My History

My History

Alfred Pritchard Sloan, Jr. was very wealthy. One of the nation’s first corporate executive success stories, Sloan became rich not through inventiveness, but through earning a salary and receiving stock options. His GM shares made him one of the world’s richest men. By the time he was 90, he’d given hundreds of millions of dollars to further medical research and technology through his eponymous philanthropic foundation while still retaining a personal fortune of a quarter-billion dollars.

Machine Man

Throughout MCM’s exploration of General Motors’ history, we’ve focused on the inchoate beginnings of what was later the model of efficiency and the power of precision. But who enacted this change? Who made the name of General Motors synonymous with industrial production? Answer: Alfred P. Sloan, Jr. Undoubtedly, Alfred Sloan is a mysterious figure. The…

June 1, 2014

My History

A Spark of Brilliance The Flamboyant Albert Champion

A Spark of Brilliance The Flamboyant Albert Champion

A lover of fast machines and fast women, Albert Champion lived one of the most dramatic lives of any of the automobile barons. Champion was born in Paris on April 2, 1878. In 1899, he lived up to his name when he won the fourth Paris-Roubaix, one of the earliest and most challenging bicycle road…

May 1, 2014

My History

The Shadow Men of Buick Part III: Lost in the Shadows

The Shadow Men of Buick Part III: Lost in the Shadows

The first two installments of this series focused on David Buick and other men who worked to get the Buick Motor Company off the ground at the dawn of the 20th century. Last month, we left off with Durant’s 1904 takeover of Buick. The explosive growth of the company after that takeover is well remembered…

April 1, 2014

My History

In this series, we seek to discover the men whose accomplishments and contributions to the auto industry were overshadowed by Buick Motor Co. Even David Dunbar Buick seems to be lost in the shadows; how much more so men like Walter Marr, Eugene Richard and others? In our last issue, we discussed David Buick’s halting entry into the automobile market and subsequent move to Flint, under the direction of James Whiting.

The Shadow Men of Buick Part II: Getting their Buicks in a Row

James H. Whiting was born in Torrington, CT in 1842. He served in the 23rd Connecticut Infantry during the Civil War and afterwards made his way to Flint. In 1882, he became manager of the Begole, Fox & Company lumber mills, whose anemic outputs resulted from the severe depletion of timber surrounding the town. Whiting…

March 1, 2014

My History

A Stained-Glass Mystery

A Stained-Glass Mystery

Recessed within the main sanctuary of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church is an alcove called The Five Sisters Chapel. Light shines through a large stained-glass window depicting five women preparing to enter a door to Christ, who stands waiting. A plaque on the wall dedicates the Chapel to the memory of Margaret McFarlan, Eliza Henderson, Almira…

March 1, 2014

My History

Perspective From Our Past Presidents

Perspective From Our Past Presidents

“However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines…

February 17, 2014

My History

Reaching Our Roots Flint Genealogical Society follows the threads of family

Reaching Our Roots Flint Genealogical Society follows the threads of family

Family trees are often drawn depicting one’s ancestors in the branches above a living descendent; however, that visual is rather misleading. A more accurate version would show our forefathers as roots, for each of us has a family that grounds us, orients us, and makes us who we are. The further you search backward, the…

February 1, 2014

My History

The Shadow Men of Buick Motor Co.

The Shadow Men of Buick Motor Co.

The American auto industry was built haphazardly, in leaps and bounds, regressions and sudden spurts of innovation. The whole nation became fascinated with automobiles and worked concurrently, almost feverishly, to be the first to begin producing this machinery. Early automotive companies were named after the men who began them: Franklin, Oldsmobile, Marmon, Ford, Chrysler etc….

February 1, 2014

My History

Josiah W. Begole A Portrait of the American Spirit

Josiah W. Begole A Portrait of the American Spirit

Flint Governor Series Part Two Michigan’s 19th governor was born far from the state in which he spent the majority of his life. Like many early Michigan settlers, he came from New York. Josiah Begole witnessed a number of radical changes in American life during the span of his life, and his political career encapsulates…

December 1, 2013