Monday, February 23, 2009

Flint Artifacts: Helmac Lint Roller


Expatriate Shawn Chittle provided this rare artifact — a Flint-made Helmac lint roller used to promote Michael Moore's Roger & Me.

Shawn writes: "Most were confiscated by Canadian customs when the marketing staff tried to take them to Toronto, where the film premiered more than 20 years ago on Saturday, Sept 9 at 9 p.m. Only a few of those lint rollers ever saw the light of day. In 2000 the company relocated to Georgia, and shortly after changed its name.

6 comments:

  1. Hello, Antiques Road Show...
    (or..You can't spell Flint without L-I-N-T.)

    I happen to have of of those Helmacs & still use it. Not the roller type but the kind that looks like a miniture canoe paddle with arrows on either side denoting which way to move it across your clothing to collect the most fuzz.

    Remember that scene in Roger & Me in which the woman who was the head of Helmac put forth the idea that those laid off from the auto industry would be absorbed into her company? (hahahahahahah)

    Sure she had stars in her eyes, but her blouses were free of hair & lint.

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  2. The Helmac plant was located on Kelso Street in Flint at one time...

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  3. Yes! I worked there for a couple of years through college. It was a very fine place to work. The owners were very kind and generous to this Flint girl. I actually worked in a subsidiary that was run by one of the McKay's (the owners) sons. It was the most lint-free I have ever been.

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  4. I went through those things like ... like ... oh, well, I used them a lot!

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  5. For some reason, it sticks in my mind that the plant was originally on the northside of Davison Road between Dort and Franklin. The Kelso move was later. Any Ex-Pats remember something similar or is memory-loss beginning to set in.

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  6. I personally knew the original designers of the Helmac Lint Roller. Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas McKay attended St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Flint, Michigan. Charles Stewart Mott was also a member. His son, Nick, Jr., went to the Flint Mayor, Woodroe Stanley, to discuss hiring more of the Genesee County Residents if the Mayor could possible give the company a tax break. Mayor Stanley would not even take the time to discuss the issue. That is why I heard that Helmac moved to Atlanta. . . must be ignorance is bliss?????

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