Saturday, July 14, 2012
Flint- the Vehicle City
I asked a staff member at the museum where the name Buick came from. She informed me that David Buick was an inventor- his first invention was applying vitreous enamel to cast iron bathtubs. After that his interest turned to engines and making spark plugs. He founded the Buick Company in 1906, which later became part of General Motors. With the auto industry up and running, Flint became a boom town in the early 1900s. Its population was 150,000 in 1925. In 1929 30 % of its population was foreign born- many people came from around the world to work in the auto plants. At this time also many homes were razed to make room for auto factories, parking lots and garages. Places to live became hard to find in Flint. Of course all that changed for Flint when the depression years arrived, and shortly after that World War 11. With the war women were then recruited to work in the factories of Flint. The city has not since seen the boom years of the early 1900s.
Before closing, I want to mention the logo of Chevrolet, which is referred to as a bow tie. It is not certain where Durant got the idea. He second wife claims that he saw the design in an advertisement for small coal briquets ( "CoalEttes") when they were vacationing in Virginia.