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Studebaker factory photos 1918

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  • Studebaker factory photos 1918

    I recently was givenaccess to an amazing collection of photos taken at the Studebaker Foundry circa1915-1920 and wanted to share them. Looks like this will take 2 posts to showal of them. The grandson of Thomas H Wickenden generously agreed to share themwith everyone. He was employed by Studebaker beginning approx. 1915 until 1922when he went to the International Nickel Corp. in NYC. He was a chemicalengineer and his responsibilities included the composition of the new steelrequired for the automobile springs.
    I believe these photos were taken on a largeformat 8 x 10 glass plate negative which resulted in a very high level ofdetail if you enlarge them. Mr. Wickenden is pictured in at least one of thephotos in a fedora, it's obvious who the real workers were as opposed to thewhite collars. Talk about lack of OHSA regulations!
    These were taken during the transition fromcarriages to automobiles and include forming the steel tubs for the bodies aswell as making the wood frames for those bodies. The photos are contained in aleather bound loose leaf album mounted on a linen like paper bound with aleather thong. The grandson believes it may have been a promotional piecetouting their new auto line and the superior ride that could be achieved withtheir springs. Not sure about that, maybe someone else has seen these beforeand can shed more light on the subject?
    One story he shared was of a group of Russian'sthat toured the factory, they were skeptical of the springs, thought they'dbreak in use. Wickenden picked up a large sledge hammer and after securing theleaf in a vise he proceeded to strike the other end with the sledge. Well, theleaf did not break but the hammer rebounded with such force the Russian wasalmost hit square in the face, rebound was way more than he expected. Guess thesteel formulation was correct!




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  • #2
    My Grandfather also worked for International Nickel in the Labs , He started there about 1923 and retired from there in the early 60's , One project he worked on was Monel , Ed

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    • #3
      Really neat photos. Very small even on my big screen desk top so very difficult to discern the details in the images to determine whether they are horse drawn or auto related. The first image is Building 53 and 58 built in 1905-08 era. Had many uses but made open bodies for Electrics (1902-11) and in the teens for gas powered Fours and Sixes. Eventually became Standard Surplus and bought by Newman/Altman for parts warehouse. I have many early photos of it but not that one. Would like to see some larger images.
      Richard Quinn
      Editor emeritus: Antique Studebaker Review

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      • #4
        Richard I have your email so will send the larger size over. I had to resize them smaller to upload here,anything further you can share on the forum would be appreciated.

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