This is the second floor of factory #04. This is probably near the center of the factory judging by the bins holding tires. The cars in the foreground (traveling to the right) have yet to be through body scheduling. The car in the left background (traveling to the left) is a Regal (already through scheduling) heading for factory #40. Body receiving was all done in factory #04 at this time. The materials group #88 was in charge of body receiving. The body’s in the foreground are still on the carriers that carried them through the Fisher body factory on south Saginaw st. The tires and wheels in the bins were just extras that were occasionally needed. link:
You can super enlarge just about any photo on this blog for viewing small details. The way this is done is a little different depending on which browser is used. This story on the new Buick foundry #20 is from the trade journal “The Foundry” June 1917.
This post card shows the (then new) Buick foundry located at the corner of Leith st. and Division st. This north facing view shows the foundry on the left with the die and pattern shop #15 on the right. This new foundry which took the place of the old Michigan Motor Castingsfactory on Industrial Ave was built in 1916. This factory was demolished between 1931-1932 being replaced by factory #70 built directly north of this spot. Building #85, which was built later (on this site) was the Engineering building where I hired in during 1972. link:
The factory #03 Drop Forge is in the background.
You can see the rail loading dock that Buick used in 1916 in the right background.
Instead of a banner on factory #06 the factory is now painted “BUICK MOTOR COMPANY PIONEER BUILDER VALVE-IN-HEAD MOTOR CARS”.
I tried buying, but was outbid by a dealer. Above is shown some other closeup photos.
This photo which is reminiscent of the Walter Chrysler photo showing 5,000 Buick workers was taken 3 years later on June 21,1916. The photo above is the whole panorama. link:
This photo taken before the creation of Buick City shows a workers companion “The Boom Box”. I still have my machine and my special mix tapes. If you’ve ever seen the movie “Car Wash” you will understand the need for this device. The worker shown is Jay Britt. After the creation of Buick City, TV was the status symbol in the factory. The problem was reception, (being surrounded by the steel structure of the building). Many antennas would sprout up on the roof with cables running hundreds of feet down into the factory. Every so often management would send maintenance workers up on the roof for antenna removal. The maintenance workers always had the best equipment and of coarse they would never remove their own antennas. On factory #40’s roof alone could be found well over 30 installations. As with the numbers runners, makeshift restaurants, bordellos (Mattress Mary’s in old factory #40), liquor stores and gambling establishments being shut down every few years, the same held true for rooftop antennas. P.S. knowbody seemed to care about Mary’s being shut down because that meant a new mattress. Life in the factory sure was interesting at times. We really were a city.
This process of removing and re-installing the doors only lasted through the first year of production at the new Buick City assembly plant. The original purpose of removing and re-installing the doors was considered a step forward in a quality build, plus it would be more ergonomic for the worker. All the door components would be installed off the car on a separate assembly line and then sent by a super fast elevator to the second floor for re-installation. As with many things eliminated after the first year, this was considered almost a Rube Goldberg way of doing a simple job. It was a real pain getting the doors back into their original alignment. This photo shows the solution they came up with for helping with the alignment procedure. The worker shown is Gene Wolfram who helped develop this device.