The Night Shift

Spring, 2014.

Fisher Body Plant #10 was somewhat short lived, but it was the birthplace of a major automotive innovation that completely changed the way we drive forever; furthermore, it was once the haunt of Detroit's most famous poet. In light of the fact that it was demolished and next to no one knew anything about the place, I have opted to make this post rather long and thorough, so settle in.

The "Golden Tower" of the Fisher Building in New Center, the once-headquarters of the now nearly vanished Fisher Empire, shimmers in the twilight over the former Plant #10:

It wasn't until Hoban Cold Storage went abandoned in 2008 that I really paid any attention to Fisher Body 10, mainly because initially I thought they were both part of the same complex. Once Hoban became explorable, I could easily see from its roof that Fisher Body 10 was still in use by some tenant, or tenants, and that it was in fact a separate entity:

As night fell, the lights on inside showed that it was very active indeed.

Then suddenly on February 5, 2014, in the depths of the hardest winter in living memory, this plant was rapidly obliterated by a hellish fire that started from multiple ignition points within the complex, and was well out of control before the Detroit Fire Dept. could respond. The DFD was forced to withdraw, and it continued to burn all through the month of March, which was when most people heard of Fisher Body 10 for the first time (as is ironically so often the case with historic Detroit buildings). The building was occupied by 32 people at the time of the fire, so despite the multiple ignition points and the rapidity with which it spread, I'm guessing it was not arson...?

I have a handful of photos of the blaze, but none are good enough to bother posting, so how about some "before & after" shots?

The "befores" are all from around 2008.

video on Youtube shows what it looks like when an Albert Kahn plant goes up in flames without interference from the fire department; due to lack of proper manpower, equipment, and water pressure they were forced to retreat from the fire and let it burn, which it did for weeks. Notice that the interior of the building was practically so hot that it was transformed into a kiln, but for the most part the structure remained intact and did not collapse.

I have not yet been able to confirm 100% that Plant 10 was designed by Albert Kahn, but I'd say it's a pretty safe bet. One person I talked to said that a real estate listing for the plant included Albert Kahn's name in the description as a selling point, so I'll go with that and save myself a trip to the Bentley Library in Ann Arbor.

One of the things that bums me out most about the loss of this plant is that it had not one but two of the old 1920s-style watertowers that are so signature to the Detroit skyline, and which are so rapidly disappearing from it.

Here is a c.2005 "before" view from the Grand Trunk Warehouse to the north:

I tried climbing back on the Grand Trunk roof during the fire for a skyline shot of it burning, but terrible cold and a snow / fog mix pretty much forced me to come back on a clearer night:

There's the long-abandoned Fisher Body Plant #21, seen in the distance over the scorched ruins of Plant #10, wondering how the hell it managed to outlive its healthier brother.

Naturally, seeing that the plant's guts were now basically laid bare like a dressed deer for all to see, I had only to wait for the inferno to die down before I made my move to get inside. Undoubtedly demolition would have to take place, but as always there would be a window of opportunity. I just didn't expect it to take a whole month for the fire to die out.

It took so long, that by the time I remembered to show up to examine the place, demolition had already gotten underway, and hordes of scrappers and looters were making a nightly appearance at dusk when the workers quit for the day...

Luckily the security guard seemed to be totally cool with anyone and everyone waltzing in and helping themselves to whatever, including truckloads of scrap metal, so in I went. I had to be super careful of where I was walking however, because not only was the structure obviously unsound in some areas, but it pays to be aware of where scrappers are working...and where they are throwing their work. Having a 200lb bundle of sprinkler pipe land on your head from five stories up is a sure way to be on time to a card game with Richard Nickel.

The interior seemed empty and dull at first, but I soon realized that overall there was quite a bit of stuff left behind in here. There was also a curious set of ramps going up the middle of the six-story portion, on the south elevation:

My immediate hunch was that they had been some kind of later modification to the original plant construction in order to improve workflow efficiency. I suppose they just as well could have been added in modern times however, so that the building could be used as a parts warehouse, facilitating the driving of fork-trucks between floors, or parking for tenants' cars. At any rate, the ramps do not show up on the 1922 Sanborn map.

