Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Sloan Museum of Oddities

These dudes really knew how to party.

Is it just me or is the Alfred P. Sloan Museum one of the most fantastically weird treasure troves of historical bric-a-brac in the country? I'd forgotten how great this place really is until I visited it this summer after a 33 year hiatus. They were testing the sound system during my visit, so I took it all in with "Smile Like You Mean It" by The Killers inexplicably blaring away in the background, which somehow seemed appropriate. Maybe that could be Flint's unofficial theme song.

The Sloan is one of the few museums in the country that honors America's Revolutionary War zombies.

If you own a tank manufactured by G.M., you can park it wherever the hell you want.

The Sloan's rare, extremely elusive Chevy Chevette without rust!

The Sloan's excellent diorama of Adam and the Ants' 1982 performance at the London Palladium.

The Sloan's wax dummy collection is strangely lifelike.


  1. That Adam & the Ants diorama is a keeper.

  2. Personally, I'm a "You don't drink, you don't smoke, what do ya do?" kinda guy.

    Everytime I see that a program on PBS was made possible by the Alfred P. Sloan foundation I wonder what his connection to Flint was.

  3. Outstannding post! Adam and the Ants? Brilliant.

  4. "Dreams aren't what they used to be/Some things slide by so carelessly/Smile like you mean it."

  5. I love that museum. For all the above reasons.

  6. Alfred Sloan was a VP and Chairman at GM in the 20's and 30's. In fact, I believe he was the Chairman during the sit-down strike.

  7. I took GM co-workers to Sloan about 5 years ago. Almost all where from other parts of the country and all were amazed at
    1. How cool Flint was in the 1950/60s
    2. How far this area fell

    Sloan is a under valued place.

  8. Mr. Sloan was extremely anti Union for a majority of his life. If i remember correctly, he ended up having a change of heart at some point. Does anyone know if that is true?

    I love the Sloan.. I cant count how many times i have been through that place.. So much fun!

  9. Kudos to the Sloan Museum of Flint for honoring the vastly under recognized 18th Century Revolutionary Zombies. This class was responsible for mostly unheralded accomplishments, such as acting as below the waterline floatation aids for Washington on his epic trip across the Delaware. None of the popular texts will highlight their accomplishments, but the Zombies were there, tied securely underneath the boat, keeping it afloat, and our famous General safe and sound.

  10. I can't tell you who
    I can't tell you how
    I can't tell you why

    ...but there were big big big plans to completely redo, rebuild, and re-envision the (obviously dated) Sloan/Longway museum to either a brand new automobilia museum or a science museum.

    I was vehemently against a car exhibit/museum of any kind. A science museum fits far more with the "college town" vibe Flint is going for, than anything related to automobilia, and it at least can grow and evolve and look to the future, unlike a car museum, which can only look back.

    I saw these plans in 2007 or 2008, and then the big economic downturn came, likely killing the idea. I never heard about it again.

  11. OOOH! Chevette! Now that was a righteously craptastic ride. My wife used to drive a powder blue one with requisite rust and the "road visible through rusted out floorboard" feature. I had the pleasure of being in it when we did a complete 360 in the middle of I-475 on a snowy day and never left the lane we were driving in!

    My uncle had a black one with a red racing stripe. We dubbed it the Batmobile. Man, did he get all the hot girls cruising the Small Mall in that beast....

    Loved the Sloan. TAM=Better than Sex Ed!!

  12. Who's the wax dummy holding the camera in front of the mirror?! haha - Just kidding

  13. If you want a rush, be there when they fire up the Buick Bug & drive it around the parking lot. That thing really barks!

  14. To Shawn... Why not have an Automobile museum in Flint??? Isn't that what made this town??? Just because it isn't auto driven like it used to be doesn't mean we can't celebrate the past.

    I agree with you though, Flint is a cultural community now, and we do get a lot of resistance from the auto worker mentality...

    The Flint Cultural Center has so much to offer, and it has something for everybody. It is Flint's best kept secret and wish it wasn't a secret anymore...

  15. I remember going to the Sloan with my Dad and lying about my age so he didn't have to pay full price. Good thing I was short for my age. I used to love the "Grandma's Attic" feature that allowed you to try on old clothes. Now that I'm a parent, I think that's really gross, but as a kid it was my favorite part. They also had some kind of robotic dinosaur exhibit when I was in about 5th grade, but I think it was part of a traveling deal.


Thanks for commenting.