Motorcar Merge

Time Machine Slider

Click and drag the slider below to the right or left.Archival image portion courtesy of Elkhart Public Library.


Location & Story

The archival photo was taken in Elkhart, Indiana possibly on W. Franklin St. between 3rd and 2nd Streets. An entrance to 1912-1972* Elkhart High School designed by E. Hill Turnock can be seen in the background. Today only a small portion of the school structure remains. It was expanded with modern construction to become Elkhart Superior Court.

Do you notice how the driver is seated on the right hand side? One source reports the car is a 1914 Cole “Six” luxury touring car.* Look at the advertisement on** It specifies left hand steering for that model. So I believe it is more likely a 1913 Cole model “60.” Check out the ad on** to compare. The steprail and windshield design also match better with the “60” model. Either way it’s safe to assume this photo is circa 1914.

The photographer is unknown. It is possibly John Inbody who photographed prominent architecture and people of Elkhart.

People in the car are from the prominent Winchester and Knickerbocker families who operated the First National Bank.***

There are several clues that make me wonder if these people are on a parade route.

  • These are prominent families.
  • They are finely dressed. (Check out the women’s hats! A little too frilly for church or a funeral.)
  • There is a man walking alongside the car. (Doesn’t appear to be panhandling.)
  • The convertible top is down. (Not too many folks do that in cold weather.)
  • The location is near Main St.
  • Not sure why else a photographer was in the middle of a street on a cold day shooting a car passing by.

It is interesting to note the blank, smile-less expressions on their faces, and no one is giving the photographer a parade princess wave.

Historical Merge Static Image

Parade Historical Merge


*(Lant) Wenger, Amy. “Pages 46, 56.” Images of America, Elkhart Indiana. N.p.: Arcadia, 2002. Print.

**Farber and Associates, LLC 2009-2012. “American Automobiles: The Cole Automobile 1909-1918 & The Cole Motor Car Co.” Retrieved from:

***Deahl, Anthony. “Pages 227, 550.” A Twentieth Century History and Biographical Record of Elkhart County, Indiana. Lewis Publishing Company, 1905. Print


Do you know more details to this story? Are you interested in a Historical Merge of your home or place of business? Please contact me.

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