Frank Mitchell Collection
Note: Images on this page are available
to use. Please credit as "Courtesy of Frank Mitchell". More on the
use of images here.
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"THE WHITE CAP", OLIVERS ROOT BEER, ICE CREAM & SOFT DRINKS
Based on the license plate, this is the Studebaker Landau Coupe,
Model SC-Four, of Andrew L. Benson who was living in Stockton,
California at the time the photo was taken in 1914. This information
and the research below was furnished by automotive historian Ace
Using a copy of "Registered Automobiles, November 1914,"
published by the State of California in 1914, the following entry
can be found for license plate number 119553:
119553 -- A. L. Benson, 329 S. Sutter St.,
Studebaker: roadster; model 4; factory number 4B4691;
Horsepower: 19 3/5; Fee paid: $2.50
Unfortunately, the Stockton City Directories for 1913 - 1915
do not shed any light on who A.L. Benson was because the 329 S.
Sutter Street address was owned by Joe M. Gall. The February, 1915
version of "Registered Automobiles" shows this same car, but the
1915 license plate number is 94818. The name of the registered owner
is fully shown and is Andrew L. Benson still at the same Stockton
address. Tracing this car beyond 1915 is difficult because
Studebaker reused engine serial numbers (ESN) in succeeding years.
Note that ESNs were used as the vehicle identification number at
this time by most states including California. Because both the ESN
and the year of manufacture is not shown in most California
registration books before 1918, other Studebaker cars with the same
ESN could be a different car (erring on the side of caution).
For instance I can easily find a 1919 Studebaker with ESN 4691
and a 1921 Studebaker with ESN 4691 both published in a 1921
California registration book. It can be very hard to accurately
trace a vehicle without keeping this information in mind. I found
the same ESN for Benson's car in both 1916 and 1917, each year had a
different owner, but I cannot be sure it is the same automobile.
The Studebaker was, correctly, a Landau Roadster which cost
$1,200 (FOB Indianapolis). The car could be instantly transformed
into a convertible by lowering the top and thus become an open
vehicle. The side windows built into the doors were plate glass and
lowered into the doors; however, the smaller windows behind the
doors were made of celluloid, and they folded with the top. You can
see the "X" shaped landau irons on the right hand side of the
automobile, but the gentleman in the photo is hiding almost all of
the "X" brace on the left hand side.
Photos of similar Studebaker Landau Couples can be found at
the following links:
PACIFIC SIGHTSEEING COMPANY, 1915
Sutro Baths ticket
Sutro Baths, SF
Pacific Sightseeing Company
"Sutros House, Sutro Park Cal. 1913"
Reverse includes a note concerning $2.50 per person cost
"BARNACLE BILLS CAFE"
reverse denotes this group as the Macabees - Jewish woman's group
"Coca Cola, Blue Ribbon Ice Cream, Ocean Restraunt"
John Martini: "You donít see many views of that line of storefronts
between the Cliff House and the Cliff Cafe."
"Acme Ice Cream", "Home Made Cider, Pure & Good", "Sea Lion Arcade",
"Cliff Waffle Bakery", "Pacific
Sightseeing Co., Parlor Car Tours, San Francisco"
This photo shows a unique view of the Cliff House porch. The reverse
contains not just the exact date, but also time of day.
Reverse: "Cliff House San Francisco, 12 oclock noon, Wednesday August 11th 1915"
(scan of reverse)
|"While surfing the web, on a Facebook site called
Memories of Playland, I came across an image of a group of people in
front of the Cliff House. It had been posted by a member of the
site, and it took me by surprise. She had borrowed it from Frank
Mitchell's contributions on the Cliff house Project site, dated
August 11th,1915. I knew right away I was looking at the image of my
late Grandfather Frank Shanahan, he being the man at the bottom,
second from the left. My Grandfather had immigrated here in 1907
from Ireland. He lived on 21st and California at that time. I
immediately messaged my family separately, asking them if they
recognized anyone in the group. They all responded affirmative for
Frank Shanahan. The group image had been placed on the back of a
postcard. There is at least one other person, in the group picture,
that we are sure is a relative. In research I found that about that
time the Whitney Bros. had started doing photography for people
traveling to the beach. It's popularity caught on fast as they could
take it or send it home right away." -- Ray Shanahan 7/14/2014
TROPIC BEACH, SUTRO BATHS
"Seal Rocks as seen from the Sequoia Room of the world famous Cliff House, San
Ocean Beach Pavilion
Sign near arch: "TEA GARDEN", "GRILL"
"SUTRO BATHS, AS SEEN FROM CLIFFE HOUSE PARAPET"
SUTRO BATHS AT THE BEACH, SAN FRANCISCO, B-57
"S.S. OHIOAN ON THE ROCKS, CLIFF HOUSE, S.F."
"SUTRO HEIGHTS, SAN FRANCISCO, CAL. WEIDNER PHOTO"
CLIFF HOUSE OBSERVATORY
POWERFUL GLASSES, 10Ę
COME IN AND COUNT THE WHISKERS ON THE SEALS
Red Room, Cliff House, Music Hall
Chevy Bel Air
Auracaria Norfolk Island Tree, Sutro Heights, S.F. Cal
Geo. D. Gardner, California Views
Billboard: "BENSON'S POOL ROOM and ART GALLERY"
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