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Quiz #289 Results
Quiz #289
January 23, 2011
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Easy:  Approximately Jan 20 -Feb 13, 1914
Medium:  Ann Arbor, MI
Hard:  717 N. University Ave.
Easy: What month and year was this photo taken?  
Medium: What city was it taken in?
Hard: What location in this city was it taken?
The idea for this quiz was submitted by Ed Vielmetti
From the Oswego (NY) Daily
Palladium 1901
Comments from Our Readers
This one was tough and I am glad that it did not end on Sunday. I used the posters for
movies to get the date; I searched the 1915 City Directory until I located the Barber
Shop. Another exhausting but interesting quiz, thanks.                                
 Jim Kiser

This was a tough one but I *think* I have this one right.  The picture was taken in Ann
Arbor, MI around February of 1950 (assuming that the ads were not just left up for a
long time).

I believe, based on the one small church photo I found on this site:, that this picture was
taken somewhere on Maynard Street.  The church is listed as being on State Street
between Liberty and William Streets, and Maynard is a small street piggybacking that
one so the church would have been seen in the background as it is in the photo in the
contest.  I could not find a barbershop in Ann Arbor from the past with the name 'John'
in the title so I had to look for church steeple photos of downtown Ann Arbor, it took
hours but it was fun!  Hope I got this one or at least am close with the address - have a
good night!                                                                                        
Nicole Blank

I searched "traffic in souls" in newspaperarchhive webpage and found the movie was
shown all over Michigan in 1914. No Ann Arbor newspaper was archived,
unfortunately. With out the ad, I would have said the month was April. Didn't think the
snow would melt that soon.                                                            
Arthur Hartwell

Well, I don't think I'm going to get [the hard part]. No more time to spend on it. Fun,
though. I've enjoyed the hunt as far as I could take it. I'll be fascinated to see the results.
Peter Norton
Great quiz! I hope I'm right! I attacked this first by looking for the location of The
Oswald Dietz & Son Barrel House from the bill in the center of the photo and found it
located at 122 Washington Street West Tel 2006 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Taken From
"Polk's Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Washtenaw City/County Directory of 1916" and then
started to look at the other bills. I also looked at the Overland car ad and found a picture
of a 1913 Overland 4-Passenger Touring car that was very similar to this billboard ad
graphic, that ot be in the ballpark. I also noted the partial name (John Tr_ _) from the
barber shop awning and matched it up to the Polk's Directory and got a hit for another
Ann Arbor location! The rest was just deducing the many bills and ads for the films and
theatres and when they were playing.                                 
Robert W. Steinmann Jr.

My struggle with this picture - Church in background.  Churches are not torn down as
a general rule, but I can't find anything in a current map with that type of steeple!
Roberta Martin
Many Great Ways to Solve This Puzzle!
Arthur Hartwell:

I searched D Hope Leonard and got a book seller with an
original program from the Alice in wonderland play in the
Whitney Theater Feb. 13 and 14. The book seller was in Ann
Arbor. From that I learned a lot about the Whitney and
Orpheum Theaters. I found a site that showed pictures of
the Overland Automobile for each year of manufacture.
Unfortunately, I didn't save it and can't return. The Days of
Days picture was released Jan 20, 1914. The Whitney
Theater started showing pictures in 1914. If the Traffic in
Souls add can be located at ground lever in early March, the
snow will probably be gone by the end of the month.

I found Polk's Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Washtenaw County
directory, 1914 at A T might be peaking out
from the barber pole followed by a R and O. The list of Ann
Arbor barbers had only one with first name John. He was
John P Trojanowski at 717 North University Ave.

Jim Kiser:

I had to really dig on this one. The Key was finding the
Overland Ad thus fixing the approximate year. I used Cyril
Scott Ad to nail the date down. Then finding which years
had a Friday 13th. Next finding a reference that zeroed in on
Ann Arbor and finally a Ann Arbor directory that listed
Barber Shops which fit the name John (X)RO(?)
I expect it more likely taken in January than Feb because of
the theater ads would be up at least two weeks prior to the
showing. Keep 'em coming, it starts my Sundays off.

Collier Smith:

This was a little harder than usual. Close inspection of
everything turned up no overt clues about the town.

After googling around on several of the advertisements with
no luck, I tried "oswald dietz barrel house" and found it in
the Ann Arbor, MI, 1916 city directory. There were also a
City Bakery, and Orpheum and Whitney theaters. So I
decided the town was Ann Arbor.

Looked in that city directory for "john" and "barber" and
found "John Trojanowski" at 717 University Ave North, as
the only barber with a name that starts "TRO" (as on the
awning at lower right).

So the location is 717 University Ave North, Ann Arbor, MI.
This is currently a parking garage. The steeple in the
background appears to be on the site of the present day First
United Methodist church on State St., about 2 blocks NW.