Naturally, after exploring the place I also began looking around for any historical info on the plant, but predictably came up rather empty-handed. An un-referenced Wikimapia entry online calls this structure the "Metro Detroit Warehouse," and has it at an address of 5140 Riopelle. 

It describes it as a "six story, 520,000 sq. ft., Albert Kahn-designed building...constructed in 1917-1919 as Fisher Body Plant #10." Most of the online blurbs about the fire merely referred to the building by the name of its current tenant, Palmer Products, whose address was 1600 Farnsworth.

Not to be defeated so easily, I went to libraries and began doing some real research. Polk's Detroit City Directory for 1918 does not list a Fisher Body Plant at this location, but their 1919-1920 directory does show a plant at "Theodore & Dequindre." Unfortunately no further details were given, but the location definitely describes Plant 10. For what it's worth, the much more well-known Plant #21 was also built in 1919. 

The 1938-1940 Polk directories list Fisher Body as having a plant at 1591 Theodore, which also seems to point to Plant #10, but that address is on the south side of the building as opposed to the more common 5140 Riopelle address listed elsewhere.

The Sanborn maps also did indeed confirm that the first parts of this plant were erected in 1917, with the taller six-story section being built in 1919.

Unfortunately, even most of the material in the libraries is limited to general info on the Fisher Body Division itself, and there is little in the way of focused discussion anywhere on any one particular Fisher plant.

First, in case you don't know the Fisher Body story, let's have a little of that general background. According to, the first of the seven Fisher Brothers got into the Detroit auto-body business in the early 1900s by working at the old "horseless carriage" shops (i.e.: Everitt, and the C.R. Wilson Body Co.) where putting a car body together was still mainly an exercise in carpentry.

By 1908 they felt it was time to go into business for themselves, and formed the Fisher Body Co., to supply 150 bodies for Cadillac. By 1916, Fisher Body had also produced bodies for Ford, Krit, Chalmers, Oldsmobile, Studebaker, Abbot, Buick, Chandler, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Churchfield, Elmore, EMF, Herreshoff, Hudson, Packard, Maxwell, and Regal.

The rest of the c.1917 four-story wing of the building had collapsed or been torn down already:

In 1919 Fisher Body became part of General Motors, eventually owned over 160,000 acres of timberland, and "used more wood, carpet, tacks, and thread than any other manufacturer in the world." Fisher Body insisted on continuing to use wooden frames for their bodies, over which they attached stamped sheet metal, despite the fact that their competitor Budd Mfg. Co. would introduce all-steel bodies in 1909. According to Coachbuilt, the auto industry consumed more hardwood lumber in 1924 than the furniture and building trades combined!

The Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) says that by 1926 when General Motors acquired the remaining shares of its company stock, Fisher Body owned or leased 40 buildings in the area of New Center / Milwaukee Junction, for a combined floorspace total of 3.7 million square feet—which was 0.2 million greater than that of the Packard Plant—and employed more than 100,000 people. Fisher Body kept almost all of their operations consolidated there until the late 1920s. Coachbuilt has slightly different figures, citing that "by 1924 Fisher boasted 44 plants and 40,000 workers, and was turning out over half a million car bodies a year."

But even as late as 1918, Fisher Body's assembly methods were still very shop-like in character, in contrast to the advances in "assembly line" plant arrangement that Ford was developing, according to an article by Roger B. White. "Every order was unique; dies had to be changed, new patterns for wood and steel had to be drawn, and the flow of materials and partially finished bodies among the 16 Fisher plants had to be shifted." Much of their work was left in some stage of partial completion, to be shipped off to the various car companies (such as Ford) for upholstery, paint, or final assembly.

