Davis Hilmer – J.L. Hudson Company

RG 94-66  Davis Hilmer Collection

Davis B. Hillmer Collection
Commercial photographer, Detroit, Michigan
Fifty years in business, 1922-1972

c.1500, 8×10 prints and negatives
71 glass plate negatives
Cubic Feet: 3
Approximate Number of Items: 1500

Two pages typewritten autobiographic sketch,
Two advertising cards, blue print of Hudson’s department store indicating the windows for display.

1 – Picture – Davis B. Hillmer
1 – Calendar
1 – Photo – Hillmer Studio
1 – Copy – Handwritten – Autobiography of Davis B. Hillmer

Cubic feet: 3”
Approximate number of items: c1500

Biographic Note:
Davis B. Hillmer was a self-taught photographer.  His first commercial venture, in 1916, was selling postcard photos for $1.00 a dozen.  In 1917 he worked for Jeffery White, a commercial photographer, and he worked for the Curtis company.  In 1918, as a buck private, Mr. Hillmer set up the photo lab at Camp Custer.

In 1922, he began his own commercial photograph business in Detroit, Michigan, and continued for 50 years, retiring in 1972.  His work was mostly with department stores and industrial manufacturing companies.  His main accounts were J.L. Hudson Company, Hoskins Company, R.C. Mahon Company, and Wyandotte Chemical Company.  In addition to his commercial business, Mr. Hillmer was involved in photography as a pictorial art form.

Scope and Content:
This collection is found in 4 Hollinger boxes.

