a separate town. Out of this town came this little promotional booklet…

PERHAPS very few small places are so widely known in every country of the civilized world as this little town of Walkerville, named after Mr. Hiram Walker, who established here in 1858 the distillery to which the town owes its existence. From small beginnings the plant has steadily grown to large proportions, and its product, under the name of “Canadian Club” Whisky, is shipped to almost every part of the globe.

The rapidity with which “Canadian Club” has popularized itself has been remarkable. Until the year 1888 no attempt had been made to extend the business beyond the borders of Canada. At that time it was decided to cultivate an export trade, and in the fall of 1888 an office was opened in London. For the first few years progress was exceedingly slow, and the experiment looked very doubtful; but finally more rapid headway was made, until to-day it is admitted that no other single brand of liquor is so widely distributed.

This success must be attributed to the high quality of the whisky, for without merit no advertising, however extensive or persistent, can create a permanent demand for an article which, being of necessity a high-priced one, must depend upon the favour of connoisseurs. A high-class whisky cannot be a “cheap” whisky in the ordinary sense; and it is essentially an article of which the adage “the best is the cheapest” is true. “Whether used purely for beverage purposes or medicinally, a low-grade spirit is particularly to be avoided.

It may be interesting to mention briefly why a whisky of high quality cannot be sold at a low price. As is very generally understood, the injurious properties inherent to distilled liquors in a raw state are best eliminated by long storage in oak casks. This involves not only the locking up of capital for several years, with the attendant expense of interest, insurance, taxes, labour, etc., but there is the much more serious item of wastage, amounting in the case of “Canadian Club” to from 25 to 33 per cent. of the entire quantity manufactured; and as this loss is constantly going on it represents the original cost plus the above mentioned charges. The whisky exported is carried a minimum of seven years ; and, allowing for shrinkage and reserve held to provide against possible ‘loss by fire, the capital is turned over not oftener than once in nine years.

The storage warehouses (of which there are five, holding from 13,000 to 20,000 barrels each); are constructed with special reference to the best possible results. The casks are not piled one upon the other, but in racks, with abundant air spaces. The houses are perfectly ventilated and dry; and in the cold weather they are artificially warmed. It is safe to say that in no branch of trade is deception more prevalent than in that of liquors. By the aid of chemistry almost any flavour can be imitated; and, far worse, the deleterious properties of the raw product can be so smothered as to be beyond detection by the senses of ordinary people. Many markets are flooded with inferior spirits, often highly injurious to health, generally falsely labelled as to age and quality, and frequently claiming to be the product of the most reputable concerns- While Great Britain is, perhaps, thanks to stringent laws rigidly enforced, more free from this nefarious traffic than many other countries, even there the absolute guarantee of age and genuineness afforded by “Canadian Club” is well worthy of notice.

Every bottle is certified by the Excise Department of the Canadian Government, by a stamp over the capsule, affixed in the presence of an officer who is constantly in charge of the bottling department. From the moment of manufacture until this stamp is applied the whisky is never out of the custody of the Government officials.

Owing to its absolute purity, its delicate aroma and flavour, and its extreme mellowness, “Canadian Club” is in high favour with physicians as a prescription stimulant.

Mmmmm… Perscription Whiskey…. :)

The five shots above are all of the Main Office Building on Riverside Dr. It is now open for tours, and has changed very little in the 107 years since the photos above were taken. The building was built from 1892-1894. The architects were Mason & Rice. The main design work was done by a young apprentice by the name of Albert Kahn. Kahn had recently returned from a tour of Europe, and modeled the building after the Pandolfini Palace in Florence.

Tomorrow… Part II

RIP – Joseph Nicola DeLauro – 1916 – 2006

Joe Delauro a taleneted sculptor and one of the few remaining links back to the old generation of sculptors passed away last Tuesday, July 11th at his Novi home at the age of 90.

Here’s a brief obituary from this past Saturday’s Windsor Star:

Ex-prof pioneered fine arts program
Artist’s sculptures part of cityscape

Roberta Pennington, Windsor Star
Published: Saturday, July 15, 2006

A prolific artist who founded the province’s first fine arts degree program at the University of Windsor and whose sculptures adorn several city landmarks has died.