The Sanborn map shows that this six-story wing of the building contained such activities as "Lumber Stock & Mill Work" on the first floor, "Mill Work" on the second floor, "Body Framing" on the third and fourth floors, "Door Panelling" on the fifth floor, and "Metal Moulding and Panelling" on the sixth. Remember, in those days Fisher still believed in making their bodies by hand on wood frames, before bolting stamped steel panels to them.

Innovations such as interchangeable body parts, modular body production, and the creation of inexpensive closed body styling were what helped put the Fisher brothers on the map. They produced the first fully-enclosed body for Cadillac in 1910, who became the first marque to make a closed body standard on all their cars; Fisher also made the first scientific use of insulation in an automobile to reduce noise and keep out heat and cold (1920); introduced the first "V" windshield to reduce glare for oncoming drivers, with a narrow center post for increased visibility (1921); and pioneered the use of lacquer on car bodies instead of paint or varnish (1923), cutting drying time from four weeks to six hours.

This was one of Fisher's most important contributions to the automobile industry, one that allowed color to become important in automobile styling—no longer was plain old black the quickest-drying hue. It also reduced manufacturing costs, which could be passed along to the customer, which meant that now even more people could afford to buy one. Perhaps more importantly, it also was the breakthrough that removed the main hurdle to Detroit's ability to meet the insatiable market demand for automobiles. Now, mostly-finished cars would no longer be clogging up the production lines of Detroit factories while manufacturers waited for the paint to dry—they could be kept moving along at a brisk pace for delivery. This may have in part facilitated a new manufacturing paradigm, especially with the advent of Henry Ford's fully integrated Rouge Plant in 1925, which boasted of being able to produce one completed car out of raw materials within mere hours.

One of the materials I found in the NAHC said that in 1912, Fisher Body of Canada, Ltd. developed the first steel body presses and pioneered the use of steel-faced dies to facilitate the drawing out of sheet steel evenly and smoothly, but again this seems to contradict what I've read stating that Budd made the first all-steel bodies for Hupp in 1909.

Fisher Body was however the first to install safety plate glass, and adjustable sun visors (1927); slanted windshields for reduced glare (1930); they invented "No-Draft" Ventilation (aka, the cigarette window, for those of you who don't subscribe to Car Salesman Lingo Monthly), front door armrests, and locking doorhandles (1933); one-piece seamless steel "Turret Top" roofs (1934); dual windshield wipers (1936); the first panoramic windshield (1956); the child safety seat (1968); and the side-impact beam (1969).

According to Coachbuilt,  GM's competitors spread rumors that the all-steel "Turret Top" would drum at certain speeds and, with all windows rolled up, could damage passengers' hearing. Despite these rumors, the "Turret Top" soon became an industry standard.

There was an *until very recently* active cell site on the roof here, which undoubtedly was a good money-maker for the owner of this building:

They just don't usually leave them open like this...

I knew I'd be coming back, so I decided to leave the watertower for a different day. Back down on the fifth floor, this would have been part of the "Door Panelling" department:

There was that surreal view again:

Another floor down, here would have been the "Body Framing" department:

This was about where I began to more seriously question the safety of the structure...

The waviness of the buckled concrete floors and ceilings indicates that it might have gotten a little hot, haha...despite signs that the fire had not been as active in these wings of the plant. The fire escape seems to have survived okay, though Hoban Cold Storage across the street is starting to look a little worse for the wear:

Off on the horizon, the remaining intact pieces of the Fisher brothers' empire still stood:

I couldn't quite figure out why the demolition on this plant had been dragged out so long...maybe they were running out of money?

An interesting side-bar about Alfred J. Fisher's three sons: In 1947, says, Alfred Jr., Robert C., and Walter W. Fisher started a new business manufacturing metal stampings at a plant in the suburb of Ferndale, called Alrowa Metal Products (AL-fred, RO-bert, WA-lter). Their customers included Cadillac, Detroit Transmission, Chevrolet, Inland, Fisher Body, Ford and Chrysler. Among the products made at that time were transmission components, ash trays, outside trim parts, brake bands, and metal fasteners.

