Monday, September 23, 2013

Body By Fisher (a LONG time ago)


This heavy little piece of metal is only about an inch by an inch-and-a-quarter. I can't be sure, but I suspect that it's all that remains of the eight-passenger Buick that belonged to my paternal grandparents. I found it up our main hollow where my granddad first set up our original sawmill, while Dad was still overseas during WWII. Granddad had bought the car new, to transport his wife and five kids, plus an occasional aunt or grandparent. He may have also used it sometimes to carry him and his tools to nearby well-sites in the oilfields, where he was a rig-building contractor, though he usually went by train.

I remember reading a letter he sent home where he was addressing the problem of a bad radiator on his farm truck that was used to deliver milk and get supplies. He told Grandma to have one of the relatives who lived with them to take the radiator off the Buick and put it on the truck. (This may have been early in the war.) Dad told me that when granddad set up the mill, he used a Buick straight-eight to power it. It didn't have much lugging power, so he made a big wooden flywheel like the band-wheel on an oil-rig, to try to even out the power flow, but it apparently didn't work too well.

The mill was long moved to a different site, and the remnants of the rotting wooden flywheel were laying on the ground between some young sycamore trees in the pasture, when I found this in the 1970's. It was attached to a rotted piece of wood and had a layer of rust between itself and the wood, showing that it had once been mounted over a piece of sheet metal. The straight-eight came out in 1931, I believe, and they probably still used wooden body framing then, so I'm thinking this was probably off the old family car. Some things, I can only guess about.

Here's the old tool shed they built for the mill. The little metal plate was found just behind it, where you see the young sycamores. This was one of several of my favorite spots on the farm. This photo was probably taken in the 70's or 80's. An older cousin has a house there now.



Sunnybrook Farm said...

That was when that label meant something, a wood framed metal body put together by craftsmen. Ford had special deluxe bodies made by Briggs. In the 60s they just stuck a sticker on all the cars that said body by fisher but it meant nothing by then. Kind of like the government putting liberty and in god we trust on our money.

Gorges Smythe said...

Valid point, SF!