Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Ladies and Gentleman: Look into these resources!

For many Hoosiers, the month of May brings the greatest racing spectacle in the world, the Indianapolis 500! Did you know the legendary award for the winner of the Indianapolis 500 is called the Borg-Warner trophy? The trophy is actually named after a United States automotive supplier, Borg-Warner.

In 1928, the Borg-Warner Company merged with three Midwestern auto part manufacturers, including Warner Gear of Muncie, Indiana; Mechanics Universal Joint of Rockford, Illinois; and Marvel Carburetor of Flint, Michigan--to form Borg-Warner. The Muncie Borg-Warner Company had great success in its early-mid years. The plant closed its doors in April 2009 because North American sales were down.
To further document the life of the Borg-Warner Corporation in Muncie, Indiana, Archives and Special Collections and the Center for Middletown Studies have several items available:

  • The Digital Media Repository Gear-O-Gram Magazine digital collection includes over 160 issues of the magazine published by and for employees of the Borg-Warner Corporation located in Muncie, Indiana. Published from 1944-1972, the magazines include details of employee activities, announcements of service, awards and accolades, and general interest pieces about automobile transmissions.
  • The Center for Middletown Studies, in conjunction with Ball State`s Institute for Digital Entertainment and Education, has produced the documentary film Changing Gears, End of an Era (V.282). This documentary film explores the significance and impact of the closing of the Borg-Warner auto parts plant in Muncie, Indiana in April 2009. More details on the film can be found here.
For Indianapolis 500 fans, Archives and Special Collections have two photograph collections from prominent Indianapolis 500 photographers, Roger H. Pelham and Ralph Satterlee.

  • The Roger H. Pelham Photograph Collection (P.066) ranges from 1950-1971. In 1950, Pelham convinced the Indianapolis Star that he could take pictures with his Leica camera better than anyone else at the race could. He would position himself at one of the four turns of the track in order to take action sequence shots of the cars, especially during turns and wrecks. Pelham`s favorite Indianapolis 500 driver was Jimmy Clarke.
  • The Ralph Satterlee Photograph Collection (MSS.220) ranges from 1949-1972. Ralph Satterlee was editor and photographer of Borg-Warner`s Gear-O-Gram magazine from 1944-1972. In addition to documenting company and community activities, he extensively photographed the Indianapolis 500. Mr. Satterlee covered the presentation of the traditional Borg-Warner trophy to the winner, and shot photographs of activities and people throughout the month of May.
Top image: Ralph Satterlee Photograph Collection (MSS.220), 1965, Jimmy Clark in victory lane with the Borg-Warner trophy.

Bottom image: Roger H. Pelham Photograph Collection, 1973, Tony Hulman had brought Rene Thomas over for the 1973 race. Rene, in a checkered cap was 85 years old. Rene won the Indianapolis 500 in 1914.

For more information, contact Archives and Special Collections at http://www.blogger.com/libarchives@bsu.edu.

1 comment:

Drawings + Documents Archive said...

Great article and interesting photographs!