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Dutee Wilcox Flint was an interesting person. Ford Dealer, politician, oil dealer, yachtsman and owner of several Rhode Island Radio Stations. 1

Flint was born on December 19, 1882, in Cranston, Rhode Island, to George (30) and Emma (20) Flint. Flint was one of four children, he had two younger brothers George and Harvey as well as a younger sister Mary Etta. Flint married Rose "Mimi" Howard in Newport, Rhode Island, on April 18, 1905, when he was 22 years old. They had one son Dutee Wilcox II, born on October 30, 1908, in Rhode Island when he was 19 years old. Unfortunatly his son passed away on August 20, 1910, when he was 1 year old. 2


Ford

Dutee Wilcox Flint
the Oldest Ford Car Dealer in Point of Service
THE AUTOMOBILE JOURNAL
October, 1918


Flints accociation with Henry Ford came about due to another money making venture he was trying to start. In 1904 while riding on a train to from Chicago, where he had been trying to pomote a method of reproduing a photograph on metal, he picked up a magazine carrying advertisment for Ford's newly formed motor car firm. On his way home he stopped in Detroit and met with Ford and his bookkeeper and secretary James Couzens. He was told he could sell cars but he would need money to finance car purchases. He telephoned his wealthy grandfather, Dutee Wilcox, who was a realtor and diamond merchant, and secured a $10,000 loan. 3


Mercury Newport March 9, 1917


Sales of cars was slow at first with only wealthy men able to buy them. This all changed when Ford came out with the Model T. The business grew, with mass production in Detroit, creating a parallel growth in Flint's dealership. In a few years he had over a score of agencies. He becaome the largest auto dealer in the world. He had 25 agencies in southern New England, New York, Massachusetts, New Jersy and Ohio. His friendship with Mr. Ford ripened over a 1/4 Century and it extended to their famalies. 3


Newport Mercury July 31, 1920


In 1923 Flint Purchased the Steamship Transford. It was the only boat in the world that was used for the transportation of automobiles. Flint kept the steamer until 1929 when he sold it to the New England Steamship Company. After the sale the company continued to transport automobiles to long island sound and possibly Providence.


Newport Mercury March 15, 1929






The Bridgeport Telegram
September 1st 1923


In 1927, Ford moved production of the Thin Lizzie and started on the Model A. This shut down production for over a year. Flint's vertually one man managment operation and high life style could not handle the wait for new automobiles and he found himself $1,000,000 in debt. He also had plundged heavily into the stock market as well a operating an oil company. This all put him under close scrutiny of Ford officials who didn't share in Henry Ford's affection for Dutee. They forced him to liquidate everything he owned, surrender his Ford stock and the cash value of a $2,000,000 life insurance policy. Even after being drug through the ringer, Dutee never blamed Ford. Ford himself had to personally tell Flint the rutless steps needed. In the end Flint blamed it all on the Ford executives. 3

The Dutee W Flint oil company was not included in the liquidations. So later in 1928 he sold the company to The Standard Oil Company of New York. In exchnage he took $1,000,000 in stock as payment. Then in 1929 the stock market crashed. Flint ended up using this stock as colateral on two seperate loans with both the Providence firm of Mandeville, Brooks & Chafee and the Industrial Trust Company who's chairman was Colonel Nicholson. He claimed it was an honest mistake and later took full responsibility for the accounts. 3

In 1940, Flint sued Colonel Nicholson in a spectacular civil trial for $1,000,000 against the estate of Nicholson. Nicholson had promised the money to Flint after his death. It was finally settled for a fractional sum. 3

Special note: Dutee Wilcox Flint was also somewhat of an inventor and held or colborated on 9 Patents. 15



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Newport Mercury
November 24, 1939



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Newport Mercury
January 19, 1940



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Newport Mercury
June 6, 1941

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Newport Mercury
May 1, 1942

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Newport Mercury
May 1, 1942

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Newport Mercury
June 14, 1940

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The Times Munster, Indiana
February 19, 1925

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The Evening News
April 27, 1925

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Radio World
April 18, 1925

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Radio Digest
February 14, 1925

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Radio World
November 1 1930

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Popular Radio
May 1925


Radio Stations

Mr. Flint owned no fewer than 3 radio stations in Rhode Island during the 1920's. WKAP opened May 11th, 1924 4. The station was 500 watts making it one of the most powerful stations in the East. The station was installed in two rooms of concrete construction in the basement of the Flint residence. The station was one of only two stations in the country of the same type. It uses the lastest speech amplifiers assuring purity of tone and volume. The antenna was supported by 2 towers, 100 feet high 5. The residence on Narragansett Boulevard, Edgewood also had a $75,000 pipe organ 6. The last listing I could find for the WKAP was in Radio Age, September, 1925.

Then there was WKBF which opened in 1924 7 The last listing I could find for the WKBF was in Radio Age, September, 1925 and I believe it broadcast from the same location as WKAP. Finally there was WDWF started in June 30, 1925 and closing in June 30, 1928 8.





WKBF Antenna On The Roof Of The Residence Of Dutee Wilcox Flint, 1925



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Providnce Has Unique Broadcasting Station
Providence, Journal
April 26th, 1925
Section F Page 8



Lincoln Studios



WKBF, began broadcasting from Cranston, Rhode Island on June 15, 1924, 10 owned by Dutee Wilcox Flint and operating at 1050 kc.; 9 on June 30, 1925, the call letters were changed to WDWF, reflecting the owner's initials, and the station moved to 680 kc. 11 That December, Lincoln Studios began to share ownership of the station with Flint; Lincoln broadcast its programming under the call sign WLSI in 1927. 12 WDWF and WLSI moved to 800 kc. by June 30, 1927, 13 to 1090 kc. in October, 14 to 1150 kc. in November, 14 and to 1210 kc. in February 1928. 14 By 1930, the studios for WDWF and WLSI were located in Providence. 14


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Popular Communications
January 1986



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Providence Journal
March 12th 1924_2

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Radio Topics
June 1924



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Radio Age
May 1924



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Radio World
September 2 1922






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WWI Draft Card



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WWII Draft Card






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1 Dutee Wilcox Flint obituary

2 Dutee Wilcox Flint - LifeStory

3 Dutee Wilcox Flint obituary

4 WKAP

5 Radio Progress, May 5th, 1924

6 Newport Mercury December 9, 1932

7 WKBF

8 WDWF

9 U. S. Radio Stations as of June 30, 1924

10 History of American Broadcasting

11 Chronology of call letters WDWF

12 Rhode Island Radio, By John Rooke, Gary Berkowitz

13 U. S. Radio Stations as of June 30, 1927

14 WPRO