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View Full Version : First Studebaker Shop Painting is presented to the Studebaker National Museum



Stu Chapman
05-07-2014, 08:44 PM
I have just returned from South Bend where I had the honour yesterday of introducing Edward G. Dunbar Jr. to the Studebaker National Museum Board of Trustees. Ed Dunbar, accompanied by his daughter Amy Dunbar Wadsworth, donated the original painting of the First Studebaker Blacksmith Shop in Ashland Ohio to the Museum for permanent display. Ashland is where John Studebaker began his blacksmith business in 1837, where he remained with his sons until 1848 when the family moved to South Bend. This priceless relic was commissioned by the Studebaker Brothers in 1890 and had been on display in the Administration Building in South Bend for decades. It was given to Mr. Dunbar in 1966 and has been in his home until yesterday. He donated this painting in loving memory of his wife, Elaine Dunbar.

I have been associated with Ed Dunbar for nearly 50 years, Ed being the last surviving senior executive of Studebaker Corporation and I the last in Canada. We worked together closely during Studebaker's last days in 1966. Ed came to Studebaker from Curtiss-Wright as Corporate Controller prior to the closing of the South Bend plant in 1963. He also served as Vice President Administration and in 1966 took over the Presidency of both SASCO and Studebaker of Canada Limited. He later moved over to Studebaker-Worthington as Vice President.

In the letter that accompanied this donation, Ed Dunbar noted the very long Dunbar family connection with Studebaker that began decades ago with his grandfather, Edward G. Dunbar who was an engineer. Then came Albert Peak, his step-grandfather who was Security and Fire Chief. Edward G. Dunbar Sr., Ed's father, was a stock chaser on the final line. His uncle, Alonzo Dunbar, was a wagon wheel striper. Later, Ed's brother, Robert Dunbar Sr., worked in the Export Department, and his brother-in-law, Frank Nierzwicki worked on the final line. This is truly an amazing Studebaker family.

Ed Dunbar will celebrate his 90th birthday in July and I am proud to acknowledge my long-time friendship with him, as well as recognize his wonderful donation to the Studebaker National Museum.

Stu Chapman

StudeRich
05-07-2014, 10:07 PM
That is an amazing story Stu, that is just a whole lot of good Studebaker History there, and a very Dedicated Studebaker family. :!:

Thanks for informing us Stu.

studeclunker
05-07-2014, 10:14 PM
I'd be very interested to see a picture of said painting.:)

HAWK64
05-07-2014, 11:19 PM
Stu,
Thanks for your posting of both the Dunbar family history & the donation of the famous early illustration of the blacksmith shop to the SDC Museum. I picked up one of those framed examples in Culpeper VA back in 2002 at some expense & drove back to Raleigh in NC. The expense of shipping it back to Australia was well over $400 so I sadly traded it off to Joe Parsons with whom we were staying. I believe he still has it today.

Studebaker Wheel
05-08-2014, 12:28 AM
I have two of those paintings that were reproduced for horse drawn dealers in the 1890s (see image below). I have one hanging in the living room and one in the master bedroom. More on this painting in my Almanac column in TW for Jan 2008. I might add to Mr Dunbar's work history that he was the person responsible for selling off all of the Studebaker held properties in the U.S. and Canada during the 1960s and early 70s.

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rockne10
05-08-2014, 12:37 AM
Are there any reasonably accurate renditions of the shop John had in Adams County, Pa before he moved the family to Ohio or, was the family enterprise at that time too insignificant for an artist to bother? I know he was respected but, not necessarily a financial pillar of the community.

Studebaker Wheel
05-08-2014, 01:02 AM
Are there any reasonably accurate renditions of the shop John had in Adams County, Pa before he moved the family to Ohio or, was the family enterprise at that time too insignificant for an artist to bother? I know he was respected but, not necessarily a financial pillar of the community.

Yes, though I cannot attest to its absolute accuracy. A small version can be seen in my Almanac column cited in my previous post. I am sure I have a larger version but not highly motivated to look it up at this time.

Studebaker Wheel
05-08-2014, 01:14 AM
Below the small flyer that was included with copies of the color lithograph.
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Avantidon
05-08-2014, 08:01 AM
Brad, there are several pictures of the Blacksmith shop in Tyrone TWSP. in books about Gettysburg. I have seen them and do have a picture somewhere. I'll look for it. John Clement's house was on the property that he owned and sold in 1836 when they moved to Ashland Ohio in the late 1920's and I have seen a picture of that house which shows the Blacksmith shop still standing. The house was located just to the Northeast of the Keystone Monument in the field behind it. The house was destroyed in a fire.

Bill Pressler
05-08-2014, 08:13 AM
Stu, thanks for this post. What a very nice story! I recognize Mr. Dunbar's name on a piece of Studebaker correspondence or two, and it is satisfying to know that he is still with us, able to enjoy the SNM, and give such a thoughtful gift. Again, thanks for sharing the story.

Stu Chapman
05-08-2014, 09:01 AM
I'd be very interested to see a picture of said painting.:)

Ron, check Richard Quinn's post #5 in this thread for a reproduction copy illustration of the original painting. There are subtle differences between the original and the copies. Also, his post #8 contains a flyer illustration about the painting.

Stu Chapman

R3 challenger
05-08-2014, 10:29 AM
I have one of the framed prints given to a Studebaker horse drawn dealer in the 1890s. It's hanging over the fireplace in my living room. It was given by Studebaker to the grandfather of a man who was the International Harvester dealer in Holdrege Nebraska from about the 1950s through the 1980s. Holdrege is a small central NE town where my wife grew up and where her father had a farm. We have retired there.

When the IH dealer retired in the 1980s, he took the framed print home with him. My father-in-law mentioned to him that I collect things like that. When Lu and I went to his home, I didn't know how much to offer for the print. He said "How about if I give it to you in appreciation for all the farm implement business your wife's father gave me during his career?" I said something like "Well, that would be OK." <G> We sent him a nice gift in thanks. The print and original frame are in great shape and we're happy to have them. Many thanks to Nels Cronquest for a great gift.

George

Studebaker Wheel
05-08-2014, 01:06 PM
OK finally got motivated! Here images of the Gettysburg estate. Not sure who did the rendering or when but it was in the 1893 Studebaker Chicago Worlds Fair Souvenir catalog.

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Studebaker Wheel
05-08-2014, 02:06 PM
As I mentioned in my Almanac column there were different versions of this scene. This one from a 1889 one-hundred page catalog entitled The Studebaker King of Vehicles.

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dpson
05-08-2014, 06:17 PM
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I'm going to bring one of these dated 1895 to Dover to sell, any idea what a reasonable asking price would be?

(Sorry about the background light.)

Dennis L. Henry
06-07-2014, 11:30 AM
Hi Richard..

Just another thought from this string.. Is there a listing (or thread) of the real estate / property that Studebaker Corp. owned over the years? That would be interesting..

Thanks,
Dennis


I have two of those paintings that were reproduced for horse drawn dealers in the 1890s (see image below). I have one hanging in the living room and one in the master bedroom. More on this painting in my Almanac column in TW for Jan 2008. I might add to Mr Dunbar's work history that he was the person responsible for selling off all of the Studebaker held properties in the U.S. and Canada during the 1960s and early 70s.

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Studebaker Wheel
06-07-2014, 12:09 PM
Good question. I have never seen such a listing.