Tuesday, May 19, 2015

From the Vertical Files: A Michigan Driver License from the First Year of Issue

Tuesday's Tip

You never know what you might find. That is why it is so important to prepare a research plan when you visit a library/archive or similar institution. Learn all you can about a repository's resources and its collections -- use those online resources like the online catalog to prepare before you leave home. It is also important to take a look around once you arrive because not everything is online at most places.

Local History Vertical Files at Mount Clemens Public Library
So if you have Macomb County roots, have you investigated the vertical files in Mount Clemens Public Library's Local History and Genealogy Room? Now not every family is represented in the files but there are a variety of topics relating to Mount Clemens and Macomb County.

Here's a look at one item from one of the files. This comes from the Priehs file.

First Drivers License of Mrs Dora Priehs
Even though it is just a photocopy and not the original, it is still interesting to see what a driver license from the first year Michigan started issuing driver licenses (1919 by the way) looks like. The license was good for one year. (Michigan issued chauffeur licenses as of 1915.)

Supposedly this was the first driver license issued in Macomb County. Dora Priehs (maiden name Wolf) was the wife of Frank Priehs. Frank went into business with his brother Louis, forming Priehs Brother Automotive Sales in July 1919 after buying out Louis' partner.

Here's a look at Henry Ford's first drivers license from the website/blog of The Henry Ford. If you looked at Henry' Ford license did you notice anything? Dora and Henry's were issued the same day and it appears Dora got her's approved before Henry.

Now some collections have different rules and that is the case with the Mount Clemens Public Library's Local History Vertical File Collection. To see a file, you need to request it by filling out a purple slip (located on top of the cabinets) and giving it to a genealogy room volunteer or a staff member at the Information Desk. When you are finished with the file, return it directly to the volunteer or the staff member at the Information Desk. Do not leave the file unattended in the room.

So remember to investigate the places you plan to visit ... you never know what you might find.

See you soon at Mt. Clemens Public Library!

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