Down another floor in the same wing, was more of the "Body Framing" department, which took up both the third and fourth floors:

Body framing would of course have consisted of gluing and / or bolting carefully planed pieces of wood together prior to bolting the stamped steel panels over the wooden skeleton.

An old break room was marked by the presence of charred picnic tables...

... and vending machines:

A freight elevator:

A giant industrial fan, and what I believe is an "order picker" style of fork truck:

According to the Sanborn map, this wing of the third floor would have been part of the "Mill Work" department, which actually occupied the first and second as well:

In the very southwestern corner of the building, I found what looked to have been another modern addition, a large fire stair:

The fire department had apparently also bashed-in some of the sheetmetal coverings over the old windows, perhaps in order to ventilate the of their complaints was that this plant—most of whose original large steel sash and glass windows had been replaced by cinder blocks—offered no easy way to get water into the fire. Those windows that did remain were tiny slits, and it was hard to get water from the aerial towers through them to effectively fight the fire.

In one wing on the second floor, I found a bunch of old display materials for telecom companies, such as store furniture:

I imagine this was part of Palmer Promotional Products. One of Palmer's webpages contains photos of some of these interior spaces before the fire:

Looks like someone just got upgraded to an office with a view!

It was beginning to get too dark for photos, so I decided to start heading back out. This area between the two six-story wings would have originally had a one-story steel shed-type roof with a skylight according to the Sanborn map, and housed some of the "Steam Dry Kilns" for the wood used in the car body frames:

I imagine this was because they didn't want green wood in their body frames, which would continue to shrink as it slowly dried out on its own. In fact there are several more such kilning areas marked on the Sanborn in the c.1917 eastern half of the plant, though they had long since been converted into semi-truck loading bays from what I could tell. It's covered in broken debris, but there is actually another one of those modern ramps attached here, leading into the now-gaping plant almost like a castle drawbridge over a moat:

Heading down the ramp, and out:

I took a few more shots of this ghostly stretch of Theodore Street, knowing that the plant wouldn't be around for much longer. This is in fact the area of the "1591 Theodore" address listed by Polk's city directory:

Taking another look at the Sanborn, I noticed that it shows this very part of the plant to have indeed contained offices, on the second floor of the c.1917 wing.

I came back during the day soon after, to find that not much more demolition had occurred.

One thing I was very bummed about however was the fact that the bulk of the boiler house had already been dismantled, and I never got to see inside it.

This now crumbled four-story wing of the plant along Theodore was part of the original 1917 construction, and would have housed the "Stock Room and Machine Shop" on the first floor, "Metal Works" on the second, "Metal Works & Welding" on the third, and "Metal Finishing" on the fourth floor. Nestled between it and the boiler house in the northeast corner of the parcel was more vast shed-type steel building, covering "Metalworking" and "Woodworking" departments, as well as "Grinding."

I decided to try climbing the lone pillar that held up the small watertower, now essentially just an elevator shaft and a stairwell:

By reading those descriptions on the Sanborn map, it definitely seems like all the processes for this plant began on the bottom floors and the work moved upward as the bodies were completed, contrary to what one might imagine of an assembly line factory with everything dropping down from above and finally rolling out the bay doors on ground level.

It sounds like this plant definitely did not have a moving assembly line in those days; as I mentioned earlier Fisher Body's factory operations were still very shop-like in character, and they did not go to assembly-line style production until sometime in the 1920s. Keep in mind though, this Sanborn map's notations are just a snapshot of a place that was used and changed many times over the years, and in fact may not have even been completely accurate.

Here is the last scrap of the mammoth three-story-tall boilers that once occupied the boiler house of this plant, now being hungrily feasted upon by the metal scavengers of the city:

As I said, this plant went on to serve other uses for GM after it ceased to be a Fisher Body plant, and became the first home of their Detroit Transmission Division. According to the May 1996 issue of Popular Mechanics, the two most significant auto industry inventions of the 1930s were the Ford Flathead V8, and GM's Hydra-Matic transmission, which was by far the first successful automatic transmission put on the market.