Joseph Nicola DeLauro died Tuesday at the age of 90 in his Novi, Mich., home.

Two years earlier, DeLauro had been awarded academia’s highest honour. In 2004, the university named him a founding professor emeritus for having started the School of Visual Arts at U of W in 1960.

“I think he really gave the school a good name and influenced a lot of people,” said Ross Paul, president of the U of W. “He was very well known as a sculptor and a lot of artists in town had been his students.”

For 21 years, the earthy American with proud Italian roots had been a faculty member at the university. The first 13 of those years, DeLauro served as the director of the visual arts program, which was the first fine arts degree program in the province.

Through his leadership, he set the foundation for a hands-on, student-centred teaching philosophy at the art school, said Susan Gold/Smith, who was hired by DeLauro in 1970 and still teaches there.

“It’s a very busy, working place and we learn by doing in that school ,” said Gold/Smith, who nominated DeLauro for the emeritus status. “That’s how he started that school and that’s the way it is today. We still have that basis and work ethic.”

Tony Mosna, a 1973 graduate of the program who studied under DeLauro, described him as a memorable teacher and good friend.

“Everyone who comes after him owes him something, at least the recognition,” said Mosna, who now works at the Art Gallery of Windsor. “He loved teaching, he loved working with his hands, he loved making things.”

DeLauro completed numerous commissioned works in the Windsor and Detroit area, including sculptures for Hiram Walker & Sons, the Windsor Jewish Community Centre and the Giovanni Caboto Club.

The unveiling of the nine-foot tall bronze Giovanni Caboto sculpture in 1997 was a big to-do involving local dignitaries, said Ron Moro, the club’s general manager.

“He felt really proud about that,” Moro said. “He used to come in here all the time, come in for espresso.”

DeLauro is survived by widow Dorothy Ann, sons Robert and Greg, and daughter Kathleen.

Visitation will be held today and Sunday at the Vermeulen Funeral Home in Plymouth, Mich. A funeral mass will be held Monday at Our Lady of Good Country in Plymouth.

Some of DeLauro’s sculptures can be viewed online at www.jndelauro.com.

A similar obituary from the Detroit Free Press can be found here.

Above is DeLauro’s St. Gabriel, 8 ft. Fiberglass, 1960, St. Gabriel’s R.C. Church, Windsor, ON.

The Myth of Creation, 11 ft. Bronze, 1967, located to the rear of Hiram Walker & Sons distillery, Windsor, ON.

The plaque attached to the fountain.

The Fountain at night.

An old postcard of the gardens and the fountain.

The Artist (second from left), with Corrado Parducci at Hiram Walker’s. Photo courtesy of E.Kvaran, from the estate of C. Parducci.

Hudson Mausoleum

Today’s grave is that of J.L. Hudson. Hudson was born in England, and came to Detroit via Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Hudson built a vast retail empire, that spanned all over Michigan. Hudson’s Department stores were the anchor tennant at many area malls. After being accquired by Target, the Hudson’s name was phased out, and now exists only in local memories.

Hecker Mausoleum

Located in Detroit’s Woodlawn Cemetery, this is the final resting place of Frank Hecker. Hecker who was a leading industrialist of his day, is probably best remebered for his mansion located at Woodward & Ferry near the DIA.

Never one to not be showy, Hecker comissioned architect Standford White of New York to design his mausoleum in 1897. The mausoleum is built of Marble, the only mausoleum at Woodlawn made of marble.

*With addional information from the late A. Dale Northup’s book Detroit’s Woodlawn Cemetery.*

Grinnell Mausoleum

This handome grave is the final resting place of Clayton Grinnell, who formed one half (along with his Brother Ira) of the Grinnell Brothers Company. Grinnell Brothers produced Pianos, Organs and other music related items like sheet music.

This mausoleum was designed by the Lloyd Brothers of Toledo, OH, and includes the family crest above the door. The Grinnell crest graced their products.

*With addional information from the late A. Dale Northup’s book Detroit’s Woodlawn Cemetery.*