- HISTORIC IMAGES -
The Chalmers Detroit Special ~ Peter Trant
“The address is 442 Wabasha Street in St Paul, Minnesota. Wabasha is a fairly main street in downtown St. Paul and the hundred blocks also match so the picture was most likely taken there. The radiator cap mascot looks very much like a BILLIKEN mascot that shows in a circa 1909 book of automobile mascots that I have. It was supposed to bring good luck!”
“Two things of interest are the electric Klaxon Horn and what appear to be electric running lights. The headlights are running off the Prest-O-Lite tank. It would not be inconceivable to have use of small electric applications but of course electric starters didn’t show up for another two years. Also of interest is the wooden inset (early) windshield configuration due to the cowl and it being a Demi tonneau. It also has a brass bumper, and the leather strap over the hood might suggest an even earlier “40.” The hood strap was a holdover from the Thomas Detroit cars. The radiator is painted and striped as well. The mans coat and hat look to be something that might have been worn by Police or some type of official. The rings on the radiator and logo on the door might be from a civic organization ? The Central appears to be a restaurant. Note: They are open all night.”
Really great informational picture, thanks so much for sharing Peter!
I was at a Hudson Club National meet in the Boston area. The host had a great collection of HET memorabilia besides his '15 Model 54. He showed me a locally procured photo album that belonged to the family of G.G. Behn (pronounced Bain) who was an assistant Engineer at Thomas-Detroit & Chief Engineer at Chalmers Detroit. Behn worked for Hudson well into the '30s and was still listed as a director in '46.
Here is a photo from the New England discovered photo album featuring Guido. G. Behn. According to Long’s bio he was the first employee of Thomas-Detroit and stayed with the Hudson boys thru Chalmers-Detroit, and Hudson into the ‘30s. An ’11 Hudson sales catalog lists him as an assistant Chief Engineer at Thomas-Detroit and Chief Engineer at Chalmers-Detroit.
He is the man standing in a white and probably helped drive the car a few of the 100 days. I don’t recognize the others who undoubtedly were also drivers on those 100 days. The many Detroit papers may have ID’d them, never looked. I have never seen a Chalmers Detroit phone book or roster of engineering. Actually until these photos showed up I had nothing on Behn during this era, other than being Chief Eng. of Chalmers-Detroit.
Photo: Courtesy of the Carl Weber Collection.
A newspaper article read,
“Buys Auto -Word has been received here
that J.W. Bennett purchased
a fine automobile in
Portland, and will bring
the machine home with him
when he returns with his bride
on the Breakwater Friday.”
“So, my great grandfather got married and bought a Chalmers motor car all while in Portland. The Breakwater was the steam freighter running between
the Port of Portland and the Port of Marshfield (now Coos Bay).”
Jim Bennett / Portland, OR.
View in Willamette Valley on a trip to Portland August, 1910 documented in the Portland newspaper
A gathering of late teens (?) Chalmers automobiles at Mt. Rainier