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Actress Maude O’Dell in a Mercer, and a Monocle Windshield

After having spent a couple of hours over the holidays reading Clifford Zink’s “Mercer Magic,” a fine new book available from the Roebling Museum, this classic photo of a 1910 Mercer “Briarcliff” and Maude “Tillie Doremus” O’Dell a famous stage actor at the time came to mind.

The photo was one of several taken of O’Dell in this sleek touring car for the Mercer Automobile Company to promote the new Mercer cars that were making a debut in the marketplace. You can learn all about the 1910 models in an earlier post “The 1910 Model 30 Mercer – The Pride of Trenton, New Jersey.”

While searching for this Mercer photo courtesy of the Detroit Public Library, the image below of a C.B. Windshields 1909 “Monocle” model was found that would be the perfect accessory for a new Mercer “Briarcliff.” Many early cars including the famed Mercer “Raceabout” came from the factory without a windshield which was optional on some makes, or available from manufacturers selling them in the aftermarket. This model of round glass and polished brass was perfect for keeping dust, bugs, and rain out of the eyes of the early motorist. Many of them folded down when not needed.

  • C.B. Windshields 1909 “Monocle” model.

1908-monocule-windshield

12 responses to “Actress Maude O’Dell in a Mercer, and a Monocle Windshield

    • Either a corsage or a strange growth along with a tight corset for certain. I imagine that the Lady in waiting had to put her foot in Miss O’dell’s back to lace it up that tight.

  1. The monocle windshield shot is particularly interesting. There is a butterfly nut aft of the vertical post which seems to allow raising and lowering the assembly. At first I thought it was hinged at the base of the glass, but that appears to be a data plate. Anyone know what the plate details are? There’s also some fine upholstery detail for restorers of that era. Is the car a Mercer?

  2. The first photograph of Maude & Car has NO monocle “windshield ” It was found that: the heavy monocle “wind shield” Had excessive weight : It was not UN-common for the steering column to exactly match the I. D. of the clamp, (With allowance for tightening the wing-nut). It was not uncommon for the clamp’s lower portion to have a steel pin and a matching hole in the column , OR more than one hole — to raise or lower the column clamp position. It was ALSO common to have a “captured SPLIT Leather bushing ” BOTH the pin, or pins AND the split dry leather bushing were required for absorbing and/or reducing vibrations from the engine — AND to compensate for wind loading/ and oscillating at high speed!!! 80 MPH was not UN-common for the LARGER BORE four bangers — AFTER the correct position for the Monocle was found , and wing-nut tightened — it was safety wired to prevent backing off , especially on the RACE COURSE !!! AS to the HAT & the Chickadee-cutie-pie: — Advertising and/or Publicity at is finest!!! NO SHAME in the auto. BIZ. (from the GIT-GO!!!) Edwin W.

      • Are my eyes deceiving me or is there a monocle windshield in the photo. Also, I think the strange corsage under her arm is actually just a remnant of the original negative before the background was exposed out. A bit of that remains at the right of the photo, but what may be a bush behind here seems to have escaped the photo tech…

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