WATCHING THE FORD GO BY
No that's not a typo of the old song title "Watching The Fords Go By ", but rather an educated guess of how many Fords there were in what is now known as Mastic Beach on the first week of January in 1908. I now know for sure there was at least one and it was New Ford to boot! The Long Island Advance for Jan 3, 2008 is reporting in their 100 Years Ago old files, that Louis Robert of Mastic has just purchased a new Ford automobile.
A LITTLE HISTORY :
Louis W. Robert 1886-1935, was one of the sons of Dr. Charles & Adelma Robert. Adelma Robert's name is often mentioned in early Mastic Beach history. Her son Louis was just 21 years old in Jan of 1908 and Ford Motor Company was just 5 years old. John Robert (Louis' son?) and partner of the Swift Stream Duck Farm on Forge River btw opened a Ford Agency in Center Moriches in the 1920's before he became a duck farmer.
The Robert family owned the Richard Floyd "Pattersquas" estate in Mastic ever since the Revolutionary war ended and the estate was confiscated by the William Tangier Smith (Richard Floyd was rooting for England) Col. William T. Smith passed (sold) "Pattersquas" on to his son in law Dr. Daniel Robert . It was only out of Robert family hands briefly in the 1870's when G. E. Taylor of NY and Oakdale purchased it from them, only to sell it back to the Roberts a few years later because of the depression of the 1880's and therefore create the need for the first official deed for that estate registered in the county of Suffolk. All that jazz is well covered in the Pattersquash pages here that trace all the owners from Richard Floyd to Doc Calabro who turned the residence into the Bayview Hospital in the late 1940's, twenty years after the word Beach was added to the name Mastic along with 350 acres of colonial era estate property..... But back to FORD (who BTW ironacily announced today _1/03/08_ that they plan to sell their English Jaguar Company to a car company in India named Ta Ta)
Though there could of been another Ford or another brand of car around Mastic in those days, it was still primarily the horse and buggy era. I just wish the paper would of reported what model Ford that Louis Robert bought. Unlike the days of the Model T, that would not be introduced yet for another 10 months in October of 1908, in January of that year, you had your choice of Ford Models A, B, C, E, F, K, N, R, and S! In Jan of '08 no Fords were produced on an assembly line yet. That too would start with Model T production. Nor were they cheap!!.... ranging from $700 - $2000.00. The body styles were either Roadsters or Tourers and would of looked like one of the two 1908 Fords pictured below which were really 1907 models. And unlike the saying that you can have it any color as long as its black, you can see they were pretty colorful machines. That black Ford thing came in with the Model T which in '08 Henry was fully concentrating on... kick starting iT and changing the world with it. I also wonder if Louis Robert drove his new Ford on the wood paved road that was there in 1904. That road ran from the Smith's Manor of St. George over to the Robert estate where the town triangle of Commack and Neighborhood Roads intersect . Basically following the same path as Commack Road does today.
1907 MODEL K FORDS
Louis Robert Most Likely Drove One Of These Model Fords
They were certainly colorful but they were no match to the colorful Fords that would line Neighborhood Road in the 1950's & '60's. Parked in front of Schulte's and The Beachcomber were '57 & '58 Fairlane 500's Hardtops & Ragtops with Cruiser Skirts, Connie Kits, Tubular Grilles, and ' 49 - 51 Shoebox Fords in grey primer with empty grille cavitys, nosed and decked louvered hoods and flames etc! REAL HOT STUFF THAT MADE THIS PRE TEEN GEAR HEAD DROOL......AND WOULD EFFECT MY CHOICE OF RIDE WHEN I WAS OLD ENOUGH
It wasn't my Father's Ford nor My Grandfather's Either
But this one was ....
A USED 1913-15 MODEL T FORD TOURER
Future Mastic Beach residents. That's my Grandfather Walter Joseph (a blacksmith turned auto mechanic and machinist) and his family in 1919. I don't think my grandfather ever owned a Brand New Ford. His last one was a '47 Ford Coupe, that he had when he passed away in November of 1957. This photo is probably taken in Brooklyn or Queens where they lived. I think that is my Uncle Herb in the back seat. Walter Joseph and his wife Julia moved to McKinley Drive in Mastic Beach in 1940. The first car I remember him having was a circa '40 Plymouth Coupe in 1949.
THE VERY FIRST AUTOMOBILE IN MASTIC WAS NOT A FORD