Click picture above for larger version. Scanned on an Epson V700.
Today’s blast from the past features a glass plate negative of a 1903 Cadillac Tonneau, with three happy passengers in what looks like a pleasant Sunday drive. The location is unknown, but possibly Florida or California. I’m also going to guess the image was taken sometime within a couple years of 1903 as the cars back then didn’t last very long.
The glass plates in this time period were Ortho type, which were not sensitive to red, so the images typically showed blown out skies, and reds looked black. Judging by the very dark color of the car and makers emblem, it might actually be red, like the one below, but it could be black too.
Interesting observations; the large double hook device on the front of the ‘hood’ holds a single headlight, but apparently the owners here didn’t need or want it. The canvas strapped under the car was probably used to keep dirt from the road out of the chain drive mechanism and large flywheel. Look at how crude the fenders are; a simple rolled flat steel panel with a couple of rods connecting them to the car body.
The 1903 Cadillac ‘Tenneau’ had a Leland & Faulconer single cylinder 98ci (1.6L) ‘Little Hercules’ engine with around 6-1/2 to 10 HP depending on model. The four seater rear entrance model here retailed for $850.
This one hundred and fifteen (±) year old 4×5″ glass plate negative is in excellent condition, and is quite sharp, with perfect focusing on the driver. I don’t think it gets much better than this with a 4×5″ plate at the turn of the last century! I didn’t retouch the negative at all.
Go here to see more pictures of the car below, which is the same model as our feature car. Check out the neat rear door for loading passengers in the back seat.
That’s it for the trip down memory lane, thanks for stopping by!
Image from Hyman Ltd.