Author Topic: Marion Crosley factory  (Read 4445 times)

cbalducc

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Marion Crosley factory
« on: August 30, 2011, 10:02:01 AM »
After Crosley quit making cars in Richmond, they manufactured them in Marion until the early 50s, when they sold the factory to General Tire.  Is this factory still around?

God bless,

CKB

robert_b1

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Re: Marion Crosley factory
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2011, 06:18:42 PM »
Interesting question...

I am familiar with Marion IN, but was never aware of  "the Crosley".   When folks living outside of Indiana expected me to answer their questions about "the Crosley" -- just because I had family members living near Marion -- is when I first became aware that "the Crosley" was manufactured in Marion.

Interesting photos of buildings, but no mention of Marion, IN...
http://crosleyautoclub.com/Then_Now/Then_and_Now.html

I remember that Crosley field was the home of the Cincinnati Reds, before Riverfront Stadium (Cinergy Field).

http://www.cruise-in.com/resource/cisbk16.htm
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In 1921, Americo retooled its production to produce the first Crosley radio, and later changed the companyís name to Crosley Radio Corporation.  Crosley Radio renovated the former Haynes Auto body plant in Kokomo to produce car radios for General Motors in 1934.

With all of these successes behind him, Powel was again ready to launch a small, inexpensive Crosley car, which debuted at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on April 28, 1939. The car achieved 50 mpg, and came in two models: a coupe and sedan retailing for $325 and $350 respectively. The cars were offered through the same dealers that sold other Crosley appliances. The mile-long Crosley plant in Richmond, Indiana, produced the cars.

In June 1945, Crosley sold all of his business interests with the exception of Crosley Motors, Inc. Powel and Lewis used the former home of the Indiana Motor Truck Company, in Marion, Indiana, for assembly. The first post-war Crosley, a two-door, four-passenger sedan, rolled off the line on May 9, 1946.

The 1948 Crosley line consisted of six models: sedan, convertible, pickup truck, panel delivery truck, a sports-utility vehicle, and an all-steel station wagon. Once Detroitís post-war offerings were available and gas rationing ended, the market for Crosley cars evaporated. The last Crosley car left the Marion assembly plant in July 1952.


CIOR

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Re: Marion Crosley factory
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2011, 06:47:13 PM »
Ya know, I had heard that Crosley sold to General Tire, but I had never thought much about it.
Sorta like someone saying "Durant Motor cars were made in Muncie!"  Good luck in finding that out unless you are from there.  (oh and if you want to know more about Durant and the location of that factory, let me know)..

I'll keep digging and see what I can find on Crosley.
There big plant in Richmond was serviced by the C&O and the GR&I, it was called Parry on the GR&I side, it was south of the C&O and east of the GR&I. 

robert_b1

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Re: Marion Crosley factory
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2011, 06:56:10 PM »
http://www.trainboard.com/grapevine/showthread.php?134336-Marion-Indiana-Freight-House
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Marion Indiana Freight House
Here is [photo shown on website] the old Freight House in Marion Indiana in the 50s.
This was in the last days for the freight house, but you can tell by the 5 doors that it had been a busy place at one time. The two pipes at the right of the picture were for the scales to weight cars. When the Crosley automobile, was built in Marion after WWII, they would bring them down to the freight house and load them in box cars.

http://www.indianahistory.org/our-collections/collection-guides/crosley-automobile-album-1939-1993.pdf
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By the end of 1948 there were 25,000 Crosleys on the road, and the company was experimenting with sports cars, utility vehicles, and even a hydroplane. Sales dwindled, however, and in mid-1952 the Marion plant was sold to General Tire and Rubber Company.

I don't remember a General Tire and Rubber plant being in operation in Marion.   However, Google says that people filed suit against and retired from it as late as 1975.


HoosierVirg

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Re: Marion Crosley factory
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2011, 07:22:10 PM »
Growing up in the Cincinnati area in my early youth remember seeing lots of Crosley's running around, spent a lot of time down at Crosley Field, even had the pleasure of pulling a piece of fence off Pete Rose when he came over to the stands on a foul ball behind first base. I was in first row and was looking up at the ball when he ran into me, looked at me and said, "Would you get my blanking foot loose?" He had jammed his foot between the fence and concrete and when he pulled it just go tighter, guy next to me and I jerked up on the fence and Pete foot was loose and he trotted back to second. Back in those days Crosley was Cincinnati, made TV's too, also owned radio station WLW, world's largest wireless, and WLWT, channel 5, all part of Crosley Broadcasting System. Ruth Lyons did a local show on WLWT that rivaled any network interview show of the time. Paul Dixon did a show at Cincinnati Union Terminal that was called Arriving or Leaving where he would interview people going and coming on the trains.
Have a good and safe day!

Go Reds!