Box One
F1    Hillmer Biography (miscellaneous items)
F2    Mahon Company (miscellaneous photographs)
F3    Robotyper Company (miscellaneous photographs)
F4    Saks Fifth Avenue Store (photographs of window displays and interior)
F5    S.L. Bird & Sons Department Store (photographs of interior and exterior)
F6    Aerial View of Business District – Detroit
Automobile Club of Michigan
Bank – Interior
Belle Island Lighthouse
Belle Island Lighthouse (negative)
Clifford Hotel
Crowley Milner’s Department Store
Detroit Bagley Fountain
Detroit City Buildings (prints)
Detroit Cobo Hall
Detroit Demolition Area Jas. Caumpa at E. Congress (negative)
Detroit Harvester Company
Detroit High School, 1875 (built in front of Michigan’s First Capitol Building)
Detroit High School, 1875 (negative)
Detroit River covered with ice
Detroit Street (unidentified)
Dine Savings Bank
Dine Savings Bank (negative)
Farmer Street at Monroe (negative)
Ford Auditorium
Ford Motor Company Building – Interior
Ford Motor Company Building – Exterior
Fyfe Shoe Store
General Motors Corporation Laboratories
Golden Pheasant Tea Room
Grand Circus Park and R.H. Fyfe and Company and State Theatre (negatives)
Graybar Electric Company – Employees
Graybar Electric Company – Exterior
Graybar Electric Company – Interior
Homes on Douglas Street (negative)
Hotel Fuller – Around the Corner Michigan Theatre
Jefferson Avenue
Jefferson Avenue (negative)
La Fayette Tower?
Livingston Memorial (glass plate negative)
Lincoln Forging Company
Miller Jewelry
National Automotive Fibres, Inc. – Hoover Avenue Plant
Orpheum
Saks Fifth Avenue (negative)
Schmitz and Shroder Department Store – Exterior
Schmitz and Shroder Department Store – Window Displays
School of Metaphysics – Home of Truth
Skyline View of Business District from Downtown
Skyline View of Business District from Downtown
“Sleeping Room”
Storefront at 8228 Woodward (negative)
Vernor’s Ginger Ale
Wayne County Savings Bank
Western Farmers Market
F7    Detroit Armory – miscellaneous
Detroit Armory (negatives)
Detroit City Buildings – miscellaneous (negatives)
Doubleday Bookshops – exterior (negatives)
Doubleday Bookshops – interior (negatives)
Fisher Building Corridor (glass plate negatives)
Fox Theater – miscellaneous
Fox Theater Auditorium
Fox Theater Rotunda Jeffrey White Studio (glass plate negatives)
Hotel Statler (negative)
Michigan Theater
Museum of Modern Arts of New York City
Penobscot Building
Triton Fountain (negatives)
F8    Candler – Hill Corporation (negatives)
Ernst Kern Company
Ernst Kern Company (negative)
Ford Auditorium (negatives)
Fox Theater Rotunda Jeffrey White Studio (glass plate negative)
Jeri’s Restaurant (negatives)
J.L. Hudson Company
J.L. Hudson Store
J.L. Hudson Store (negatives)
John Ivory Company (negative)
Kern’s Store – Window Displays
Krolik Building Corporation (negatives)
Masonic Temple (negative)
Orpheum Theater (negative)
Penobscot Building (glass plate negative)
Pitney-Bowes, Inc. (negatives)
Unidentified Building (glass plate negative)
F9    Bottles, glass
Cement Work
Church – Interior
Cocktail Lounge
Detroit Buildings
Detroit Rotary Club Presentation of Plate
Furnace by Gale Furnace Company
Furniture Display – interior
Governor George Romney
Hoffheimer Collection of Miniature Rooms
Manufacturing Plant
Miscellaneous Photographs
Oil Can?
Piece of Equipment
Private Residence (various photographs)
Store – interior
Street of Stores
Table Setting (various photographs)
Westinghouse Demo
Whitier Hotel – Apt. 503
F10    Grocery Store
Hudson’s
Sams
Shoe Department
Window Display (negatives)
10 dollar note
10 dollar note (negative)
F11    Baker’s Confectioner’s Union
Car – Plymouth – Wrecked (negative)
Cow
Detroit Display Club (negative)
Dr. Studer’s Class – 1st Presbyterian Church
Freeman Shoe Department
Horse
Hoskins Manufacturing Company (negative)
Jeffrey White Incorporation
Jeffrey White Incorporation (glass plate negative)
Jr. Board of Commerce Membership Committee
Mannie Frank (glass plate negatives)
Michigan Horticulture Society – Hudson’s
Michigan Horticulture Society – Hudson’s (negatives)
Miscellaneous Photographs
Miller, Bryant and Peirce Company (negative)
Miscellaneous Photographs of Unidentified People
Muhleman and Farror Architects
Muhleman and Farror Architects (negatives)
Pig
Swedish Crucible Steel Company for Pittsburgh Lectrometal Furnace Corp.
Warren Webster Company
Window Display – Bulova Watches

Box Two
F1    Boat Marina (glass plate negative)
Hudson’s 50th Anniversary Display (glass plate negative)
La Salle, 1933 (glass plate negatives)
Soil Erosion (glass plate negatives)
U.S.S. De Kalb (glass plate negative)
F2    Detroit City Buildings (glass plate negatives)
Detroit Public Buildings (glass plate negatives)
Orange Crush Bottling Company (glass plate negative)
F3    Meyer Jewelry Company (negative)
Meyer Jewelry Company – Woodward Store – exterior (negative)
Meyer Jewelry Store
Meyer Jewelry Store (negatives)
Meyer Jewelry Store Advertisement
Meyer Treasure Chest Jewelry Store
Meyer Treasure Chest Jewelry Store (negatives)
F4    Hudson’s Promotion Displays for Selling War Bonds, 1943 (glass plate negatives)
F5    Hudson’s Promotion Displays for Selling War Bonds, 1943 (glass plate negatives)
Hudson’s Promotion Displays for Selling War Bonds, 1943 (negatives)

