Second Industrial Revolution Historical

Second Industrial Revolution Historical (HM1UPU)

Location: Traverse City, MI 49684 Grand Traverse County
Country: United States of America

N 44° 46.134', W 85° 38.024'

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Historic Traverse City

—The West Bay Waterfront —

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
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.
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Placed ByGrand Traverse Pioneer & Historical Society, Clinton and Martha Kennard, and the Oleson Foundation
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, September 27th, 2016 at 9:01pm PDT -07:00
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16T E 608114 N 4958186
Decimal Degrees44.76890000, -85.63373333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 44° 46.134', W 85° 38.024'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds44° 46' 8.04" N, 85° 38' 1.44" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)231, 810
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling West
Closest Postal AddressAt or near Traverse Area Recreation Trail, Traverse City MI 49684, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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