GE Incandescent Lamp Manufacture in Fort Wayne, Indiana

A greater knowledge of the places of manufacture of lamps can be gleaned through published literature. In some cases this might help to locate certain lamps to add to established collections. As time marched on, lamp manufacturers were able to develop machinery that resulted in higher production with the attendant need for fewer workers. In the 1923-24 time period this resulted in the closing of some lamp plants. Within the General Electric group, factories in Central Falls, RI, Fort Wayne, IN, St. Louis MO, Cleveland, OH and Minneapolis, MN closed. In this case there still remained factories in St. Louis, and Cleveland. The Westinghouse Lamp Company closed one of its plants in Bloomfield, NJ.

As of Sep 8, 1924 factories that produced large MAZDA lamps were located in the following places: the Edison Lamp Works had plants in East Boston, MA, Harrison, NJ, Newark, NJ, Oakland, CA and Scranton, PA. The National Lamp Works part of GE maintained plants in Cleveland, OH, Warren, OH, St. Louis, MO and Youngstown, OH. The Westinghouse Lamp Company maintained plants in Bloomfield, NJ, Milwaukee, WI and Trenton, NJ.

General Electric opened a plant in Fort Wayne, Indiana in Sep 1906 as a satellite of the Edison plant in Harrison. It was only a manufacturing plant and did no engineering or technical development of its own. By Nov 1908 it was producing 130,000 lamps per week.

Dr. William D. Coolidge had yet to finish his development of ductile tungsten when it was announced that the tungsten filament lamp would be manufactured in Fort Wayne. Manufacturing continued until it was deemed necessary to close the factory on Jan 12, 1924. Therefore, incandescent lamps were manufactured by GE in Fort Wayne from 1906 to 1924.

References

1) "Abstract of Report of Lamp Committee, 1923-1924," Association of Edison Illuminating Companies, Presented at the 40th Annual Meeting, Eastern Point New London, CT, Sep 8,9,10 and 11, 1924.

2) General Electric at Fort Wayne, Indiana, A 110 Year History, Clovis E. Linkous, Gateway Press, Inc., Baltimore, 1994, pg 237.