Edward Gowen Budd

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Phil Hom

Edward Gowen Budd

Post by Phil Hom » Fri Jul 08, 2005 9:55 pm

Born to Thomas Allibone Budd amd the former Ann Eliza Davis on Dec 28, 1870 im Smyrna, Kent County, Delaware as the youngest of 3 brothers and one sister. He studied at the University of PA in Philadelphia as well as thr Franklin Institute. It was noted that he helped the Pennsy build the first all steel car as a machinist, but it was not clear if he did worked for the PRR. One of his first real job was with American Pulley where he helped design an all metal pulley. He later worked with Hale & Kilburn, raising to the position of General Manager. Hale & Kilburn was a firm that supplied seats to streetcar lines as well as to the railroads. Several patents are filed under Budd's name. H&K started to supply the auto industry with steel doors and cowls, but the main body still was made of wood. Later Hupmoblie approached H&K about an all steel auto body. This was not a very successful because the steel industry have not mastered pressing large compound curved section. Welding many small section increased the labor cost.

The new owners of H&K had some other ideas, so Budd left H&K and started his own company with his son Edward G Budd Jr. The main engineer at H&K named Joseph Ledwinka also join the new company. While the young firm was trying to make end meet, a new auto company asked Budd about an all steel automoblie. By 1924, the Dodge Brothers signed a contract with Budd for stamping an all steel body car. Later, other car firms in North America, UK, France and Germany used Budd for their large steel stamping. At the same time Budd started another company that made wheels for cars. The spoke wheel is one of Budd's design. Budd also was one the larger firm that stamped the helmets worn by the doughboys of WW1.

During the depression Budd, Ledwinka, and their staff developed a process that enable one to weld a low-carbon steel that is made up of 18% chrome and 8% nickel. That steel was known as stainless steel. After several false in making railcars with rubber wheels, another fellow, also with the last name of Budd, asked Edward Budd to construct a few railroad car body with this material but powered with a new type of engine - the Diesel.

You know the rest of this story.....

Edward G Budd died in 30 Nov 1946. This Methodist left five children, one who carried out the daily running of his company. Edward G Budd was unable to see another famous product that came from the building at Red Lion...The RDC.

The Budd Company is no longer in the rail car building business (and made a handfull of stainless steel airplanes during WW2), but almost every auto on the road today has a piece of sheet metal that was stamped by The Budd Company.


Phil Hom

SSW9389
Posts: 315
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2004 9:22 am
Location: Shelbyville, Kentucky

Post by SSW9389 » Wed Jul 13, 2005 10:51 am

There is a Budd-Thiessen-Krupp auto parts plant in Shelbyville, Kentucky that I see every time I drive past on I-64. The plant is adjacent to a Norfolk Southern rail line.
COTTON BELT: Runs like a Blue Streak!

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