michelin-man

5

Joyeux anniversaire André Michelin! (16 January 1853 – 4 April 1931) 

French industrialist who, with his brother Édouard (1859–1940), founded the Michelin Tyre Company (Compagnie Générale des Établissements Michelin) in 1888 in the French city of Clermont-Ferrand.In 1900, André Michelin published the first Michelin Guide, the purpose of which was to promote tourism by car, thereby supporting his tyre manufacturing operation. (Wikipedia)

1. View of Michelin tire, embossed with “Michelin et cie, Clermont-Ferrand.” Stamped on back: “Photo by F. Ed. Spooner, 1536 B'way, telephone 6536-38th St., New York, N.Y.” Handwritten on back: “Tires–Michelin tires, 1906." 

2. View of three posters advertising Michelin tires. Text on posters: "Michelin tires, famous throughout the world! Le Pneu Michelin, a vaincu le rail. Winner of every important race in the world in 1904-1905-1906, on all the best cars! Michelin tires do not rim cut! Michelin Products Selling Company Incorporated, 31-33 West 31st Street, N.Y. Sole American importers and representatives, E.D. Winans, gen'l mgr., tel. 5560-5561 Madison Sq.” Handwritten on back: “Posters, 1906." 

3. View of parade float featuring the Michelin Twins at 1909 New York automobile carnival parade. Signs displayed on float: "Michelin Twins” and “The Michelin tire surmounts all obstacles as usual.” Stamped on back: “Spooner & Wells, Inc., photographers, telephones 3472-3473 Columbus, 1931 Broadway, New York.” Handwritten on back: “Parades–New York automobile carnival, 1909." 

4. View of Michelin tires window display; sign next to tires in window reads: "Michelin tires win the grand prize at Savannah. First, Fiat, Michelin tires; 2nd, Benz; 3rd, Fiat; 4th, Benz.” Photographs of cars and tractor in window. Stamped on back: “Spooner & Wells, Inc., photographers, telephones 3472-3473 Columbus, 1931 Broadway, New York.” Handwritten on back: “Dealerships–Michelin Tire Co., 1908." 

5. View of Michelin tire. Stamped on back: "Spooner & Wells, Inc., photographers, telephones 3472-3473 Columbus, 1931 Broadway, New York.” Handwritten on back: “Tires–Michelin tires, 1911." 

  • Courtesy of the National Automotive History Collection, Detroit Public Library

Here’s an encounter with Bibendum, the Michelin Man, whom William Gibson has described as a stomach-churningly creepy, “weird, jaded, cigar-smoking elder creature suggesting a mummy with elephantiasis … the rolls of his pallid, rubbery flesh like the folds of a partially deflated blimp, greasy and vile” (Pattern Recognition). From The Saturday Evening Post, 1920.