These notes were found in the papers of the late C. S. Mott. At one time Mott was General Motors largest stockholder and was also a one-time mayor of Flint, Michigan. He was a good friend of Lloyd G. Copeman.

Sunday, August 27, 1933 by C. S. Mott

Roy Brownell (prominent Flint lawyer and first cousin of Copeman) came over with his car and drove me over to Lloyd Copeman’s country place south of Lapeer and just east of Hadley. He is an inventive genius. He invented the Copeman Electric Automatic Stove, which was built in Flint for a while and is now taken over by the Westinghouse Electric Company. He also invented the rubber trays for electric refrigerators, from which he is getting a nice revenue. He has invented a lot of other things, some which will show up well. He has now worked out a process for covering leather and fabrics, etc. with a coating of rubber or latex in such a way that it can be stripped off clean when the article is ready for use. For example, in the making of ladies’ shoes the tops of many are either delicate leather or have to be cleaned. Through this process the covering can be taken off by the purchaser just before wearing and insures a perfect article. The same thing applies to upholstering on chairs, sofas, etc. – subject not only to damage or deterioration in manufacturing, but also in case of fire, water or smoke damage, dampness or suchlike. He says he can also spray this on automobile upholstering, even after it has been installed, so that when the car leaves the factory in proper condition, it will be fresh and perfect when the customer buys it and strips the cover off. There is no limit to this chap’s ideas.

For the sake of information – he has been raising ducks wholesale, some geese and now chickens. He is building a place to hold about 60 hens, each in its own enclosure, some 36 inches square, where the hen is going to spend all her useful life alone. She gets the usually daylight while it exists and early morning and evening light from lamps so she has only six hours of darkness. The air is to be conditioned and regulated and she is to be fed scientific food. The eggs she lays automatically roll out of the nest and are automatically registered, so a check-up is made of the exact production of each hen. When she is finished her egg-laying life she is sold for meat. I do not know much about hen philosophy; her deep thoughts in spare time or her sex life, but with a future before her as laid out by Copeman, I do not think she has much to look forward to. I do not know how his experiments will come out, but presume that Lloyd will get some kind of an answer.

He is going to get a special strain of Brahma chickens and he proposes to caponize the males and expects to grow them to weigh up to 15 pounds, which is quite a weight for a chicken. Heaven help the chicken family on Copeman’s place. Lloyd is taking the joy out of life for both sexes. If one had to be a chicken, I think it would be pleasanter, while life lasted, to live on an old-fashioned farm.

Regarding Copeman, one of the things he is working on is refrigeration with dry ice, which is frozen carbonic acid gas, and now that beer has come back he is developing containers of one to five gallons or more for holding draught beer, the idea being that in the case of the smaller size receivers they will be taken and sent to the brewery and filled, and at the same time charged with dry ice which will keep the beer cold for a week and as the cool carbonic gas passes off the dry ice will pass through the beer with carbonic gas and revitalize it, keeping it in a very lively condition. When very large containers are used, it is expected that the brewery will come around with a tank wagon and fill direct from same and also charge with dry ice. It seems to me a very logical and feasible proposition.

Another interesting thing I was yesterday at Copeman’s farm is this. He has a pair of domesticated wild mallard ducks, which make their home around his yard. Apparently the drake neglected his home work and his lady friend paying a visit to Copeman’s flock of large, white Peking ducks and as a result Mr. Mallard duck has a find brood of step-children which do not look at all like him, being unmistakably marked with the white from the bachelor camp. When I saw the family they were all together, and the drake had his eye cocked on the family and I was wondering what he was thinking of.

« Back