A postcard of the Chester Ford Car Plant from about 1930
NOTE: Some of you may still remember when Chester City had a Ford Car plant which opened in 1928. Chester City got the first car off the assembly line.
CITY SECURES FIRST PRODUCT OF FORD PLANT Two Hundred Invited Guests See New Model Driven Off Runway
The first new model Ford car assembled at the local plant of the Detroit manufacturer was purchased by the city and driven off the runway by mayor Samuel E. Turner, this morning, amid the plaudits of 200 guests, representing civic and professional leaders of the city and county, and the assembled employees of the massive industry.
The car, a green two-door sedan, the engine number of which is 24971, cost the Ford Motor Company between three and one-half and four millions to build, when everything is taken into consideration, and William W. Mitchell, manager of the local plant, jokingly remarked that “Chester now owns the most expensive car in the world.”
The ceremonies incidental to the delivery of the first car were simple but impressive. The guests who had assembled in the show room of the plant were ushered into the assembly department, where the car purchased by the city stood at the head of a number on the runway which leads from the endless chain on which the machines are erected.
Mr. Mitchell made a brief address in which he outlined the expense of the company in having the plant constructed and thanked the city officials and others interested in the progress of Chester for their cooperation and help to the plant officials since locating here.
Mayor Turner, who was introduced by manager Mitchell, expressed the thanks of the populace to the Ford company for having selected Chester as the ideal site for their mammoth plant and said this would be a red letter days in the annals of the city. He recalled that the spot on which the first car was assembled was sacred as it was it was there on which the U. S. S. Dolphin, famous in the history of the country’s navy was built.
Following his speech the mayor and Mr. Mitchell posed for a battery of camera men who took several pictures of them beside the initial car.
Prior to the guests being escorted from the showroom to the assembly plant, all present were requested to sign a parchment, the signatures being placed at all angles around a square in the center of paper. It was explained that a picture of the car would be placed in the center of the parchment and would be preserved as a reminder of the official opening.
William B. Stout, of the Stout Metal Airplane Division of the Ford Motor Company’s poke briefly on what the Ford Motor Company, spoke briefly on what the Ford Motor Company is doing for the advancement of airways in this country and stated that within two years an airline would be established between Detroit and Philadelphia, with the airport probably located in the eastern section of this county.
He made it known that ford is at present operating his own air lines in the Middle West and has fourteen planes operating, carrying passengers and freight. There have been no casualties since the lines were placed in operation, he said, and the company is turning out one plane every fortnight, the cost of which is $45,000.
It was emphasized by an official of the plant this morning that 81 percent of those employed at the local plant are residents of Chester, the remainder out-of-town residents being experienced and skilled help that was brought here as a nucleus for the small army that will be employed when the plant is operating at capacity. It was also said that residents of Chester and vicinity are being given the preference in employment.