Setzer’s On Florida Avenue And A Henry J

March 12th, 2014, 12:15H · Topics: Around Town, Business, Getting Around · Print

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“One of the super Setzer’s store.  It was located on Florida Avenue near Duval Street.  It was burned out during the race riot in the 60’s. Photo about 1952.”  LS

Brothers Benjamin and Abraham Setzer arrived in Jacksonville in 1910 after fleeing Lithuania.  They started out in the Ice business and then started a lumber business but by 1918 Benjamin was working as a butcher and Abraham was a peddler.  Benjamin began working as a butcher for a small grocery store in Jacksonville’s Springfield neighborhood and by 1922 was running the business. Benjamin expanded from the original grocery store to a local then regional chain and by the late 1950′s there were fifteen Jacksonville locations and forty total around North and Central Florida.  In 1958 Benjamin Setzer sold his chain to Food Fair Stores.

Of additional interest in this photograph is the small car parked at the curb under the E in the Setzer’s sign (see detail below).  It is a Henry J, manufactured by the Kaiser-Frasier car company.  Designed as an inexpensive car  for less affluent buyers it first went to market in 1951 with a total price tag, including taxes for just under $1,300.00.  To accomplish this they built the car with the fewest possible parts and options.  There was no trunk lid so the trunk could only be accessed by folding down the rear seats.  The car had no glove compartment or arm rests.  It only came in a two door version with fixed rear windows and a four cylinder engine. By the end of 1951 the remaining cars that went unsold were given some cosmetic changes including a Continental Tire kit option and a new name, the Henry J Vagabond and sold as a 1952 model.  The car was also sold through Sears under the name Allstate. Later other modifications were made including offering a six cylinder engine and optional trunk lid. After the repackaged 1951 cars were sold the 1953 Henry J Corsair was introduced. The car had been restyled, given more features and better workmanship but the price went up and sales declined.  Just over 1,000 were made in 1954, the final year it was manufactured. Since this car has a trunk lid and the original body style I would say it is a 1952 model.

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About Photographer Loyd Sandgren

I first met Loyd Sandgren in 1997 as I was putting photo gear back into my car after... Learn More