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Budd Company Historical files
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Budd Company Historical files

Accession 2411

Manuscripts and Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library

PO Box 3630
Wilmington, Delaware, 19807

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2013-04-14T10:39-0400

Finding aid prepared using best local practices and Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Cite items for this collection in the following format:
[Description and dates], Box/folder number, Budd Company Historical files (Accession 2411), Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807


Descriptive Summary

Title: Budd Company Historical files
Dates: 1914-1993, bulk 1929-1982
Accession Number: 2411
Creator: Budd Company.
Extent: 2 linear feet
Repository: Hagley Museum and Library: Manuscripts and Archives Department
Abstract: The Edward G. Budd Company (19121-1946), later the Budd Company, pioneered in the fabrication of goods from light steel sheets by stamping and welding techniques. A continuous maker of automobile and truck bodies and parts, the company was famous for the production of streamlined stainless steel railroad and transit passenger cars between 1934 and 1985. This collection is a synthetic historical file assembled for public relations purposes at the company’s current Michigan headquarters.

Administrative Information


Some of the materials in this collection were removed from the Red Lion and Hunting Park plants in Philadelphia and Michigan. Complete archival records generated at those plants have for the most part been destroyed. While some photographs and pamphlets were removed from Red Lion before the sale, all of the Budd drawings passed to Bombardier, Inc. in 1987.


Biogrpahical Note

Edward Gowen Budd (1870-1946) founded the Edward G. Budd Manufacturing Company in Philadelphia in 1912. It merged with the subsidiary Budd Wheel Company in 1946 to form The Budd Company. Budd and his company pioneered in the design, fabrication and welding of light steel sheets. Budd's primary products were automobile and truck bodies and parts, but between 1934 and 1983, it was an innovative builder of railroad and transit passenger cars and it also produced some experimental stainless steel airplanes. In 1978, Budd became a subsidiary of Thyssen AG of Germany. The money-losing railroad car operations were first spun off to a separate Thyssen subsidiary, Transit America, Inc., in 1985 and then sold to Bombardier Inc. in 1987. Thyssen concentrated operations in Michigan and closed its last Philadelphia plant in 2002. The surviving company is now named ThyssenKrupp Budd Company.


Scope and Content

The collection consists of historical manuscript files, among them an extensive typescript entitled "The Life and Work of Edward G. Budd."; a report on The Budd Company facilities prepared for the Rover Company, Ltd., of Great Britain in 1925; a report on the Shotweld process prepared for the Civil Aeronautics Authority in 1939, and a facsimile of a 1914 letter from the Dodge Brothers about an early Budd order. The remainder of the file consists of clippings, tear sheets, press releases, and various letters and pamphlets, all dealing with company products, personnel or employee relations. Among these are letters from the Pennsylvania Railroad Company from 1944 and materials relating to the Pioneer III and Metroliner railroad cars. One of the tear sheets describes how company official Paul Pleiss and his German counterpart at Ambi-Budd smuggled the secret of the German army's innovative five gallon gasoline can out of Germany in 1939.


Separated Material

An oil portrait and bust of Edward G. Budd, Sr. are located in the Museum Division's collections at Hagley Museum and Library.

Budd Company Photograph Collection (Accession 1999.228), Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department, Hagley Museum and Library


Series Descriptions and Inventory

1 Airplanes - "Pioneer", 1969-1977, undated
1 Ambi-Budd Presswerk, GmbH (German subsidiary), 1924
1 Appointments - 32Management, circa 1960-1973
1 Auto bodies, 1929-1954
1 Budd, Edward G., Sr. - "Life and Work of Edward G. Budd", undated
1 Budd, Edward G., Sr. - Miscellaneous, 1934-1957
1 Budd-Thyssen merger, 1978
1 Budd Wheel Company, 1945
1 Company History -- General, 1937-1981
1 Dodge Motor Car Company letter, 1914
2 Employee representation plan, 1933
2 Employee's guide, circa 1930
2 FMC Corporation -- Bradley fighting vehicle, 1981
2 Gas-turbine rail car, 1966
2 Jerry cans, 1950-1975
2 Labor relations, 1945-1946
2 "Metroliners", 1965-1968
2 Milford Fabricating Company, 1993
2 Ordnance, 1944
2 Payrolls, 1912
2 Pennsylvania Railroad Co. -- Passenger cars, 1944
2 "Pioneer III" railroad car, 1956
2 Press releases, 1982, 1984
2 Press releases and news clips, 1979-1982
2 Product Development Division, 1972
2 Ragsdale, Col. E. J. W. -- Death -- Condolences, 1946
2 Rail Diesel Car, 1962
2 Railroads -- General, 1944-1961
2 Railway Division, circa 1980
2 Rover Company, Ltd. -- Report for (illus.), 1925
2 Shotweld process -- Report to Civil Aeronautic Authority(illus.), 1939
2 Streamlined trains: Burlington Twin Cities Zephyr, 1945
2 Streamlined trains: El Capitan, 1954
2 Streamlined trains: General, 1947
2 Streamlined trains: Prospector, 1941
2 Streamlined trains: Sunset Limited, 1950
2 Subway cars, 1960
2 Transit America -- Freight cars, circa 1990