Reliance Electric was founded in 1904 in Cleveland, Ohio, as a partnership between two cousins: inventor John Lincoln and industrialist Peter Hitchcock. Lincoln had been working on a new type of direct current motor. Direct current was the primary means of electrification at the time because alternating current was considered dangerous and unpredictable. Lincoln invented the first adjustable-speed direct current motor. They shipped their first industrial electric motor in 1905. The two named their new company after the inventor, Lincoln Electric Motor Works.
In 1907, Lincoln sold his interest in the company to Charles and Ruben Hitchcock, Peter's sons. The youngest, Ruben took over the company. But having little business or electrical experience, Ruben sought a new president. He found one in Clarence Collens, a Yale graduate, who stayed with the company in that capacity for the next 40 years. When Collens came on as president, the company was incorporated as Reliance Electric and Engineering Company.
The variable-speed motor was Reliance's only product until 1913. That year, the company's chief engineer, Alex McCutcheon, designed a new DC motor that soon became Reliance's primary product. It was used in many of Cleveland's booming steel mills and was a mainstay of the DC product line until the early 1950s. Reliance began to design and manufacture industrial alternating current (AC) motors in the 1920s, but the company was late to join the race to convert to AC.
Reliance made its first inroads into the AC business in 1927 with a modification of the General Electric enclosed fan-cooled motor.
The company grew quickly on the basis of these new technologies, and in 1929, on the eve of the Great Depression, Reliance's sales peaked at about $3 million. The Corey motor helped partially insulate the company from the severe economic downturn, since the textile industry was virtually depression-proof. The introduction of the first electrical variable-speed drive package during the 1930s established Reliance's enduring leadership in that facet of the business.
During World War II, Reliance served as a primary supplier of motors to the military, especially the Navy. The company also supplied the motors needed to build hundreds of tanks.
During the 1950s, the company expanded its electrically based products to include mechanical power transmission products through the acquisition of Reeves Pulley and the Master Electric Company.
Mergers and acquisitions continued in the 1960s and 1970s. The Mechanical Group was expanded with the purchase of the Dodge Manufacturing Company in 1967. Reliance became the largest industrial motor manufacturer in the United States with the April 1986 purchase of the Medium AC Motor Division from one of its oldest competitors, Westinghouse Electric Co.
In November 1994, industry leaders Reliance Electric and Allen-Bradley joined Rockwell Automation, becoming the number one provider of high-performance automation products in the world. A new motor plant was opened in Columbus, Nebraska in 1995. Reliance Electric and Allen-Bradley drive systems realigned to form Rockwell Automation Drive Systems.
- from www.reliance.com
Preferred Stock, issued in the 1960’s
Printed by the Security-Columbian Bank Note Company
8” (h) x 12” (w)
This certificate has vertical fold lines, punch hole cancels in signature areas and body and some stray staple holes and markings.