Box 3
F1    J.L. Hudson Interior Display – 1953 Buick Skylark
J.L. Hudson Interior Display – 1953  Cadillac
J.L. Hudson Interior Display – 1953 Hudson Jet
J.L. Hudson Interior Display – 1953 Lincoln Capri
J.L. Hudson Interior Display – 1953 Nash
J.L. Hudson Interior Display – 1953 Oldsmobile
J.L. Hudson Interior Display – 1953 Packard
J.L. Hudson Interior Display – 1953 Plymouth
J.L. Hudson Window Display – 1953
F2    J.L. Hudson Detroit Basement Store – miscellaneous photographs
J.L. Hudson Detroit Basement Store Photo Studio – miscellaneous photographs
J.L. Hudson Detroit Basement Store Window Display (negative)
F3    J.L. Hudson Company Holiday Lights
J.L. Hudson Company Holiday Lights (negatives)
J.L. Hudson Detroit Store
J.L. Hudson Detroit Store (negatives)
J.L. Hudson Detroit Store Exterior Flag Display
J.L. Hudson Detroit Store Exterior Flag Display (negatives)
J.L. Hudson Detroit Store Window Display
F4    Historic Fashions Celebrating Hudson’s 70th Year (negatives)
F5    Historical Fashions – Styles of the 1880s (negatives)
J.L. Hudson’s – 1880s
F6    J.L. Hudson’s “Alice in Wonderland”
J.L. Hudson’s Christmas Interior Display (negative)
J.L. Hudson’s Christmas Window Display (negatives)
J.L. Hudson Company’s Magazine Promotion (negatives)
J.L. Hudson’s Detroit Store – “Flowers, Fragrance and You” (negatives)
J.L. Hudson’s Eleven Christmas Doll Windows (negatives)
J.L. Hudson’s Greeting Cards Window Display
J.L. Hudson’s “Hickory, Dickory, Dock”
J.L. Hudson’s “Jack and the Beanstalk”
J.L. Hudson’s – Northland – “Signs of Spring”
J.L. Hudson’s – Northland – “Signs of Spring” (negatives)
J.L. Hudson’s “Northpole”
J.L. Hudson’s Shoes Window Display
J.L. Hudson’s “Sleeping Beauty”
J.L. Hudson’s “Snow White”
J.L. Hudson’s  “Winkin, Blinkin, and Nod”
F7    Iroquai China Company
Iroquai China Company (negatives)
J.L. Hudson’s China
J.L. Hudson’s English Silver Display (negatives)
J.L. Hudson’s Furniture
J.L. Hudson’s Home Furnishings
J.L. Hudson’s Home Furnishings (negatives)
J.L. Hudson’s Interior Decoration Studio
J.L. Hudson’s Linens
J.L. Hudson’s Photo Studio
J.L. Hudson’s Tableware
J.L. Hudson’s Yardgoods
F8    J.L. Hudson’s Cocktail Bar
J.L. Hudson’s Detroit – Interior
J.L. Hudson’s Dining Room
J.L. Hudson’s Interior
J.L. Hudson’s Lunchroom Bar
J.L. Hudson’s Magazine Promotion
J.L. Hudson’s Photo Studio
J.L. Hudson’s Pine Room – French Dining Rm – Early American Rm (negatives)
J.L. Hudson’s Toys
F9    J.L. Hudson’s “Back-To-School” Clothes Display Window
J.L. Hudson’s Children’s Clothes Window Display
J.L. Hudson’s Children’s Display (negative)
J.L. Hudson’s Luggage and Leather Goods Window Display
J.L. Hudson’s Magazine Promotion
J.L  Hudson’s Miscellaneous Gifts Window Display
J.L. Hudson’s Perfume Display
J.L. Hudson’s Shoe Department
J.L. Hudson’s Shoe Display
J.L. Hudson’s Shoe Display (negatives)
J.L. Hudson’s Window Display
J.L. Hudson’s Window Displays – Ernst Albert Land Paintings
J.L. Hudson’s Window Toy Display
F10    Hudson’s Holiday Parade
Hudson’s Miscellaneous Photographs
J.L. Hudson’s Sewing Festival
J.L. Hudson’s Sewing Festival (negatives)
J.L. Hudson’s Special Events
J.L. Hudson’s Special Program
F11    Hudson’s Basement Suburban Northland Store
Hudson’s Lincoln Park Store “Christmas Trims”
Hudson’s Miscellaneous Photographs
Hudson’s Northland – “Signs of Spring”
Hudson’s Suburban Eastland – “Spring is Everywhere at Hudson’s”
Hudson’s Suburban Eastland – “Spring is Everywhere at Hudson’s” (negatives)
Hudson’s Suburban Northland Main Store
Hudson’s Suburban Northland – “Spring is Everywhere at Hudson’s”
Hudson’s Suburban Northland – “Spring is Everywhere at Hudson’s” (negatives)
J.L. Hudson’s Northland Parking Lot
F12    Hudson’s Miscellaneous Photographs
J.L. Hudson’s Corset Department
J.L. Hudson’s Fabric Department (negatives)
J.L. Hudson’s Import Fair Interior – Subteen Fashion Panel
J.L. Hudson’s Lingerie Department (negatives
J.L. Hudson’s Lingerie Display Window (negative)
J.L. Hudson’s Suburban Store
J.L. Hudson’s Women’s Apparel
F13    J.L. Hudson Model for Regional Shopping Center for Detroit
F14    Kern’s Department Store – Founder’s Month (glass plate negatives)
Kern’s Department Store Window Display (glass plate negatives)
Kern Silver Jubilee Building (glass plate negative)

