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Urbana in Champaign County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Warren G. Grimes / Grimes Field
 
Warren G. Grimes Marker (side A) Photo, Click for full size
By William Fischer, Jr., November 9, 2008
1. Warren G. Grimes Marker (side A)
 
Inscription.
Warren G. Grimes
Raised in an Ohio orphanage, Warren G. Grimes (1898-1975) ran away after finishing the ninth grade and at age 16 went to work for the Ford Motor Company in Detroit. He later became a partner in an electrical business where he was instrumental in designing and developing the first lights for the Ford Tri-Motor airplane. In 1930 Grimes moved to Urbana and founded a small lighting fixture plant, Grimes Manufacturing. The inventor of the familiar red, green, and white navigation lights found on the wing tips and tails of aircraft, Grimes, known as the “Father of the Aircraft Lighting Industry,” also developed other aircraft fixtures, including landing, instrumental, and interior lights. Every American-made airplane flown during World War II was equipped with Grimes lights. Grimes served as mayor of Urbana and chairman of the State of Ohio Aviation Board.

Grimes Field
Warren G. Grimes bought this parcel of land in the late 1930s to build a home on the east side and an airport on the west side. Opening ceremonies were held on August 8, 1943 when Grimes presented Grimes Field, consisting of one hanger and a small office building, to the city of Urbana. In 1961 the main runway was paved and lengthened to 3,200 feet. The Grimes Company used the airport extensively
 
Grimes Field Marker (side B) Photo, Click for full size
By William Fischer, Jr., November 9, 2008
2. Grimes Field Marker (side B)
 
to test Grimes lights for aircraft, but the airport also offered charter service to area industries, people in distress, instruction, and certified federally approved Aircraft and Engine service. Grimes Field was a center for civilian flying and played an integral role in making Urbana one of the most air-minded communities in the country and the model for other cities planning municipal airports. In 2001 the runway was relocated and lengthened to 4,400 feet.
 
Erected 2005 by Honeywell Lighting and Electronics, Champaign County Bicentennial Historical Marker Committee, and The Ohio Historical Society. (Marker Number 11-11.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Ohio Historical Society marker series.
 
Location. 40° 7.944′ N, 83° 44.937′ W. Marker is in Urbana, Ohio, in Champaign County. Marker is on Main Street (U.S. 68), on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is at Grimes Field, the Urbana municipal airport. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1636 N. Main Street, Urbana OH 43078, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, as the crow flies. Hull's Headquarters (approx. 1.2 miles away); Harmony Lodge No. 8 Free and Accepted Masons (approx. 1.6 miles away); This tablet mark's the Site of Doolittle's Tavern (approx. 1.7 miles away); Simon Kenton (approx. 1.7 miles away); Champaign County Civil War Memorial (approx. 1.7 miles away); Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad (approx. 1.7 miles away); a different marker also named Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad (approx. 1.7 miles away); The Johnson Manufacturing Company (approx. 1.7 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Urbana.
 
Warren G. Grimes / Grimes Field Marker Photo, Click for full size
By William Fischer, Jr., November 9, 2008
3. Warren G. Grimes / Grimes Field Marker
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on November 24, 2008, by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas. This page has been viewed 1,857 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 24, 2008, by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
 
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