This 1934 $weet $ally coin-operated roulette machine was installed aboard the Cleveland and Buffalo Transit Company passenger steamer GOODTIME, which had previously sailed for the Detroit and Cleveland Navigation Company as both the CITY OF DETROIT and the CITY OF DETROIT II. As a “trade stimulator” game, goods—often cigars or drinks—rather than cash were awarded by an attendant.
The Cadillac Chair or the Chair of Justice, depicted on this c. 1904 postcard, was a throne-shaped monument that was installed in Detroit’s Cadillac Square to mark the city’s bicentennial in 1901. Unfortunately the chair’s porous limestone was vulnerable to the elements, bringing authorities to use sledgehammers to tear down the crumbling chair in 1941, finishing what nature had begun.
To mark National Aviation Day, why not peruse some of the objects in the Detroit Historical Society’s online collection relating to aircraft and automobile designer William Bushnell Stout. This c. 1927 handpainted artwork for a Stout Air Lines streetcar advertisement depicts his iconic Ford Tri-Motor. You may recognize the Tri-Motor as the plane Richard E. Byrd flew to the south pole, or perhaps as the plane featured in the beginning of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
In the early 1900s, novelty leather postcards became a popular fad. This c. 1910 example from our collection shows a poor man getting kicked in the rear, putting a curious spin on the otherwise bland message, “Yours received and contents duly noted in Detroit, Mich.”
Let’s step back into the mid-1980s, and visit the Sanders cafeteria in the Ford Building. Perhaps you remember those yellow boxes of chocolate, or those egg salad sandwiches.
This photo shows a model of a c. 1975 proposed design for a “Civic Center Plaza” along Detroit’s riverfront from Smith, Hinchman & Grylls Associates. Today’s Hart Plaza lies a little to the east, but that concept, if not design, for a central fountain endured with the Horace E. Dodge and Son Memorial Fountain.
With the recent groundbreaking for the M-1 light rail system along Woodward Avenue, it seems appropriate to share this c. 1927 photograph taken from a window on the northeast corner of Woodward Avenue and Grand Boulevard overlooking streetcars, cars, and pedestrians along Woodward to the south.
Happy 313th birthday to the 313!
On this day in 1901, Detroiters decorated streetcar trucks as floats to celebrate their city’s 200th birthday. The float in the third image represented the fire of 1805, and included a person dressed as the Nain Rouge, who unfortunately was not on board when this photo was taken. The float in the bottom photo included a painting showing what they thought the Detroit of 2001 would look like including towering buildings and a suspension bridge spanning the river.
Please join us this afternoon in celebration at the Detroit Historical Museum’s Legends Plaza for food, drinks, and music from 6 to 8 p.m. Details are available here.
Early Detroit Images from the Burton Historical Collection of the Detroit Public Library
Automotive History Related Images from the Detroit Public Library
Detroit Historical Society…
Detroit’s 200th birthday celebration in 1901
Detroit is turning 313 on July 24th! We’ve put together a list of celebratory events happening throughout the week to bring in the city’s 313th year with a bang. Check them out below!
1. Detroit Historical Society is hosting events throughout…