Box 4
F1    Fred Saunder’s Bakery Party
Hudson’s Outdoor Fair on Woodward Avenue
Miscellaneous Detroit Special Events
F2    Creative Imagery
F3    J.L. Hudson’s Car Displays
J.L. Hudson’s Car Displays – 1948 Studebaker
J.L. Hudson’s Car Displays – 1952 Ford Victoria
J.L. Hudson’s Car Displays – 1953 Buick Skylark
J.L. Hudson’s Car Displays – 1953 Cadillac 62 Sedan
J.L. Hudson’s Car Displays – 1953 Chrysler Newport
J.L. Hudson’s Car Displays – 1953 Chrysler New Yorker Deluxe Newport
J.L. Hudson’s Car Displays – 1953 Ford Crestline Victoria
J.L. Hudson’s Car Displays – 1953 Ford Victoria
J.L. Hudson’s Car Displays – 1953 Hudson Jet
J.L. Hudson’s Car Displays – 1953 Lincoln Capri
J.L. Hudson’s Car Displays – 1953 Nash Ambassador
J.L. Hudson’s Car Displays – 1953 Nash Country Club
J.L. Hudson’s Car Displays – 1953 Oldsmobile Holiday
J.L. Hudson’s Car Displays – 1953 Oldsmobile 98 Holiday Coupe
J.L. Hudson’s Car Displays – 1953 Packard Caribbean
J.L. Hudson’s Car Displays – 1953 Packard Convertible
J.L. Hudson’s Car Displays – 1953 Plymouth Belvedere
J.L. Hudson’s Car Displays – 1953 Plymouth Cranbrook Belvedere
J.L. Hudson’s Car Displays – 1957 Pontiac Star Chief
F4    1877 Selden Car
1898 Woodward Avenue
1899 Columbus Electric
1902-1910 Car
1904 Danaiq
1904 Pope Tribune
1905 Amerivan
1905 Autoshow
1905 Cars
1905 Foreign Car
1905 Napier
1905 White Steamer
1905-1906 Packard Model S
1907 Demonstration of the Selden Car
1907 or 1908 Maxwell – Model “A” 2 Cycle
1907-1909 Napier
1908 Locomobile
1909 Franklin
1909 Hudson Roadster Model 20
1909-1910 Cars
1910 Olds Limited
1910 Whitegas Car
1911 Whitegas Car
1914 San Francisco Concert Hall
1915 Alter
1915 Alter Shop Exterior
1915 Alter Shop Interior
1915 Ford T
1917 Buick
1917 Silver Knight
1919 Ford Model T
1920 Foreign Auto Show
1920 Oldsmobile
1922 Essex
1922 or 1923 Aron DeRoy Motor Car Company
1923 Columbus
1924 Essex 6
1924 Packard
1925 Diana Sports Model
1926 Masterbiet
1928 Model A Ford
1929 De Soto
1929 Pierce Arrow
1929 or 1930 Viking
1930 Pierce Arrow
1930 Pierce Arrow Cabrolette
1931 Chrysler Showroom
1931 Willys-Knight
1933 Cadillac V-16
1933 La Salle
1933 Reo-Royal
1934 or 1935 Packard One Twenty
1935 Desoto
1937 Packard (negative)
Double-decker Bus
Mechanics Working on Engine
Miscellaneous Cars
Miscellaneous Cars (negatives)
Packard
Speedometer
F5    1905 Truck
1916 “The Commercial Motor Car”
1922 Woodward Avenue
1922 Mack Bull Dog Truck
1929 Mack Bull Dog
1935 Ford
1936 Dodge
Car Trailer
Dodge
G.M.C.
Miscellaneous Trucks
F6    Miscellaneous Objects
F7    1903 Peerless
1904 White Steamer
1905 Franklin
1907 White Steamer
1907 or 1908 Oldsmobile
1909 E-M-F Car or 1909 Glidden Tour to Denver
1909 Hudson
1909 Oldsmobile
1909 Showmut
1909 or 1910 Fal-Car – Made in Chicago
1910 White Gas Car
1910 White Steamer
1914 Stutz Race Cars
1916 Saxon Roadster
Benz Racers
Boston – New York – Seattle
Car Races
Detroit Car
Indianapolis 500 – First Ever
Miscellaneous Cars
New York to St. Louis Tour – 1904
Six Cylinder Race – 1905
Stanley Steamer – establishing 100 mile per hour record
Steam Cars – c.1901
Vanderbuilt Cup Races – 1909
White Steamer?
F8    Hillmer Advertising Sheets
F9    Flower Builders Show – 1961
F10    Houses – Interiors
Stores – Interiors
Buildings – Interiors
Yacht – Interiors
F11    Scale Model Apartments
Scale Model Houses
F12    23rd Street House
501 Hubbard
774 Hubble
786 Ferdinand
802 Ferdinand
812 Vinewood
820 Vinewood
1252 23rd Street
2045-2047 5th Street
