Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Flint Photos: Consumers Power Building in the Fifties

Another great shot of Flint in the fifties by Mary Fisher.


  1. Who is the mysterious woman in the red coat?

  2. That's Reddi Kilowatt's mom standing on Detroit St., next to the Vet's park. He lived in that big bldg. where his dad sold GE friges and stoves...Mr.Consumers was a friend of my dad and mom for many years. They did contracts together.

  3. She was a long cool woman in a red coat...

    Some relation to the photographer, perhaps?

    I remember this building. Seems like they moved out on E. Court Street or Robert T. Longway later.

    I remember calling Consumers on a Saturday and actually talking to an electrical engineer who patiently answered my question about how to compute how much power you were using by how fast the meter disk was spinning.

    1. There was always a site on E. Court Street near where the GTW mainline crosses. That's where the manufactured gas storage tank was, back before high-capacity interstate pipelines when a locale would have a storage tank to maintain pressure because the supply was intermittent. That's also the site of the yard where all the maintenance and installation crews and trucks worked from, since the early days.

      I think they just enlarged the existing E. Court building when they consolidated out of downtown. The downtown building sort of lost its point when people stopped thinking of Consumers as the seller of choice for major appliances and furnaces.

  4. I wonder where their sign went.

    I recall it as neon and quite visible at night.

  5. Hmmm. The other side of the same sign is in Mary Fisher's photo at apparently not shot in close succession, because the parked cars don't seem to be the same?

    Maybe she was just in the area, and did something else between shots.

    Also, as we can see from the front of the sign, apparently this was after GM suggested to the various local charities that it was disruptive having so much production time taken up with what amounted to competing fundraising drives, so it would be a Good Idea for the larger local charities including Red Feather to merge and become United Way. Still the big Red Feather and Indian character across the top of the sign, though.

  6. I remember Red Feather as the charity organization for GM. As my brother, Rand Simberg, wrote asking about fundraisers, there used to be Fall and Spring concerts at the IMA. Big name performers used to come and be accompanied by the AC Spark Plug chorus and AC Concert Band. Our father, who was the producer of these shows, was the Personnel Director there at that time. The shows were emceed by a man named Roy Swift, who may still be alive in the area. (See Rand's post at Musical Tent).


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