INprinter

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Re: Marion Crosley factory
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2011, 09:46:04 PM »
Growing up in the Cincinnati area in my early youth remember seeing lots of Crosley's running around, spent a lot of time down at Crosley Field, even had the pleasure of pulling a piece of fence off Pete Rose when he came over to the stands on a foul ball behind first base. I was in first row and was looking up at the ball when he ran into me, looked at me and said, "Would you get my blanking foot loose?" He had jammed his foot between the fence and concrete and when he pulled it just go tighter, guy next to me and I jerked up on the fence and Pete foot was loose and he trotted back to second. Back in those days Crosley was Cincinnati, made TV's too, also owned radio station WLW, world's largest wireless, and WLWT, channel 5, all part of Crosley Broadcasting System. Ruth Lyons did a local show on WLWT that rivaled any network interview show of the time. Paul Dixon did a show at Cincinnati Union Terminal that was called Arriving or Leaving where he would interview people going and coming on the trains.

I grew up in Covington during the '50s, remember all of those things about Cincinnati quite well. I remember reading about the history of Crosley and all of his enterprises: refrigerators, broadcasting, automobiles, sports teams, electronics etc. The WLW radio transmitter was the most powerful AM transmitter in the world at the time. It was so powerful that folks could pick up the signal in their dental bridgework. Some folks could stand out in their backyards and the signal would resonate from their chain link fences. This is the absolute, documented truth. No BS. Folks that lived out there around the transmitter didn't have to turn on any fluorescent light fixtures in their homes, the strength of the RF signal alone would excite the gas inside the tube and make it glow. Now, I don't what this has to do with railroading, but you sure brought back some memories.

Thanks,

INprinter
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Howard Pletcher

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Re: Marion Crosley factory
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2011, 09:52:20 PM »
I think the Crosley/General Tire plant is still standing on the west side of Marion, but I think it's empty.

Actually, it's the Indiana Truck Factory as that's what was built there until White bought the line in the early 1930s and moved production to Cleveland.  And I found it ironic that after General Tire bought it, Corvette body parts were what was produced there, quite a change from Crosleys.

Howard

DWX9929

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Re: Marion Crosley factory
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2011, 10:03:12 PM »
Not to hijack this thread, but Crosley made many, many varied products. One of the most interesting was the perfection of proximity-fused anti-aircraft shells for the US Navy during WWII. There is a very interesting book about Powell Crosley and his brother but the title escapes me. Crosley Wildlife Area near North Vernon was his private hunting refuge.

Back to the cars. After WWII he used a water cooled engine which had a sheet metal waterjacket. Problem was the antifreeze attacked the brazed joints holding it together resulting in many leaks. This was corrected but the image of the car was tarnished. Another problem was the fact that they were sold along side his other appliances in department stores and not at stand-alone dealerships. This meant that if your new car needed warranty work, it had to be shipped to Crosley's headquarters in Cincinnati for repairs. My grandfather (who worked at Crosley from the 30's until they closed) told me they would arrive in boxcars to a building near Spring Grove Avenue. That building (now a KOI Auto Parts warehouse)still stands today as does the main headquarters on Arlington Street.

The book is titled "Crosley: two brothers and a business empire that transformed a nation". Very interesting read.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2011, 10:21:53 PM by DWX9929 »
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Howard Pletcher

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Re: Marion Crosley factory
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2011, 08:37:45 PM »
Corrosion was a big problem with the sheet metal engines, but the problem was in the 1940s most people ran alcohol during the winter and plain water in the summer.  This is when the corrosion took over.  Most of the sheet metal engines were recalled and replaced with cast iron blocks, but I know of one in Syracuse still running strong, using a mixture of 60% Prestone to prevent corrosion.

Poor manufacturing techniques also contributed to the problems.

Howard Pletcher

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Re: Marion Crosley factory
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2011, 09:22:24 PM »
If you go about 1/2 mile north of IN-18 on IN-9 & 15, then west 1/2 mile on Factory Ave, you'll run right into the old Crosley Factory.

Atlas Foundry is now in part of it, some of it may also be warehousing.

HoosierVirg

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Re: Marion Crosley factory
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2011, 10:58:17 PM »
Thanks Howard, found it now.
Have a good and safe day!

Go Reds!

Kevin A

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Re: Marion Crosley factory
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2020, 03:42:32 PM »
I worked at the General Tire plant in 1987-88 during the summers while in college.  We press fiberglass corvette panels and rubber moldings for cars. Last time I went to Marion about 10 years ago I drove by and it was shuttered.  Never knew that Crosley's were built there.  It was an old plant in 1998.  Some of my friends parents retired form there.  Marion was a thriving industrial city in the 70s.  Then RCA, General Tire, Anaconda, Essex and a host of others closed and moved to China/Mexico.  Sad really.

BantaRail

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Re: Marion Crosley factory
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2020, 02:16:38 PM »
I was just looking at the PRR Maps of Marion Saturday,  showing the "Crosley, Indiana Truck, etc. plants".
My interest is also the industries served by the RR's.
I got the book on the Crosley's very interesting company.
If I find the book in my two storage units !!!  Will give it away, just pay shipping.