“Taken May 1914 1216 Vanness Santa Ana, Cal.” – from My Baby’s Biography (for Edgar) by Beatrice Bates
On the second page of my dad’s baby book, my grandmother pasted a postcard photograph of the Bates family as it existed in 1914, sitting in an old automobile. It is one of the earliest photographs of the family that I have found.
Seated in front are my grandparents, Gilbert E. Bates and Beatrice Emerald Lockwood. My dad, Edgar Lewis Bates is in Beatrice’s lap. He would have been about eight months old when the picture was taken.
The other children are Clarence Frederick (b. 1909) and Clifford Glenn (b. 1911), but it is difficult to tell which is which. I believe that the woman in the back seat is Gilbert’s mother, Amanda Steele Bates. It is also possible that it is Beatrice’s mother (Mayremna Holman Lockwood) since she also lived in the immediate neighborhood.
The house in the background is the Van Ness house in Santa Ana that was described in a previous article (see Finding My Father’s First Home – Santa Ana).
The car also appears in another photo in the same article, parked next to the country home in nearby Paularino.
Initially, I thought the photograph was an interesting group photo, made some notes, and put it aside, figuring that later I might see if I could determine the make of the vehicle.
Sometime later, I was researching the Bates family on Newspapers.com and came across this notice in the Santa Ana Register. From this small clipping, I found more information than I expected. I now knew not only the make and model, but also the name of the dealer, and the purchase date. Gilbert bought the car on February 26, 1914, so it was only a little over two months old in the larger picture above.
I also located an advertisement in the newspaper for the El Camino Garage, perhaps one that Gilbert may have read. Since the corner of Fifth and Main Streets is within ten blocks of the Bates home on Van Ness Street, Gilbert might well have seen and purchased the car at the dealer without first reading the advertisement in the newspaper.
The Paige “36”
The Paige was manufactured by the Paige-Detroit Motor Car Company of Detroit, Michigan. The company produced two series in 1814: “25” with two models and the “36” with six models. All boasted many upscale features, including electric starter and lighting system. The standard colors were dark blue with black running gear. The Paige was touted as “the most beautiful car in America”.
Gilbert purchased the Paige “36” Glenwood model, a five-passenger touring car which sold for $1,275. It was one of the most popular Paige models at the time and was well advertised.
The company ran advertisements in magazines such as Saturday Evening Post, The Horseless Age, and Motor Age, and the Glenwood was one of the most featured models.
Since there are no family members still living that might remember the Paige, I have no idea what happened to the Bates family car. It’s too bad that it didn’t stay in the family – it would have made a nice conclusion to this article.
I did pick up a couple of Paige “36” related items (Bateses seem to collect things).
I now have an original full-page magazine advertisement for the Paige “36”. It is in excellent condition, especially for being over a hundred years old.
At the same time, I purchased a 10 x 12-inch factory photograph of the Paige ’36’ Glenwood.
I thought it would be nice to frame them along with a copy of the photograph of the Bates family proudly sitting in their new Paige.
For those interested in reading more about the Paige, here useful links:
A Brief History of the Paige-Detroit Motor Car Co. and 1914 Paige by Bill Roberts
Paige automobile at Wikipedia has some historical information the company.
1913 Paige Detroit Glenwood 36 For Sale for $59,900 has some nice pictures of a fully restored car.