2243-2247 Henry Street
3062-3064 Bristl on 22nd St.
3080 Maybury Grand
4297 Spring Street
Ben Franklin School
Church 1875 A.D. on Corner of Brooklyn and Temple
Corner of Bagley at 23rd Street
Elizabeth Gully School
Fifth Street looking North to Elton Park
Fifth Street at Elizabeth from Crawford Pard
Immanuel Lutheran Church
Maybury Grand Medical
Miscellaneous Houses
Pitcher School – 1871
St. Ann’s Church
22nd at Ruskin – Southeast Corner
F13    Automotive Parts – Manufacturing
Automotive Parts – Manufacturing (negatives)
Genimer Stearing Gear
F14    Bedell’s Window Display
Bird’s Window Display
Detroit Store Window Displays
F.G. Clayton Company Window Display
Fyfes Window Display
Healy’s Window Display
J.L. Hudson’s Window Display
J.L. Hudson’s Window Display – Home Furnishings
J.L. Hudson’s Window Display – Rugs
Saks Window Display
Sam’s Detroit Window Display
Window Display – Salute of Honor to the Detroit Public Library 75th Anniversary
F15    Detroit Institute of Art Building
Detroit Institute of the Arts Building – Before it Formally Opened
Detroit Institute of the Arts – Interior of the Italian Room (glass plate negatives)
Detroit Institute of the Arts – pre 1930
Detroit Institute of the Arts – pre 1930 (glass plate negatives)
Detroit Institute of the Arts – pre 1930 (negatives)
Simon J. Murphey Store – 1923 (glass plate negative)
F16    Old Wayne County Courthouse – Exterior (negatives)
Old Wayne County Courthouse – Interior (negatives)
F17    Charles Trowbridge House 1826
Moross House – Oldest Brick House in Detroit?
Moross House – Oldest Brick House in Detroit? (negatives)
Seraphico Francesco Church – Roman Catholic Church A.D. 1898
Seraphico Francesco Church – Roman Catholic Church A.D. 1898 (negatives)
F18    American Smelting Company
Industrial Photographs
Vernor’s Ginger Ale
F19    Greenfield Village – Dearborn (negatives)
F20    Flowers (postcard)
Plymouth, MI – Alter Motor Car Company (postcard)
Plymouth, MI – Blunk Avenue (postcard)
Plymouth, MI – Main Street (postcard)
Plymouth, MI – Main Street and Penniman Avenue Street Corner (postcard)
Plymouth, MI – Penniman Avenue (postcard)
Plymouth, MI – Presbyterian Church (postcard)
Plymouth, MI – View on New York Streets (postcard)
Plymouth, MI – Williams Bro’s Company (postcard)
F21    J.L. Hudson Company – Leroy Bros. Circus Display (negatives)
F22    Stark Hicky Family Private Party
F23    G. Cranbrook School – 1946 (negatives)
F24    Hudson’s – Ernest Albert Land Paintings – Art Galleries and Window
Hudson’s – Ernest Albert Land Paintings – Art Galleries and Window (negatives)
F25    5000 Pelton Road – North of Drayton Plains
Outdoor Scenes
Outdoor Scenes (negative)
Y.M.C.A. Camp at Oscoda Michigan
F26    65 West Canfield Street (negative)
Birds
Boat Motor
Bolts of Material (negative)
Chicago World’s Fair 1893
Crocodiles (negative)
Detroit Waterfront in 1887 – Supplement to the Detroit Evening Journal May 7
Exterior Gate – Fence (negative)
Funeral
Lucius Copeland Steam Tricycle – 1888
Miscellaneous Photographs
Steam Powered Bicycle
World War I – Weapons
F27    Bridges – Ambassador Bridge
Miscellaneous Photograph
Transportation – Airplanes
Transportation – Horse Drawn Wagon
F28    Al Caldwell Age 18 – The Curtis Company Art Department 1918
Alexander Winton – Auto Maker
Henry Ford – Auto Maker
Louis Chevrolet – Auto Maker
President Theodore Roosevelt
Roy Dikeman Chapin – U.S. Secretary of Commerce
F29    Miscellaneous Photographs of Unidentified People

