An 1882 stamped steel bath tub has returned home after 132 years of travels. The University of Michigan in Flint has purchased this bath tub from January’s here in Truth or Consequences to be brought back to Michigan to be placed in a newly formed museum at the original General Motors building in Flint.
Purchased through an e-Bay listing by January Roberts, owner and proprietor of January’s, the University of Michigan will exhibit this tub in the General Motors museum because this bath tub was designed and patented by David Dunbar Buick – the genius behind the Buick.
David Buick held 13 patents in the plumbing world under his plumbing company, The Buick & Sherwood Manufacturing Co., at the age of 28. He sold this company to Standard Sanity Manufacturing Co., in 1895 for the sum of $100,000 because he had become enamored with the combustion engine, hence the Buick. David Buick, a genius and inventor, died at the age of 75 in 1929 completely penniless.
But back to the bath tub – in the early 1880s, the Santa Cruz Hotel in California burnt to the ground. It was rebuilt on the same spot a couple of years later and in came the bath tubs created by David Buick. In 1970, the hotel was sold and remodeled, and the bath tubs were removed and sold at auction. This particular bath tub was purchased by the owner of the Farmers Exchange in San Francisco. In 1989, the tub was sold to the Thompson’s who used and enjoyed it until 2006, when they moved to Truth or Consequences. Having no room in their new home, the bath tub sat on their front porch until a few weeks ago when Mrs. Thompson brought it to January’s to consign to sell.
The bath tub will be placed in this new museum in Flint, Mich., amongst other inventions by David Buick.
A national press conference will be held at the museum on Wednesday, Nov. 26.