Friday, January 4, 2008

Jamaica Plain At The Wheel - 1909

This list of Jamaica Plain automobile owners comes from the 1909 Blue Book directory, by way of the Jamaica Plain News. I had to make the lists into graphics to fit them to the page, so you can click on them to get a full-sized image for easier reading. The Boston Blue Book at this time did include Jamaica Plain and Brookline, but they seem to only list residents from the "better" parts of the district, and that practice seems to hold here. No sign of Custer or Williams street - "No Irish Need Apply"? In spite of the fact that it's not a comprehensive list, it's still pretty cool.

Isn't the variety great? Maybe the best of all was the enterprising gentleman who built his own. By number, you get:

Acme (1), American (1), Atlas (1), Autocar (3), Bay State (1), Berkshire (1), Blomstrom (1), Buick (3), Cadillac (3), Cleveland (2), Corbin (1), Crest (1), Duryea (1), Ford (3), Franklin (1), Jeffery (4), Kissell (1), Knox (1),Locomobile (1), Louis (1), Matheson (1), Maxwell (1),Mitchell (2) Mora (1), Nordyke (2), Olds (6), Packard (6), Pierce (4), Pope (6), Prescott (1), Rainier (1), Reo (1), Speedwell (1), Stanley (6), Stearns (1) Stevens (10), Studebaker (1), Thomas (2), Triump (1), Walter (1), Wayne (1), White (2), Winston (3), one "own make" and 5 sadly unnamed electrics. I'm not sure what to make of the Triump - is it a typo? The links provided here may not go to the correct company - there's some confusion in the names. Names like Bay State and Berkshire make for a needle-in-a-haystack Google search. Many of the companies were regional, if not exactly local. Ahhh for the day any bicycle mechanic could start building automobiles.

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