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Manufacturers Index - Reliance Electric & Engineering Co.

Reliance Electric & Engineering Co.
Cleveland, OH, U.S.A.
Manufacturer Class: Wood Working Machinery & Steam and Gas Engines

Last Modified: May 4 2016 4:51PM by Jeff_Joslin
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This electric motor manufacturer was established by Reuben & Charles Hitchcock in 1905 as the Lincoln Electric Manufacturing Co. The Hitchcocks were the sons of Peter Hitchcock, who was a cousin of Lincoln Electric Co. founder John C. Lincoln. Lincoln was also an investor in his relatives' business.

In 1906, Lincoln sold out his interest in Lincoln Electric Manufacturing Co. for $25,000. The following year, the business was reorganized as the Lincoln Motor Works Co. The incorporators were W. Hitchcock, Lawrence Hitchcock, H. A. Allen, I. E. Morgan and E. C. Mullen. Lincoln Motor Works concentrated on the manufacture of D. C. motors and generators while Lincoln Electric Co. manufactured A. C. equipment. The Lincoln Motor Works name changed to Reliance Electric & Engineering Co. in 1909. At that point they were located at 1054 Ivanhoe Road, Cleveland, OH.

From 1911-06-29 American Machinist

Reliance acquired the Medium AC Motor Division of Westinghouse in 1986. In 1994 Reliance was acquired by Rockwell Automation but continued to operate under the Reliance name. THe business changed hands again in 2006, this time to Baldor Electric Co.; so far as we can tell, the Reliance name disappeared at that time.

The Reliance brand still appears on electric motors built by Baldor. They are badged as Baldor/Reliance. Most of the former Reliance producing plants are still in operation, with the exception of Madison and Columbus Indiana. The Reliance electronic drives were retained by Allen Bradley/Rockwell. The Dodge division is a separate distribution channel within Baldor. The Master/Reeves products were sold as a block to a company called Master Power Transmission in Greenville SC. And, Baldor itself was purchased by the ABB Group several years ago, but operates as a subsidiary.

This firm had a subsidiary, Reliance Electric & Engineering (Canada) Ltd., based in Welland, Ont.

Information Sources

  • In 1899, Mr. Lincoln wrote the book Practical Electricity: with Questions and Answers, which was published by Cleveland Armature Works. See our entry on that firm for more on the significance of this book.
  • The July 1909 Power Engineering has the following news item:
    RELIANCE ELECTRIC & ENGINEERING CO. is the new name adopted by the Lincoln Motor Works Co., of Cleveland, Ohio. The management remains the same as heretofore and the new company will manufacture the Lincoln variable speed motor and their lines of constant speed motors.
  • The 1911-03-02 issue of Electrical World mentions this firm and gives their address as 312 Huron Road in Cleveland. Later on the same page it says that the company had just moved to "Collinwood Station, near Cleveland". The exact address was not given in that mention.
  • The July 1911 issue of Factory has a Reliance ad that gives their address as 1048 Ivanhoe Road.
  • In 1913 and 1921, the company address was 1054 Ivanhoe Road in Cleveland. Source: EMF Electrical Year Book
  • A 1957 issue of Modern Power & Engineering provided the information on the Canadian subsidiary.
  • The American Century of John C. Lincoln, Raymond Moley, 1962.
  • Automobile Topics, Volume 13, 1907 p. 1899.
  • Our thanks to Tom Ciciora who has been an employee of both Reliance Electric and for a rep selling Baldor Electric products over 40 years for information about Baldor's relationship with Reliance.