2 Demonstration Books
1 – Large With Contents Including…
The Byzantine Room – The Detroit Institute of Arts – Award
Café Cadillac
Creative Imagery of Houses
Creative Imagery of Landscapes
Governor and Mrs. George Romney and Children
Industrial Photographs
Interiors – Houses, Buildings, Stores, and Yachts
J.L. Hudson’s Dining Room Interior
J.L. Hudson’s Home Furnishings
Miscellaneous Houses
Miscellaneous Photographs
Outdoor Scenes
Saks Fifth Avenue Department Store – New Center Building
Special Events
Store Interior

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5 Comments on “Davis Hilmer – J.L. Hudson Company”


  1. Hi from Texas! I purchased an old rose gold watch with cloth band that was tucked in an old tan leather pouch. There was a gold inscription on the leather pouch that read Schmitz and Shroder. Do you have any idea who or what the inscription is? This site about Davis Hiller has a Schmitz and Shroder Department Store listed. I am at a deadend on information. Could you please help me? Thanks a million!


  2. Not all diamond jewelry stores are the same so check reviews first before buying on a jewelry store;,”


  3. i like both modern arts and classic arts because they both good _


  4. some jewelry stores offer a good deal of bargain for their new jewelry styles -‘`

  5. bette gardner chayer Says:

    wHILE GROWING UP IN HOLLYWOOD, FLORIDA, I MET A GIRL FROM DETROIT. HER NAME WAS JANET JONES. HER PARENTS OWNED GOLDEN PHEASANT TEAROOM.

    i SAW WHERE MR HILMER HAS A PHOTO IN HIS ARCHIVES. IS IT POSSIBLE TO SEND A COPY TO ME E-MAIL?


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