Returning to your "Easy" question, I googled Cyril Scott in
"The Day of Days" and found it came out in 1914. The
movie "Traffic in Souls" came out on 24 November 1913,
but the poster at lower left has a Mar 9 date on it. So I
would guess the date of the mystery photo is during
Feb-Mar 1914. The "Alice in Wonderland" ad has a date of
"Friday, Feb 13" (as best I can make out), and a perpetual
calendar says that Feb 13th was on Friday in 1914.

There is no way to determine if the posters are old and
outdated, but I suspect not. I think they were covered by
new posters as soon as the run was over.

So, all in all, I think the picture was taken between Feb 1 and
Mar 16, 1914. The "Alice" stage show could have run longer
than a movie, and movies probably weren't advertised a
whole month in advance, so that could narrow it down to
late February, 1914.

If one had access to historical weather data for this place,
the scraps of snow in the gutter would be a good clue: it
snowed an inch or more a few days before the picture was
taken. That could narrow the window considerably. I didn't
find a free archive of data.

(I also think the time was around 9 or 10 a.m., because
Univ. Av. is an east-west street, and the shadow of the
barber pole is pointing at a substantial angle to the street,
about 45 degrees northwest, I would judge. This means the
time would be around 9 a.m., give or take.)

(This analysis took me about 4 hours, including time for
lunch and composing this note.)
Are you sure the “Easy” question was really easy?  If so,
there is some really big clue that I missed.

I started with the “Medium” question.  A search of Oswald
Dietz Barrel House came up with this:  Oswald Dietz, Dietz
Barrel House, 122 West Washington Street,  Ann Arbor,
Michigan  “Mail Orders Solicited”.  [1916 Polk city
directory]   To double check, the Gillette Company appears
in the same directory.  Interestingly, someone had crossed
out the name in the image I was looking at.  I had to wonder
if they had gone out of business.  That was a wild guess on
my part, but if I was correct then the date the picture was
taken would likely have been some time before that.

Then for the “Hard” question:  As long as I was in the 1916
Polk city directory, I searched for barbers.  [There were a
lot of barbers in Ann Arbor in 1916.]  In the photo I can see
on the awning the name John followed by a space (covered
by the barber pole, and the letters RO, possibly TRO, in that
order.  In the directory there was a John P Trojanowski,
barber, 717 N University Avenue.   Google maps puts that
address on or across the street from the University of
Michigan campus in Ann Arbor.  I vote for across the street
from the campus.  There were two old Methodist churches
with spires similar to that in the background of the photo.  
One had two spires, the other had only one.  That one was
at the corner of East(?) State and East Washington.  [Again,
1916 Polk city directory.]  There is still a Methodist Church
there, but the spire is gone.  To see that spire in the
background the photo would have had to have been taken
from the school campus looking north.  That puts 7!
17 N University Avenue across the street from the campus.

Now for the “Easy question.  [Ha!]  I started by looking for
photos of Overland cars.  But, alas, when they were passing
out skills at birth, they missed me when it came to
bestowing the ability to recognize automobile details.  Then I
went on to the Alice and Wonderland play at the New
Whitney.  A dead end as it relates to Ann Arbor.  I could
have searched for the product posters, but the sale of a
product is not likely to narrow down a specific month and

That left the theater posters.  Although the poster for the
New Whitney Theater is partly obscured, we have to be
talking about a year that included a Friday the 13th in the
month of February.  In the early part of the 1900’s, the only
years that contained a Friday the 13th in a February were
1903, 1914, 1920, 1925 and 1931.  In the current day and
age, those types of posters could stay up for decades before
they were removed or replaced.  There are too many other
place to get the same information.  The posters get
forgotten.  But, in the early part of the 20th century, I
suspect they were replaced more frequently so people would
know what is coming up.

The Whitney Theatre was constructed in 1871 and was used
for stage productions.  It showed its first movie in 1914.  
The Whitney didn't switch to a movies-only program until
the mid-30s.  The movie poster in the bottom left of the
photo is for “Traffic in Souls” which was released on
November 24, 1913.  So, it would have come to the Whitney
after that date.  The Orpheum Theater poster shows Cyril
Scott in “The Day of Days”.  That came out January 24,
1914.  That puts the picture in the winter of 1913/1914.  
And, posters provide advance notice of what’s coming up,
but not too far in advance lest we forget.

There are traces of snow on the ground.  In Ann Arbor, the
winter of 1913/1914 had only 3.8 inches of snow…no
snowmen!  I see no sign of Christmas decorations in the
barber shop, so I’m eliminating December 1913.  That
leaves 1914 before February 13th.

Lots of assumptions on my part!

