DetroitPhoto Du Jour

Fisher Body – Fort & Livernois

To the corner of Fort & Livernois for today’s P.D.J.

This handsome peice of automotive history was built in 1928

The same artist who painted the windows at the U.A. prior to its superbowl wash also did the former offices of Fisher Body. Does anyone know the significance of the “S” and the “C”?

Although the name has been off the building for a long time, the GM logo as well as Fisher Body are both still visible.

Here is a present day shot from Google Earth of the offices. You can see the original structure outlined in red, as noted on the Sandborn below.

From the Sandborn map from 1921, the office building (much smaller) and factory show up as the Ternstedt Manufacturing Company.

Here’s a little blurb from 1968 about Ternstedt:

Ternstedt Rejoins Fisher Body

DETROIT, MICH., Nov. 4, 1968– Ternstedt and Fisher Body Division– separated two decades ago when Ternstedt was made a separate General Motors division– are being united again.
Chairman of the Board James M. Roche announced today that consolidation of Ternstedt into Fisher Body Division will permit increased coordination of automotive body design and engineering. The headquarters of the two divisions now face each other across one of the Technical Center lakes.
Ternstedt was named after its founder, Alvar K. Ternstedt, inventor of the first practical car window regulator. A native of Sweden, he applied for a patent on his invention in 1911 but it was not granted until 1916.
The regulator utilized a chain and sprocket mechanism that offered greater east of operation than any previous device. Ternstedt needed financial backing to start his own company so in 1917 he invited the Fishers and several others to join him. At that time, the Fisher organization was already the largest body-building firm in the world.
At a meeting in Detroit on April 17, 1917, the Ternstedt Manufacturing Co. was incorporated. Ternstedt was elected chairman. The seven other directors were four of the Fisher brothers and three other major Fisher Body Company shareholders.
But Ternstedt didn’t live long enough to enjoy the success of his venture. He died six months later and in 1920, Fisher Body acquired the Ternstedt firm.
When Fisher Body became a division of GM in 1926, Ternstedt became a division within Fisher Body. Ternstedt became a separate division in 1948 and now, 20 years later, is now rejoining Fisher Body.
Alvar Ternstedt lived long enough to start manufacturing operations at a building located at Fort Street and Livernois in Detroit, site of the present Fisher Body Fort Street Plant. That remained the Ternstedt headquarters until a new divisional office building on the Tech Center site in 1962.
At present, Ternstedt operates seven plants and has nearly 25,000 employees. There are 400 Ternstedt products on the average GM car such as door handles, window regulators, locks, wheel covers and many of the brightly-plated trim parts found on vehicles.

Info above can be found here.

Also from the GM corporate history section of their website:

1926 – General Motors purchases the Fisher brothers’ remaining interest in Fisher Body Co. William Fisher, president of Fisher Body Corp., becomes general manager of GM’s new Fisher Body division. The acquisition includes Ternstedt Manufacturing Company, which is engaged in the manufacture of automobile body hardware and metal stampings. In 1933, Ternstedt is made a division of General Motors. Brown-Lipe-Chapin, a supplier of differential gears for General Motors cars acquired in 1922, is made a division of General Motors in 1926 and consolidated with Ternstedt in 1962. In 1968, Ternstedt Division is consolidated into Fisher Body Division.

Click here to see some the the radiator caps produced by the Ternstedt Mfg. Co.

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