The Dodge Brothers - Friday, January 29, 2015

Hello and welcome back to the American Treasure Tour on this beautiful January Friday!  As anyone who has had the opportunity to visit us knows, we have plenty of cars on display - a wide selection of Fords, Buicks, Macks, Cadillacs and other familiar names.  Today, we are going to talk a little bit about Dodge.  Not the Dodge automobiles that have played a role in the Chrysler Corporation for around ninety years, but the actual Dodge brothers - Horace and John.  It is easy to forget that the names we see every day on all sorts of cars often came from real people.  Henry Ford; David Buick; Jack, Gus, William, and Joseph  Mack; and okay, Cadillac was named after a Native American who had nothing to do with the automobile industry.  But the Dodge brothers were pretty colorful characters.  

Inseparable all their lives, the Dodge brothers were a perfect combination.  John, the elder brother, had a gift for business, while Horace was a natural mechanic.  Together, they created a successful ball-bearing company, the sale of which helped launch them into the world of bicycle production.  (That was around 1900)  It did well, and their trajectory continued into the automobile industry of which their names are indelibly linked to this day.  They built transmissions for the Olds Company, then engines for the Ford Motor Company, then went independent and made their own cars to great success.  Their talents were unequaled.  Their problem was their manners.

The Dodge's developed a reputation for being rash and crass, and Detroit's elite judged them. It's hard to imagine they cared too much.  They built modern palaces for their wives and families and lived the high life.  Until 1920.  Tragedy struck that year.  In January, John died of influenza.  The loss proved crippling for Horace, who did not survive the year, dying in December himself of complications from cirrhosis of the liver.  His widow would outlive him by fifty years, but the Dodge family proved inefficient at managing the car business, and they sold out in 1925.  It was not long after that when a man named Walter Chrysler took over the name Dodge.  
QUESTION:  What was the name of Horace Dodge's Grosse Pointe estate?
A)  Dodge-O-Rama
B)  Rose Terrace
C)  Jorace
D)  Fluffy Bunny Land

STRIKE?  NO STRIKE!  No strike.  The year was 1834, and President Andrew Jackson used federal soldiers for the first time in United States history on this day to get laborers back to work. The stoppage happened on the Chespaeake and Ohio Canal, when workers protested long days, poor and dangerous work conditions, and low wages.  President Jackson was not one to promote discussion, so he authorized the use of force to restart construction.  This set up a precedent that would continue for many, many decades.

Tom Selleck.jpg

MAGNUM!!!!  Tom Selleck is turning 71 years old today.  The actor, born in Detroit, Michigan, was a basketball playing model during college, then moved into acting with commercials and bit parts in film, including the somewhat notorious Myra Breckenridge, playing Mae West's romantic interest (he was 25, she was 77).  His big break came in 1980, with the starring role in Magnum, P.I., and he has been in film and on television ever since, currently in the police drama Blue Bloods.   Happy Birthday!

QUOTE:  Never throw a punch at a Redwood. - Tom Selleck

ANSWER:  B)  Rose Terrace