topimg

Dodge Manufacturing Company

Location: 500 S. Union St., Mishawaka

rear of Dodge Manufacturing plantEstablished in 1878 by Wallace Dodge as a small saw mill and factory, the Dodge Manufacturing Company produced wood hardware specialties, wood-split pulleys, and later, power transmission devices. In 1881, a year after the company was incorporated, the frame buildings were hit by lightning and destroyed. Many of the 1 and 2-story buildings on the current site date from the resulting immediate rebuilding phase of 1881 through 1888. A decision in 1884 to manufacture only the Dodge Independence Wood Split Pulley was a huge success. In 1886 Dodge perfected a system of power transmission devices that ran manila ropes. By 1890 the complete line of Dodge power transmission equipment was sent all over the United States. Dodge furnished the immense power supply for the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. By 1902 Dodge Manufacturing Company took up nearly 65 acres of ground with its 40 buildings and branch companies were established elsewhere in the U.S. Dodge was eventually purchased and became a division of Reliance Electric Company in 1967. The factory was closed in 1999 and reopened with new owners and operated under the name of RMG Foundry. The factory eventually closed for good in 2006.

Dodge Manufacturing Timeline
June 1878

Wallace Dodge opens his first factory in Mishawaka

DodgeManufacturing
1878

Wallace Dodge patents his "Magic Wagon Jack" and sells 500,000 at $12.00/dz.

DodgeManufacturing
April 1880

The business was incorporated with $50,000 capital.

DodgeManufacturing
June 1881

Destroyed!

Dodge's factory building burned to the ground by a lightning strike.

DodgeManufacturing
July 4, 1882
splitpulley.jpg

Another Dodge Patent

The "Independence" Wood Split Pulley was patented by Wallace Dodge.

DodgeManufacturing
1884

Two-story brick factory building was constructed.

DodgeManufacturing
September 10, 1894

Wallace H. Dodge dies at the age of 45

After Wallace's death, he was succeeded by his nephew Melville W. Mix.

DodgeManufacturing
1917

Pressed Steel Pulley Works moved from Oneida, NY to Mishawaka

DodgeManufacturing
1923

Melville Mix succeeded by George Miller as President of the company

DodgeManufacturing
1928

V-belt drive pulleys introduced

DodgeManufacturing
1939
dodge_jotis.jpg

New Dodge President

Joseph Otis was elected president. Dodge went from $2 million to $15 million in net sales. Sleevoil Bearings introduced. (J. Otis is the one standing in the image)

DodgeManufacturing
1944

Dodge awarded a Navy "E" for Excellence award.

DodgeManufacturing
1953

Chain drives become available

DodgeManufacturing
June 1959
DodgeJAllanMacClean.jpg

Change in leadership

J. Allan MacLean assumed the presidency of Dodge, undertaking a $2-$2.5 millioin plant modernization. (Mr. MacLean is second from the right)

DodgeManufacturing
1967

Dodge Manufacturing merged with Reliance Electric Company

DodgeManufacturing
1977

Distribution Centers

National distribution center opens in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky followed by a $11.2 million gear plant in Greenville, South Carolina.

DodgeManufacturing
1979

Reliance Electric was acquired and made a subsidiary of the Exxon Corporation

DodgeManufacturing
1982

Move from Mishawaka

Reliance Electric Company moved nearly all Dodge operations to Columbus, Indiana and locations in Tennessee and the Carolinas.

DodgeManufacturing
1995

The Mishawaka plant

The Mechanical Group of Reliance consists of a 200-ton-a-day foundry, machine shop, and fabricating shop-the largest producer of conveyor systems in the U.S. Employment levels approached 700 (from a high of more than 2,000 employees).

DodgeManufacturing
February 1995

Closed

Reliance Electric was acquired by Rockwell International in a transaction valued at $1.6 billion.

DodgeManufacturing
Top
X

Send this to a friend