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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Traverse City in Grand Traverse County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Second Industrial Revolution

Historic Traverse City

 

—The West Bay Waterfront —

 
Second Industrial Revolution Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., August 26, 2016
1. Second Industrial Revolution Marker
Inscription.

In 1942, the local Chamber of Commerce persuaded the Parsons Corporation to move its Pureaire Unit Kitchen Division into the vacant 60-year-old Greilick plant. About the same time the Sheffer Collet Company also started operations in a portion of the same plant. World War II saw the Parsons operation turn to military production of helicopter blades at this plant with a total employment (including a rocket body plant on 12th Street) of 700. By the 1950's Parsons had become the largest producer of helicopter rotor blades in the world, eventually manufacturing or rebuilding 180,000 blades for 34 United States and foreign companies. Both Parsons and Sheffer Collet were forced to relocate to nearby Traverse City locations when Grandview Parkway was built in 1952.

In their efforts to expand rotor blade design capability in 1946, Frank Stulen and James Gean pioneered the development of procedures for performing aircraft engineering calculations on IBM punch card machines. In 1948 while still at the Greilick plant, John T. Parsons and Frank Stulen developed the concept of numerically controlling machine tools first using IBM punch cards and later magnetic tape. The process was granted a patent in 1958 and the concept revolutionized the control of machines and industrial processes throughout the world.

The Society of Manufacturing

The J.E. Greilick Factory and Second Industrial Revolution Markers image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr.
2. The J.E. Greilick Factory and Second Industrial Revolution Markers
Engineers recognized John T. Parsons as "the father of numerical control" in 1975. In presenting the award the Society noted that the "brilliant conceptualization of numerical control marked the beginning of the second industrial revolution and the advent of an age in which the control of machines and industrial processes would pass from imprecise craft to exact science." Further recognition came in 1985 when both Parsons and Stulen received the National Medal of Technology from President Ronald Regan [sic - Reagan]. In 1993 Parsons was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame and awarded the medalion [sic - medallion] shown above. Traverse City will be forever known as the birthplace of the Second Industrial Revolution.
 
Erected by Grand Traverse Pioneer & Historical Society, Clinton and Martha Kennard, and the Oleson Foundation.
 
Location. 44° 46.134′ N, 85° 38.024′ W. Marker is in Traverse City, Michigan, in Grand Traverse County. Marker is at the intersection of Grandview Parkway (U.S. 31) and Division Street (U.S. 31), on the right when traveling west on Grandview Parkway. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Traverse City MI 49684, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The J.E. Greilick Factory (here, next to this marker); Korean War Memorial (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); Central United Methodist Church (approx. 0.8 miles away); Grand Traverse County Courthouse (approx. one mile away); World War Memorial (approx. one mile away); Spanish-American War Memorial (approx. one mile away); Civil War Memorial (approx. one mile away); U.S.S. Sabine Parrott Rifle (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Traverse City.
 
Also see . . .
1. John Parsons: The Father of the Second Industrial Revolution. (Submitted on September 27, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. John T. Parsons: The Father of Numerical Control. (Submitted on September 27, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. John T. Parsons: National Medal Winner. (Submitted on September 27, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
4. Frank L. Stulen: National Medal of Technology and Innovation (1985). (Submitted on September 27, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
5. John T. Parsons: National Medal of Technology and Innovation (1985). (Submitted on September 27, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceScience & Medicine
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 27, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 26, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 166 times since then and 32 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 27, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
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