Category Archives: Garages and Dealerships
This interesting photo has been floating around the internet for some time, and after finding it buried in the archives here the time was right to find out more about it. A search took us to Vintage Seattle who has the following information about it; the Bell St. Auto Repair Shop was located at 209 Bell Street in Seattle, and the photograph was taken by Roy Peak in 1935.
The image appears to have been taken from inside another building that was across the street, its doorway was roped off, and the windows on the right are all broken. The photo has been marked as “Defendants Exhibit 15″ at the top left, apparently for some type of a legal proceeding by the King County Clerk. The car in front of the repair shop is a 1929 Chevrolet Coupe, the other in unidentified.
The Bell St. Auto Repair Shop building has survived. Can any of our readers tell us more about the shop (note that C.M. Ely has been painted over) or the reason for this image being taken? The information is courtesy of Vintage Seattle. Many more photos of this type can be found in our Garage and Dealership category.
This is the first part of a series covering Reed Brothers Dodge, which was located in Rockville, Maryland. It became a franchised agency in 1915, shortly after the Dodge Brothers started producing their own car, late in 1914 after years of producing components and parts for Henry Ford for use in his Model “T” Ford. The dealership continued on to sell the Dodge for ninety-four years until 2009 when Chrysler filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and eliminated twenty-five percent of their franchised dealers.
The top photo shows the Rockville Garage where Lewis Reed got his start by becoming a partner with Robert L. and Griffith Warfield in 1915. Previously Lee Ricketts and Sons who ran the local Overland Agency, used the building until selling it to the Warfield brothers in July 1915. The Rockville Garage continued to operate under this name until Lewis Reed bought out his partners in 1918, and his brother Edgar Reed joined him at the time. The Oldsmobile and Hudson were also sold out of the Garage for a period of time.
Two photos above show the building in 1917 after a two-story addition. Texaco gasoline was sold at the time, and a company tanker can be seen in the yard delivering a load. Dodge Brothers signs can now be seen on the original building and the second floor of the new addition, which was used for storing parts. The center photo shows the crew working there at the time posing with a touring car. The right-hand photo shows the new addition and the signage for Firestone Tires that replaced the Fisk brand that was sold there earlier.
The photo below shows the Reed Brothers dealership when a new storefront, signage and a gasoline pump island were added in 1922. It appears that, at the time, the original part of the garage was converted into a new car showroom and the service operation was moved out into the rear portion of the building.
The left hand photo below shows Chief Charles Cooley and the members of the first motorcycle unit of the Montgomery County, Maryland Police Force, posing out in front of the showroom on July 4, 1922 with the outfits Harley-Davidson machines. The right hand photo below, taken in the later-twenties shows that a canvas awning has been added to the front of the showroom, and three of the are crew are seen posing with Dodge Commercial Cars.
More progress and changes can be seen in the photo below taken in the late-twenties. A second story was added to the showroom with a glazed front looking out onto the Rockville Pike on the right. A modern drive-through canopy was also added along with new gasoline pumps and Dodge Car and Truck signage.
A close-up view can be seen below of the new gasoline pump-island with four pumping units along with the motor oil dispensers used at that time. The old pump island can be seen to the left along with a new Gulf Gasoline sign.
In looking through all of the Reed Brothers photos and reading the details about the dealership’s growth, it puts into perspective how they and many others prospered in the business at the time. After the automobile had become accepted into the daily lives of many by the early teens’, the Motor Trade was a good means of a livelihood until the dark days of the Great Depression set in. We will come back to this story at the beginning of the nineteen-thirties soon.
Better known for his Packard dealerships, Earle C. Anthony also ran a Hudson agency located at Tenth and Hope Streets in Los Angeles in the nineteen-thirties, which is where we suspect these photos were taken. They show him with Lee Miles in 1935 who is apparently intent on describing the small aircraft he is towing behind his new Terraplane, and for good reason. Miles was a living legend during the Golden Age of Flight. At the time this photo was taken he was the number one air racer in the National Aeronautics Association standings.
The Miles-Atwood Special and Miles and Leon Atwood – John Underwood photos courtesy of the city of San Bernardino, California
The plane is the Miles-Atwood Special, designed and built by his friend Leon Atwood. A 375 cubic inch engine propelled the small 994 pound craft to a record speed of over 211 miles per hour in 1933. At his height of six-foot, four-inches, contemporary reports say that Miles wore the tiny airplane “like an overcoat.” His car seems a natural choice since an advertising slogan of the day went, “In the air, it’s aeroplaning, on the water, it’s hydroplaning and on the ground, it’s Terraplaning.” You can learn more about Earle C. Anthony and Hudsons on The Old Motor. Dick Whittington Studio photos courtesy of USC Libraries.