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ID 1905ish auto at Death Valley Junction


TedB
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I would appreciate help identifying this car, photographed in front of the Pacific Coast Borax Company offices in Death Valley Junction, California in roughly 1905.  This is needed for a National Park online exhibit.   

thank you for your assistance.

Ted

DEVA PIC_FirstAutoDeathValley_1905_960x562.jpeg

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15 minutes ago, pre10 said:

Very unusual to see Solarclipse headlamps on as low an end auto as a 1908 Cadillac.

Early custom job? Wonder what prompted such a move from the owner at the time. 

 

Here's a look at some from a Clement-Bayard that resemble the lamps on topic. Not quite a match but the lamps had to come from a similar type of vehicle. Maybe from a Thomas Flyer? I suppose the extra lighted horizon may have had an impact on the decision and was surely needed for travel to such remote locations.

bayard-4.jpg

Edited by 30DodgePanel (see edit history)
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Thank you for your suggestions.

The Cadillac Model S seems closest so far.  But was it made prior to 1908? In 1905, the Model M could be it.  Maybe.

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20 minutes ago, TedB said:

Thank you for your suggestions.

The Cadillac Model S seems closest so far.  But was it made prior to 1908? In 1905, the Model M could be it.  Maybe.

I think 1908 was the first with running boards.

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Doctor who used the car frequenty at night ?  I wonder how much Solarclipse lights cost compared to  the more standard size Solar lights? I expect the car would have needed wider forks to mount them as well. Not the sort of outlay someone would have casually made unless there was a good reason.

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3 hours ago, pre10 said:

Very unusual to see Solarclipse headlamps on as low an end auto as a 1908 Cadillac.

Headlamps may have been an option on Cadillacs of that year.  Perhaps a few months later, if the owner decided he needed headlights, he did not care so much about originality back in the day.

 

Craig

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Did a bit of online research. A 1908 Solar catalog lists the 956 A , which is a pretty average Solar model and would have been a popular seller for smaller to mid size cars at $8.00 each. 

 The Solarclipse however is listed at $45.00 each. A huge upcharge. No wonder they are normally only seen on very top of the market cars.

 

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The Solarclipse was also advertised as the best lamp on the market and it had several features that set it apart from the other lamps available. If a person was going to be doing a fair amount of night driving, I can see how they could be talked into a pair of Solarclipse lights. The one cylinder Cadillacs were popular with Doctors.

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From what I've read, the distinctive Amargosa Opera House and the Hotel (Which can be seen in the background of the OP's photo) weren't built until the early 1920's.  So, if I'm not mistaken, this car, and the Solarclipse Lights, were already quite old when the photo was taken. As such, the car's owner would have had plenty of time to "customize" it.

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2 hours ago, mickthecat said:

From what I've read, the distinctive Amargosa Opera House and the Hotel (Which can be seen in the background of the OP's photo) weren't built until the early 1920's.  So, if I'm not mistaken, this car, and the Solarclipse Lights, were already quite old when the photo was taken. As such, the car's owner would have had plenty of time to "customize" it.

That is a different building than the Opera House, I live an hour from there. 

If you were to take a trip out there on a moonless night it gets a wee dark on the rough roads and the headlights on my CJ7 are not enough .

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On 7/29/2022 at 6:15 PM, TedB said:

I would appreciate help identifying this car, photographed in front of the Pacific Coast Borax Company offices in Death Valley Junction, California in roughly 1905.  This is needed for a National Park online exhibit.   

thank you for your assistance.

Ted

DEVA PIC_FirstAutoDeathValley_1905_960x562.jpeg

 

These big headlights make sense as the car was owned by the Pacific Coast Borax Company in Death Valley.  107 years ago compared to today there was less than nothing there except the borax mines in Death Valley.  Driving at night would be very dark.  Getting to civilization from there at dark/dusk would be a very exciting event/ trip.

Edited by Larry Schramm (see edit history)
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