Imperial Wheel Company Had Many Faces

This view about 1938 overlooking the Buick site shows the Imperial factory circled.. This is from Chevrolet 1911-1960 with this photo supplied by Kevin Kirbitz.
This is from the 50th anniversary book put out by Buick in 1953. This view is looking north-east across the Pere Marquette main line tacks and Shows the location of the Flint Varnish Works in relation to the Imperial factory on Hamilton Avenue and St Johns Street which is now called James P. Cole Blvd. Imperial was built in 1904.
Notice the  buggy wheel used as an ornamental feature at the top. These were used on all three false fronts on this building. Imperial made wheels for many different wagon builders and also later car builders, including making the wheels for the first Buick automobile built in Flint over on west Kearsly Street. The springs for the first Buick’s for many years came from across the intersection at the Armstrong Spring Works.
Just a view inside the Imperial factory.
Here is Imperial shown in 1910. This view is facing north-west across the intersection of Hamilton and St. Johns. That is the Flint Axle Works shown in the foreground.
A close up of the photo below.

Testing Buick’s on Hamilton Avenue before Buick had their own test track.

Postcard.
A Pesha photo.
Postcard by Baker and Son.
A tinted postcard in which the color plate has shifted.
Nice colored postcard.
First Chevrolet then Monroe (incorporated August 1, 1914) takes over. This was During Durant’s time after he lost control of General Motors. Chevrolet’s were built there starting in 1912 when Durant was making his comeback after losing control of General Motors. Monroe takes over In 1914 and this factory would become the first in Flint using a moving assembly line, patterned after the Ford plant in   Detroit. Read the article below the Monroe photo. Or to read about the Monroe period go to this linkCoachbuilt
 Wearing it’s Chevrolet face.
A full view of Imperial wearing it’s Chevrolet face.

Monroe car company takes over.
A closeup of the photo below.
First Chevrolet then Monroe (incorporated August 1, 1914) takes over. This was During Durant’s time after he lost control of General Motors. Chevrolet’s were built there starting in 1912 when Durant was making his comeback after losing control of General Motors. Monroe takes over In 1914 and this factory would become the first in Flint using a moving assembly line, patterned after the Ford plant in   Detroit.   To read about the Monroe period go to this link Coachbuilt

Buick takes over.

An un-retouched version of the photo from “The Factory Behind The Car” which is shown below. 
‘Buick takes over’. This north-east view after Buick took over is the same as the one shown  above this one labeled as “The Parts and Service Department” was meant for the general public. The version  here is  from the Buick publication “The Factory Behind The Car” and was  meant for the public and has had the “Road Apples” (from the horses) removed from Hamilton Avenue.

Shown below is a photo of the partial east front wall of factory #18. That is St John Street (James P. Cole Blvd. now) heading north-east. The photo below that is a south facing view, of the north-end of Imperial Wheel, or by this time, Buick factory #18 in 1920. This shows what I call the “court yard”, but Buick I believe designated these areas miscellaneous as depicted by   the letter M in their original photos. The number assigned to the three main areas by Imperial Wheel Co. were 47, 48 and 49. Buick called them #18, #21 and #22 eventually just calling this factory #18. The power plant with the smoke stacks was numbered #46.
Facing south showing the rear towards Imperials powerhouse.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s