Budd, Edward G.

Budd, Edward G. (Gowen)

(1870–1946) industrialist; born in Smyrna, Del. He apprenticed as a machinist and by 1902 he was general manager at the Hale and Killern Company (Philadelphia), a manufacturer of car seats and other parts for railroads; he introduced pressed steel with oxyacetylene-welded joints. In 1912 he formed the Edward G. Budd Manufacturing Company to put into production his idea for all-steel auto bodies as opposed to some sections of wood used then; his all-steel bodies soon became the standard. In World War I his factory produced military equipment. In 1925 he opened the Budd Wheel Company in Detroit to make steel disk wheels for autos. He continued to experiment with stainless steel, building the first stainless steel airplane in 1931. He also built stainless steel railroad cars called "Buddliners," selling 500 by 1941. During World War II he again retooled for military equipment and in 1946 consolidated his companies into the Budd Company. In 1944 he won the medal of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.