Though the automatic transmission first debuted in the 1940 Oldsmobiles, it had started as a "secret" Cadillac project under Earl A. Thompson (the inventor of the synchromesh manual gearbox), and four assistants. Cadillac discontinued the project due to cost in 1934, and Thompson moved his small lab back into GM's central engineering staff. There, Oldsmobile's general manager began to take an interest in the project. By autumn of 1939 a working Hydra-Matic had been born and was ready for the assembly line—and the open road—where it would go on to change driving forever.

The 1940 edition of Industrial Research Laboratories of the United States states that starting in 1938, the former Fisher Body #10 housed the Detroit Transmission Division of GM, under General Manager V.A. Olsen and William L. Carnegie, Chief Engineer, whose function was to research the Hydra-Matic transmission and their related problems. Other sources indicate that this was also where the Hydra-Matic was manufactured. So it would seem that this plant was the birthplace of the modern automatic transmission.

According to an old GM brochure, the Detroit Transmission Division was organized in 1939 "in one-third of an old six-story building on Riopelle Street," which would of course be this one, the former Fisher Body 10. They shipped the first completed Hydra-Matic transmission to Oldsmobile in October of that year, and by October of 1940, they had begun shipping them to Cadillac as well.

A mere two years later, the fledgling Hydra-Matic was enlisted for wartime duty in the drive-gear of the M-24 Army tank built by Cadillac, as well as the M5 Stuart, and other armored vehicles. In these Army tanks the Hydra-Matic demonstrated that the automatic transmission could be just as resilient as the old manual gearboxes that had long been considered the only truly "bullet-proof" transmissions, and that hydraulic-automatic gear shifting was not going to be just some gimmicky fad. There were two Hydra-Matics installed in each tank, and almost 50,000 of them were manufactured here for the war effort.

By 1947 Detroit Transmission Division had produced 500,000 Hydra-Matics at this plant, and on January 2nd, 1949, they checked off their 1 millionth.

Unfortunately because of the extent of the demolition, I could get no higher than this, and had to go back down:

Detroit Transmission Division moved out of this plant at 5140 Riopelle in September of 1949, to occupy the newly built Livonia Hydra-Matic Plant. As many remember, the 1.5 million square-foot Livonia plant then promptly burned down to the ground on August 12th of 1953, in what still ranks as one of the worst fire disasters in Wayne County history.

The Livonia fire forced a brief reopening of the Riopelle plant, but the Detroit Transmission Division eventually moved its operations into the old vacant Willow Run Bomber Plant. According to the Michigan Manufacturer and Financial Record, Cadillac Motors began using 5140 Riopelle as a parts warehouse, for lack of space in their main plant.

Today the Detroit Transmission Division is known as GM Powertrain.

By way of tracing out the ownership of this facility during its later years, for what it's worth, the National Engineer says that 5140 Riopelle was still used by Cadillac Motor Division as of 1965; The Official Directory of Industrial and Commercial Traffic Executives refers to this plant as the "Detroit Parts Plant" in 1972; in the Journal of Detroit City Council, GM announced the closing of the GM Parts Department located at 5140 Riopelle in 1981; and Brands and Their Companies, by Gale Research says that it was home to the Michigan Food Corp. in May of 2007. And of course Palmer Promotional Products was the last tenant—reportedly the only one in the complex at the time of the fire.

Now here is a testament to the absolutely incredible strength of reinforced concrete construction...that ceiling is bowing like a hammock from the immense weight collapsed onto it from above, yet it still refuses to burst:

The Sanborn seems to show a railroad spur originally going into this, the very eastern end of the plant, though that spur has long been eliminated:

I recently was contacted by a person who claims to have worked for Palmer Products at the time of the fire, who said that the building was occupied by employees when the fire began, all of whom got out safely (but were of course laid off in the aftermath). The person also said that this was the "warehouse" in which the 11,000 missing Detroit Police rape evidence kits were found by the Wayne County Prosecutor's office in August of 2009.

