The History of the Delco-Remy Divsion of General Motors
A.K.A. "The Remy Brothers" or "The Remy Electric Company"
1896-1994
Delco-Remy at the Normandy Invasion, June 6, 1944   World War Two Products and Product Applications    The Army-Navy "E" Award   Our War Job

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Delco-Remy Moments in Time

Contained in this page are either links to historical documents or photos that help tell the story of Delco-Remy, especially in the early years of the company.

 1901-1918
Various newspaper and magazine articles.  The 1917 article about the Remy Brothers starting a tractor Factory in Kokomo is a mystery because a search of the Kokomo Library newspaper files reveals nothing more.  The 4 story building noted in the 1918 article is the start of Plant 1.  Courtesy of Brian Mulcahy. 

1903

This clipping is out of a 1903 Gas Engine Magazine.  Courtesy of Brian Mulcahy.

1905

This 1905 photo shows the Remy Electric Inventions Dept, which employed 17 persons at the time.

1909

This is the oldest Remy publication found to date and is a series of photos of an early auto making a cross county trip, which was quite an adventure at the time.  This the first two pages only.  From February of 1909.

1909
Two Magazine Articles

1910 - Remy Electric Company Brochure

This gives an excellent and fascinating view of operations fourteen years after the Remy Brothers started making electrical parts.  This is in PDF format and will take a little time to load.  But it is worth the wait.

1912
This is from the January issue of Automotive Industries and gives an overview of the starting motor technology of the time, which was very diverse. 

1914 - The New Remy

Not all the pages are here January of this 1914 document.  It can be noted from this brochure that Remy's entry into the lighting portion of the SLI Business (Start it, Light it, Ignite it) was for Steam Locomotives, of which several locomotive headlights are displayed.  There are none for automobiles.
Total Employment: 
1,500+
 

1918

This school was apparently used to train women working at the facility.  August 7, 1918.  Note the overhead drive belt system to power the machines which was standard for this time period.  Photo courtesy of Ted Vinson.


August 28, 1918.  Looking south from the 90 foot construction tower being used to build the east west section of Plant 1.  The Madison County Orphanage would be in the trees and it looks like a road can be seen that goes to it.  Also one railroad track is down and it looks like ties are in place to lay a second one.  Later the trees and the Orphan's Home would come down to make way for Plants 2 and 4.  Photo courtesy of Ted Vinson.

1919 - 48 Hour Week Schedule

1922

March 2, 1922 advertisement.  Photo courtesy of Brian Mulcahy.


April 27, 1922 Distributor advertisement.  Photo courtesy of Brian Mulcahy.


, 1922 Distributor ad.  Photo courtesy of Brian Mulcahy.

1923
Total Employment:  3,672

1925 - United Motors Catalog
A comparison of similar products manufactured by GM Divisions Remy in Anderson, IN and Delco in Dayton, OH. 
 

Circa 1924-26


From a Saturday Evening Post from the mid 1920s.  Start it, Light it, Ignite it (SLI) was a slogan used in the non-battery plants to describe the product line and its functions.  This slogan may have had its beginnings in the magazine advertisements that were being run at the time.  Back then one had newspapers and magazines and some radio were the methods of mass communication.  Starting Motors, Lighting Generators, Ignition Systems

To see excellent examples of the Starting Motors, Lighting Generators, and Ignition Systems of this era go to the Auburn Cord Dusenberg Museum Page.

Also in later years Delco-Remy/ GM/ Delphi (I can not remember now when this came about) would be take on the slogan " Exceed Customer Requirements".  Remy Electric had figured out 60 years earlier one does more than meet customer requirements.


In this ad the Starting, Lighting and Ignition is part of the message.  At the bottom Klaxon Horns have been added.  This may have been after the purchase of the Klaxon business and the company was trying to promote the horn.  It did not stay as part of the long term slogan.

1926 - Visiting Day

Four Pages.  This may not be the complete handout given at the Open House but it gives great insight into the plants, products and employment in 1926.  Courtesy of Ted Vinson
Total Employment:  4,497

1927 - Delco-Remy Plant Brochure

Total Employment: 
10,082

 

1928 - Anderson Daily Bulletin article confirming GM purchase date of Guide Corporation

 

1929 - Delco-Remy Phone Book

Fourteen Pages.  This phone reveals a Plant 3 in Indianapolis and a Plant 7 in Anderson that was a box Plant.  By looking at the Department Directory one can look back to see what each plant was producing in 1929.  This Phone Directory is courtesy of Bob Lashbrook.

1940 - First GM-UAW National Agreement


This is shows the cover of the first Agreement along with the inside the back cover the results of the election.  Everett Vinson was Ted Vinson's father and it is his handwriting that recorded the voting results.  Note that the union was identified as CIO rather than UAW.  Photos courtesy of Ted Vinson  / Madison County Historical Society.

1944 - Rochester Products Division Pre-War Product Line
Rochester Products had the same product lines as several other GM component divisions including Delco-Remy.

1944 - Our War Job

76 Pages. 
Total Employment:  ~ 20,000 in 1944

Post WWII, Pre 1952 Brochure

1952 - Plant 11 Opens

 
The opening of Plant 11.  From the November 7, 1952 Clan.

Panorama of Progress - Plant 11 Open House, November 1-2, 1952.


