Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 136,320 pages of information and 219,072 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Bendix Corporation

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of South Bank, Indiana, USA

1914 Vincent Bendix set up his business in Chicago with an agreement with a struggling bicycle brake manufacturing firm, Eclipse Machine Company of Elmira, New York.

1924 Bendix was formally founded in South Bend, Indiana. It first manufactured brake systems for cars and trucks, supplying General Motors and other automobile manufacturers. Bendix manufactured both hydraulic brake systems and a vacuum booster TreadleVac for its production lines for decades.

1924 Vincent Bendix acquired the rights to Henri Perrot's patents for drum and shoe design.

1924 General Motors Corporation purchased a 24 percent interest in Bendix so as to maintain contact with developments in aviation, as the engineering techniques of the auto and aircraft were quite similar. Bendix in the 1920s owned and controlled many important patents for devices applicable to the auto industry, for example, brakes, carburettors, and starting drives for engines.

1929 Bendix branched out into aeronautics and renamed the company Bendix Aviation to reflect the new product lines. Bendix supplied aircraft manufacturers with all types of hydraulic systems and introduced new devices such as a pressure carburettor which dominated the market during World War II. It also made a wide variety of electrical and electronic instruments for aircraft.

By 1940 Bendix had sales of around $40 million

1948 General Motors sold its interest in Bendix as it wanted to focus on its expanding automotive operations.

1948 Manufactured domestic radios and phonographs; started to sell car radios directly to Ford and other auto manufacturers.

From 1950 to 1959, Bendix made television sets.

1956 the computer division introduced the Bendix G-15, a mini-computer which was the size of two tall filing cabinets. The company sold about 400 of these. The Bendix computer division was taken over in 1963 by Control Data Corporation, which continued to manufacture the G-15 for a few years.

1971 Bendix introduced the world's first true computerized ABS (anti-lock) braking system

1983 Allied Corporation acquired Bendix

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