The former employee also said Detroit Police Narcotics Division used to rent the space for evidence storage here as well. This is backed up in the minutes of the Detroit City Council meeting of June 27, 2011 where their rent payment for the space was being resolved. The former employee also mentioned an unverified rumor that circulated around Palmer Promotional in 2005, that Carlita Kilpatrick's "missing" Lincoln Navigator was stored in the parking lot in the basement of the building.

During this trip I explored a bit more of the first floor...again, this would be in the "Lumber Stock & Mill Work" area described on the Sanborn:

Here is another view of the ramp I talked about can see a transformer room above the entrance:

The famous Detroit-born poet Philip Levine wrote a poem entitled "The Suit," which contains a line that seems to refer to his being employed on the night shift at this plant, which he calls "Detroit Transmission." Levine has won the Pulitzer prize, and was dubbed the Poet Laureate of the United States from 2011 to 2012. He passed away one year after I wrote this piece.

Though Levine worked a number of factory jobs in the city including Chevrolet Gear & Axle, it seems most likely (based on the type of suit being described, and the reference to the draft board) that he is describing a 1940s time frame, and that (if Levine is indeed the speaker in the poem) he apparently worked at the Detroit Transmission Division here on Riopelle.

I don't think it's legal for me to reproduce the poem in its entirety, so I'll just excerpt the part that talks about this plant. The speaker in Levine's poem begins by describing the suit, which seems to be what is referred to as a "zoot suit," and then goes on to tell about the times and places that he wore it.

And finally to the draft board where
I stuffed it in a basket with my shoes,
shirt, socks, and underclothes and was
herded naked past the others past doctors
half asleep and determined to find
nothing. That long day it cracked
from indifference or abuse, and so I wore it
on the night shift at Detroit Transmission
where day after day it grew darker and more
unrecognizably tattered like all my
other hopes for a singular life in a rich
world that would be of certain design:
just, proportioned, equal and indifferent
for each of us and satisfying like that flush
of warmth that came with knowing
no one could be more ridiculous than I.

The poem in its entirety is published in the book New Selected Poems, by Philip Levine.

Also during this visit, I found an amazing thing—liquid metal puddles and stalagmites on the floor, from something the fire had obviously melted and dripped from above:

It looks like the solder that was always speckled about the floor of my dad's workshop.

This reminds me too much of that one scene in Terminator II...

This time I was also able to peek into the transformer room, which had been occupied by a busy scrapper on my first visit, but now lay empty, denuded of all its precious red metal:

More of Palmer Promotional's offices:

This saw looked to have been awfully expensive at one time, now crushed by boulders and teetering on the edge of a two-story drop:

When I followed the southwest stairwell to its bottom it led down into a deep lake, indicating that the fire department did indeed manage to put a fair amount of water on this fire, or at least the building's sprinkler system did perhaps. I didn't see any other way into the plant's basement, until I noticed a weird room off to the side of the first floor that had a hole in the wall, which overlooked a loading ramp leading down from ground level. The bay door to the outside was of course firmly shut. I had to climb down an eight-foot wall from this hole to reach it, and when I did I realized that I was also standing at the bottom of a former freight elevator that had been removed:

Following the vehicle ramp down into the basement, I was again confronted with Lake Erie:

I had forgotten to bring my boat, so this was about all I was going to see of the basement:

On my next trip to the plant, it was finally time to return to the roof and get some shots from the watertower:

One of the first things I noticed once I got up there was the ghost-letters on the side of it spelling out the famous old slogan, "BODY BY FISHER" in rust:

How cool is that? Even after almost 100 years, the original name of this plant still managed to burn through the subsequent layers of history that covered it up. Unfortunately, by way of having to stand so close to it, I was unable to get a good wide shot.

