Saturday, May 24, 2008

Family Automobiles VI

I have uncovered a treasure. A batch of family automobile photographs. I had a vague feeling such a collection existed because there was such a scarcity of automobiles among the rest of the drawers full of photographs. I had forgotten that I had sorted them all out some time ago...It could have been in the early '80s because the youngest car pictured is our 1978 Chrysler LeBaron. Most of the photos have no caption on the back to identify either the car or the people. I'm going to go through them with great care correct that deficiency for the sake of generations to come. Several of the cars I don't recognize so I'll have to use the internet to identify them if I can. Should be fun.
The first thing I have learned is that the 1915 Woodruff car was a Dodge. There is photograph of a vintage car with a caption on the back that says: "A.N.Woodruff Dodge. Made trip to Oberlin in 1917. Genevieve, A.N. & Lizzie". That leads to at least two conclusions, Allen and Geneviieve were sweethearts in 1917 and maybe A.N. did drive, contrary to my statement in "Family Automobiles" sent May 19. The photo shows a four-door touring car with a cloth top, color black.
With Jim's help I will find some way to share some of these photos with you all.
Google "Dodge Brothers History" and see Wikipedia for good picture and description of this car. After reading it and looking at the illustration I was able to identify a photo a front view of A.N.'s car with Allen at the wheel. There is also one showing a tire being changed with A.N. standing by.
The Pratt and the Woodruff families were obviously a cut above the average car buyers in those days when the Ford Model T was the ubiquitous car of the common folk. Prominent fruit grower and prominent businessman......
One puzzle I have thus far been unable to solve is the make of the car that Genevieve is pictured sitting in in 1921 in South Bend. Mom was the only one of the seven Pratt brothers and sisters who didn't go to Michigan Agricultural College. Instead she went to South Bend Business College and worked at Studebaker. She lived with a family named Wellington in a very nice neighborhood. I guessed that it might be a Studebaker but a thorough Google search showed that it wasn't. Since the car surely belonged to the Wellingtons I'm not going to spend any more time on its identification.
NEXT: The Fords

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