Car Photo of the Day: Name that Car (and help out a friend!)

Antoine and Anna Martineau in their new car.

A friend of mine from my University days (Go Tech!) sent me this scan of a family photograph in the hopes of identifying the car, and therefore the year when it was taken. It is believed to be taken in Oconto, Wisconsin before 1917, and shows Antoine and Anna Martineau in their new car. As the car appears to be brand new, if we can nail down the make, model and most importantly year, we can help the family date the photo. So get out your Brass Era memories and help ID the car. DTA are you out there?

Here is a closer look at the car itself:

Closer look at the car.

I’m fairly certain I’ve seen this car before in a museum somewhere (but my Brass Era recognition skills are useless), and I’ll be sorting through my thousands of photos to see it I can find it. Meanwhile if you think you know it, call it out in the comments.


11 thoughts on “Car Photo of the Day: Name that Car (and help out a friend!)”

  1. I’ll head to my Clymer’s “Motorbooks” in a day or two: there were sooo many car manufacturers in that day (a couple IN WI!) and see if I can ID it. I see no outstanding identification marks or symbols, so no promise of absolute success. Remind me if I forget!

    It was a *real* treat to share just a few minutes with the entire ‘Clan Goolsbee,’ Chuck! I look forward to another time, not so rushed, and hope you had an uneventful flight home.

  2. I think Martin may have it nailed: the diagnostics are hard to see in the original but the one I can key on is the distinct shape of the rear fenders, comparied to this image:

    Cars of the aughts and teens were usually very smilar and most had yet to develop their characteristic styling cues (Pierce’s wart-like headlamps, Buick’s holes, Packard hood scallops) but I can’t find anything else that seems to match the available evidence.

  3. Heh…I’m doomed to go to my grave, carrying around the ABSOLUTELY useless bit of trivia, knowing that EMF doesn’t mean ‘Every Morning Fixit,” but Everitt, Metzger, Flanders.

    I think your guess is closer than the Caddy, esp. the rear fender shape, and the lack of Cadillac script on the wheels and radiator.

    Has anyone esle noticed it’s a right hooker? Most American cars were, before 1910. Guess we just *had to* be different than our Brit cousins!

  4. I dunno about Cadillac, but I’ll do some looking tomorrow. RHD narrows it down–there were actually not that many RHD cars here. The era is maybe 1908-1911 or so. Another factor to consider is location–local cars are more likely than distant ones, and there would have been limited opportunities to buy as they were way out in the middle of nowhere. Oshkosh, Racine and Kenosha were all carmaking towns, though. We can eliminate Rambler (Keonsha), since its the wrong grille. Chicago had about 8500 manufacturers, so lets hope it wasn’t one of those.

    It’s a pretty generic shape to me, with little to distinguish it beyond the fenders.

  5. Wisconsin was Cole country around that time, and it could certainly be a Cole. The second most common dealership in their area was Oakland.

    Antoine and Anna’s local dealerships, however, were:

    The Oconto Falls Motor Car Company, distributors of Overland and Ford cars.

    Lucia Brothers Motor Car Co., who opened a garage in Oconto in 1909, representing Chalmers-Detroit, Hudson and Thomas. (built by George Beyer, the business was purchased by employee Sophus Nelson in 1913, although by then I think it was just a Chalmers dealer.)

    Peter Decloux opened a Maxwell dealership in 1914

    Munsert-Carlion Auto Co., Oconto: Ford (1912)

    I didn’t really look into Madison, but I noticed Albrecht M. Sales Co. in Madison sold Cutting, Herreshoff and Little.

    So, one of the Oconto dealerships is most likely, and it’s not a Ford. I suspect it’s not a Maxwell, either, and I can take a look at the other models in a few days after deadline.

Comments are closed.