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Manufacturers Index - Wagner Electric Corp.

Wagner Electric Corp.
St. Louis, MO, U.S.A.
Manufacturer Class: Wood Working Machinery & Metal Working Machinery

Last Modified: Jan 23 2011 4:55PM by toolguybak
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From the Harvard Business School archives:

Wagner Electric Corporation, a manufacturer of electric motors and equipment based in St. Louis, was founded in 1891. In the early 1920s Wagner developed a new electric motor called the Fynn-Weichsel Motor, which was promoted as a machine that would provide savings to the electric power industry due to its efficiency.

Wagner survived during the Great Depression. By 1938, Wagner was employing 5,000.

Wagner manufactured electrical machinery for the war during the 1940s.

Wagner went public in 1954 and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange on May 8. The company continued to manufacture electric motors, mainly for industrial purposes, but also transformers, hydraulic brake equipment, and other supplies for vehicle brake systems. Wagner's sales were almost evenly divided between automotive products and electrical equipment.

The company embarked on various construction projects such as a new multi-million dollar distribution transformer plant in St. Louis County in 1962, an 81,000 square foot engineering-research center in 1964, and in 1965, a 150,000 square foot building that would serve as the central product distribution center for the company's automotive parts and accessories division.

In June 1966 Tung-Sol Electric, Inc., of Newark, New Jersey, made a tender offer to purchase control of Wagner Electric. Tung-Sol was a manufacturer of electronic and automotive components. In August 1966 Wagner and Tung-Sol agreed to allow Tung-Sol to acquire all of the assets of Wagner. The newly merged company continued to carry the name of Wagner Electric.

In January 1967 Wagner merged with the Studebaker Corporation. For years, Studebaker had been in the automobile business, but left the industry in March 1966 with a plan to create a diversified company through acquisitions. Wagner Electric Corporation was reincorporated in Delaware in February 1967 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Studebaker Corporation. Studebaker acquired all of the business and assets of Wagner Electric in May 1967.