Inventions Made In Flint, MI And Not Auto-Related
Since Flint has a rich and storied Auto-Industry history, mostly centered around General Motors, have you ever wondered if anything else was invented or manufactured here? Turns out, our industrious past is rich with inventions & patents -- mostly from one guy!
Introducing, Lloyd Copeman, a former resident and inventor from Hadley Township and Flint, Michigan. He was born in December 1881 and lived around the area until his death in July 1956. Copeman was brilliant when it came to ideas.
Think of every appliance in your home -- even gadgets! There's a chance Lloyd Copeman invented it! He is responsible for inventing the electric stove/oven range. It was called the Copeman Electric Cook Stove -- this one is on display at the Sloan Museum in Flint. (Keep in mind, gas stoves were popular before this time. His invention was referred to as a "fireless cooker." Even more information here.)
Take a look at that brochure! This was revolutionary technology born in Flint! Look closely, you can see an alarm clock not just for telling time, but for cooking & baking. His first stove was invented and manufactured in 1914. Copeman produced numerous models and sizes at the "World's Largest" factory according to the brochure, below, right here in Flint, MI
Lloyd Copeman had around 700 patents filed. Some of his most popular inventions include the electric toaster (with a bread turner) and rubber ice cube trays from the Copeman Laboratories, Company -- another division based near Detroit.
Copeman spent 50 years inventing products. His biography has been shared and expanded upon over the years. He was featured in Popular Mechanics in 1954 -- and more recently his grandson Kent L. Copeman wrote about his grandfather's legacy. (Read more of those articles here.) This letter from 1913 to his father describes his passion and drive to create success.
One of my favorite parts of his legacy is a story about Copeman attending a trade show in search of investors to get the electric stove/cooktops into mass production. In short, a leader at Westinghouse Electric Corporation helped with the investments and eventually bought the company in 1917, moving production to Mansfield, Ohio.
Enjoy more from all around Michigan, here:
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