1955 - Retirement age changes and one common wage rate for both males and females
In 1955 the retirement age for hourly employees as fixed at age 68 and for salary at age 65.  Previous to this time there were many persons working up into their 80s.  Approximately 5,000 person retired in mass with the ruling change. 
At the same time the differential between male and female general hourly rates of $1.25 and $1.21 were eliminated.  Actually previous to this time there were male jobs and female jobs and the distinction was eliminated.  Also women were now allowed to work second shift which was forbidden previous to this.  This resulted in changes in the attitudes of the men on second shift in that on hot summer days many would work shirtless.  This practice stopped with the installation of more fans.  Spittoons were eliminated and many of the men started washing and shaving before coming to work on second shift.

1962 - Plant 18 Commemorative Booklet

There is no date on the booklet but it is assumed to be 1962 when Plant 18 opened.
 

1962 - Number of Parts manufactured (Does not include purchased parts) in a day in Anderson


This is something Ted Vincent put together in 1962 to show how many parts DR manufactured in a day.  He was able to save this and it is now at the Madison County Historical Society.  At this time all DR manufacturing was with the exception of batteries was in Anderson.  Not included are the military products such as but not limited to Missile Batteries that were being made in Plant 11.

1964 - Plant Six - Regulators and Relays

Click on the image to learn about Plant 6 and regulator manufacturing


December 17, 1965.  The headline to this issue of the Clan speaks volumes to what DR was.
 

1974 - Land and Buildings

Photos and layouts from this 1974 Plant Engineering Land and Building Manual can be found in the Plant Photo Pages by plant number.

Delco-Remy 50th Anniversary Open House Brochure - October 27-28, 1977

October 27-28, 1977 - Facts for Plant 7 Open House


Note that this appears this was done after 1976 as it references the energy used in 1977. I was in Plant 7 in 1977 and early 1978 and do not remember a visiting day.  From the information above the column dimmer switch was still the predominant method of dimming lights on a GM vehicle.


The tour route.

1978 - Drive I

The 1978 Delco-Remy Investigative Vehicle (Drive I).  This one of a kind electric vehicle was built up in several weeks in response to a challenge General Manager Ed Czapor received from his supervisor in a meeting in Detroit.  The Vice-President of the GM component divisions wondered why DR was not working harder on electric cars.  In response the Drive I was built up on a Honda chassis that was purchased out of a local junk yard and equipped with electric motor drive and batteries.  The body was constructed of wood made by the pattern makers in the Foundry.  When the the VP of GM component divisions arrived several weeks later at the Anderson Airport (where this pho was taken) for a meeting he was greeted by Mr. Czapor and the Drive I.  Mr. Czapor then took the VP for a ride up and down the taxi-way or runway, which was the only time it was driven in public.  Word was received several weeks later from Detroit to scrap the Drive I.


Here is the only known piece left from the Drive I.  Courtesy of Ted Vinson  / Madison County Historical Society.


The Cross Section.  Courtesy of Ted Vinson / Madison County Historical Society.

1984- Delco-Remy Your entry into the World of Automotive Electrical Systems

1984- Innovation through Evolving Technology

 

 1988 - Delco-Remy Manufacturing Plants
This is s table compiling information on DR manufacturing plant sales, floor space and employment.  Delco-Remy had $1.881 billion in sales in 1988.  If it had been a standalone company it would have been 189 on the Fortune 500 for the year.
Manufacturing Employment: 11,898

1995 - Land and Buildings

Photos and layouts from this 1995 Plant Engineering Land and Building Manual can be found in the Plant Photo Pages by plant number.  While this was technically done after Delco-Remy ceased to exist as a separate division, the plants were essentially the same has they were in 1994.  These photos and layouts therefore capture the end of DR.

1994 and Beyond

 Starters, heavy duty starters and heavy generators become part of Delco-Remy America in the GM spin-off of these product lines to private investors.  Included were the personnel associated with the products lines and plants 3 and 17.   Eventually the manufacturing moved out to other newly built plants in the area and overseas.  Eventually all manufacturing was moved out of the area and today there are no more of those type jobs left in Anderson associated with the Remy name.  At some point the company became Remy International when re-created after financial difficulties. 

The Headquarters moved to Pendleton, IN along I-69 at exit 219.  Motorists driving up and down the interstate could see the

sign along the road.

In 2015 Borg-Warner bought Remy International (Remy) and in mid November 2015 the "Remy" sign was replaced by one with the new owner's name on it.  After 119 years the Remy name was no longer associated with a company started by the Frank and Perry Remy in 1896 in downtown Anderson, IN.

May the Remy name rest in peace.

 

 

 

Delco-Remy at the Normandy Invasion, June 6, 1944   World War Two Products and Product Applications   The Army-Navy "E" for Excellence Award   Our War Job
Home  History   The Plants   Plant Photos   Moments in Time  The Products   Product Brochures   Service Manuals   Training Booklets   Video  Employment Numbers   Museums   Sources  Allied Divisions   Revisions   Reunions   Remy Electric Country Club   Vintage Literature about The Remy Electric Company   Links

This Website has no affiliation with General Motors, Delphi Holdings, Remy International, or Borg-Warner.  The content is to only present a historical perspective of the plants and products of the former Delco-Remy Division previous to 1994.  All content
presented on this website is for general information only.   Website designed and maintained by David D Jackson.  
Contact:  David D Jackson