Carol Farrant
There are several clues that suggest the photo was taken in the month of January or
February. It is obvious that there is ice on the ground and no leaves on the trees.
Additionally, there is a nativity scene on the west wall that is beginning to show signs of
Many Clues to the Date
Thanks to Talea Jurrens for providing much of the solution to this week's puzzle.
The Cyril Scott movie poster for The
Day of Days gives a clue for the year
and a further clue to the date .
According to the January-March 1914
issue of The Moving Picture World, it
was released on January 20th, 1914.
Another clue as to the year is given by
the New Whitney Theatre poster
announcing the New Alice in
Wonderland production. The date of the
show is February 13 which falls on a
Friday in 1914.
More info about Alice
The date can be further narrowed down by the movie and theatre posters to
approximately January 20-February 13, 1914.
Many Clues to the City
The ads for two theatres and one restaurant/bar give clues to show the picture was
taken in Ann Arbor, MI.
The New Whitney Theatre was found in the 1911 Ann Arbor, Michigan City Directory.
According to the Cinema Treasures website, it was originally built in 1871, closed in
1952 and demolished in 1956 to make way for a larger theatre that was never built. and
I believe the picture was taken
in either late January or early
February 1914.  I came to
this conclusion because of
“The Day of Days” movie
poster and the “Friday Feb
13” date directly above and
The Orpheum Theatre was
found in the 1917 Ann
Arbor, Michigan City
Directory. According to the
Ann Arbor Digital Library
website, it was constructed
by clothier J. Fred Wuerth
and opened in 1913. It was
the first theatre in town to
show movies. and
Undated photo of Orpheum Theatre versus present use as a restaurant.
The listing for Oswald Dietz Barrel
House was found in the 1916 Ann
Arbor, Michigan City Directory as well
as earlier directories. It conveniently
lists his home address along with other
Dietz family members. The same
location was home to the Del-Rio Bar,
which eventually closed in 1995,
making it a long running location for
local taverns.
Oswald Dietz c 1890
“The 1890s sign on what had been built as John J. Wagner Jr.'s Carriage and
Blacksmith Shop on the corner of Ashley points across Washington Street to Michael
Staebler's American Hotel (originally the Germania). The Stabelers ran other businesses
nearby: groceries, coal, bicycles, and autos. The awning shades Oswald Dietz's Saloon,
the first of a series of saloons to occupy this space for over a hundred years.“
One Good Clue to the Address
The best clue to the location is the
partial name of the barber that
appears on the awning to the
right. The barber's name was
John __ro__, and the first letter
of his name is probably a T.
This ad is from the 1912 Michiganensian.
John Trojanowski’s barber shop is found in the 1911 Ann Arbor, Michigan City
Directory at 717 N. University Ave. This is across from the U of Michigan campus.
It’s very hard to see here, but
there is a sign that is partially
visible and you can just make out
the word had. Since the
Stenographic Institute is listed at
711 N. University Avenue in the
1911 Polk Directory, one can
assume that this was short for
The location today across from the campus of the University of Michigan.
The church steeple can be identified from the Polk's directory as that of the
First Methodist Church on State St.
behind it.  The date of the photo couldn’t be earlier than
January 20th, 1914 since that was when “The Day of Days’
movie was released, and I don’t believe the Gillette Company
would have left the advertisement up for “The New Alice in
Wonderland” show very long after the Friday and Saturday
(the 13th and 14th) presentations.  The theatres where “The
Days of Days” and “The New Alice in Wonderland’ were
presented were the Orpheum and the New Whitney theatres,
respectively, which were located in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  
The exact location of the photograph is on the central
campus of the University of Michigan in the 700 block of
North University Avenue.  The barber shop in the photo was
owned by John P. Trojanowski which Ann Arbor City
Directories indicate was at 717 N. University Avenue.  I’ve
attached a photo, which you may already have, called “Otto’
s Band Marches West On North University, Memorial Day,
1914.”  The barber pole in your photo can be seen in the
“Otto’s Band…” photo at the top center. Here is the link to
the photo if you don’t have it:
Daniel E. Jolley
Looking north on State Street. Beyond the small shopping
area, both sides of the Sate Street were still residential in
the 1870s. The tall building in the distance is the old First
Methodist Church.
The Overland car in the ad appears to
have been a 1913 or 1914 model. A
real bargain at $950!
List of Related Links
Courtesy of Robert W. Steinmann Jr.

Polk's Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Washtenaw County Directory

Whitney Theatre
Orpheum Theatre
Arcade Theatre and Arcade Theatre
Wuerth Theatre

Day of Days
Traffic in Soles

History of the State Street Area near the First Methodist Church
While I was doing a search on Ann
arbor in google images I found a
picture of my great great uncle John
McPherson who was a shotput
champion . He died in 1895 when he
fell from one of the gates at the Soo
Locks in Sault Ste. Marie Michigan.

Sharon Taber