In the distance, New Center:

Grand Trunk Warehouse again:

As you can see a lot of the demolition rubble has been cleared away by this point:

Looking west toward Wayne State University where Philip Levine studied, with the Ford Rouge Plant silhouetted on the horizon...


Hoban's ruins next door:

Packard Plant not far away, with the Nine Mile Tower in the distance:

Sweetest Heart of Mary is due for a straightening too, as soon as they finish St. Josaphat's:

St. Albertus looks okay though:

On the other side of the property I noticed some guys dancing around, filming a rap video:

By the way, across the street is the Federal Reserve compound:

When I came down from the roof I switched stairwells, and I realized I had never been on the sixth floor before, due to the other stairwell not giving access to it. Inside were pallets and pallets of beer signs, beer mirrors, clocks, deck umbrellas, and other branded promotional paraphernalia that would be sold to bars and such. Most of it was destroyed, but a lot was still salvageable, and there was a troupe of men in there busily cutting open these boxes and harvesting their contents for resale.

Judging by the fact that beer signs on Ebay often go for a pretty penny, I guessed there was a fair amount of money to be made here—easily more worthwhile than metal scrapping.

No signs of any more police evidence however. Some Western Union kiosks, all stacked up and perched next to a six-story cliff:

What's really hilarious is that while this was going on, I could hear the sounds of that impromptu neighborhood jazz fest that occurs in the vacant fields near St. Aubin & Frederick every Sunday afternoon in the summer (John's Carpet House). I even hung out there occasionally until 2009, but when I happened to pass by there after I left the plant a few days later, I noticed that some familiar looking gentlemen—entrepreneurs, shall we say—were selling some very familiar looking beer signs on the sidewalk there. So that's what the pundits are talking about when they speak of Detroit as the "land of opportunity," hahaha!

Anyway, this room would have housed Fisher Body's "Metal Panelling" department in the 1920s. The skylighted roof has been tarred-over (and of course chopped in half by an excavator):

Here are a few aerial shots that show what the plant looked like before it was toasted.

And here is one last shot, taken from John's Carpet House in 2009:

As of summer of 2014, Fisher Body Plant #10 was completely demolished.

Lower Peninsula of Michigan: An Inventory of Historic Engineering and Industrial Sites, by the Historic American Engineering Record (1976)
Popular Mechanics, May 1996 
Industrial Research Laboratories of the United States, Seventh Edition, 1940, by the National Research Council
Automotive Engineering, Volume 65, Society of Automotive Engineers, 1957
General Motors World, 1962
Michigan Manufacturer and Financial Record, Volumes 111-112, Pick Publications, 1963
New Selected Poems, by Philip Levine
"Fisher Body Corporation," in Smithsonian Institution, by Roger B. White
How Detroit Became The Automotive Capitol, by Robert Szudarek
"Fisher Track Record: Continued Innovation, Superb Craftsmanship," Tech Center News, Warren, July 4 1983, pg. 3,_Cadillac_Makes_the_Closed_Body_Standard
"History Highlights of Fisher Body Division," National Automotive History Collection, Detroit Public Library
Journal of Detroit City Council, 1981, page 2978
National Engineer, Volume 69, National Association of Power Engineers, 1965
The Official Directory of Industrial and Commercial Traffic Executives, Traffic Service Corp., 1972
Brands and Their Companies, Volume 2, Gale Research, May 1, 2007
Sanborn Fire Insurance Map, Detroit, Volume 3, Sheet 84, 1922
Minutes, Detroit City Council, Meeting of June 27, 2011, pg. 5

Special thanks to Navi for research help, as well as the National Automotive History Collection of the Skillman Branch Library, the Burton Historical Collection, WSU's Walter Reuther Library of Labor & Urban Affairs, and the DPL Main Branch.

1 comment:

  1. I live in Norwalk Ohio...the place the Fisher Bros started making milk wagons..Have a historical plaque where the lean to (shop) they started in was. When they put it in some great grandfathered Fishers came for the Dedication ...then drove in their Hummers back to a gated community in Mich !!!!


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