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Asea Brown Boveri Westinghouse records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS-182

Scope and Contents

This collection includes administrative records, plant construction and planning files, position appointments, news articles, scrapbooks, and publications from the Asea Brown Boveri Westinghouse plant in Muncie, Indiana ranging from the early 1950's to the mid-1990's. There is also a photograph collection, as well as oversized photos, negatives, and slides, containing photos of plant construction, the finished building, employees, events, manufacturing equipment, and transformers. A film of the plant ground-breaking ceremony on November 5, 1959 is included, as well, and is available for viewing.


  • Creation: 1955-1998

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries, Muncie, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Archives and Special Collections.

Administrative History

Westinghouse has been patenting and marketing electric equipment since the late 1800's with the development of the first light bulb. By the 1950's Westinghouse expanded to take on the project of building their most sophisticated and technologically advanced plant in Muncie, Indiana. The goal was to construct a new plant capable of producing the greatest transformers ever developed.

The location of the plant was particularly important. Westinghouse was looking for a well-educated work force, as well as a strategic location for receiving raw materials, and shipping out completed transformers. With the help of research consultants and studies, Westinghouse chose what they referred to as site location #10, an area on Cowan Road in the southern part of Muncie. This site was selected over other sites in Muncie, as well as locations in Indianapolis and Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Muncie welcomed the new industry and job opportunities with open arms, and the community was invited to attend the ground-breaking ceremony in November 1959. Within two years the more than one million square foot plant was finished. Westinghouse later sponsored open houses and family days to maintain good relations with the community. The company also donated funds to Ball State University for the construction of Emens Auditorium, and to Ball Memorial Hospital for air conditioners.

Economically the Muncie plant did well in the 1960's and 1970's, producing the largest transformers in the world, both in size and in power. The plant was also recognized as a leader in industry, earning a spot in Factory magazine's list of top ten manufacturing plants in 1962.

In the 1980's, Westinghouse struggled against foreign competition, despite efforts to persuade the United States government to stop the flood of foreign-made transformers into the U.S. market. In 1988, Westinghouse arranged the sale of the Muncie plant to Asea Brown Boveri (ABB), a multinational corporation with an interest in transformers. ABB took over in 1989, restructuring both the layout of the plant and the personnel. Under ABB, the plant continued to operate until 1998 when the company left Muncie.


11.1 Cubic Feet (22 boxes, 6 oversize folders, 1 16mm film)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged in the following series:

Series 1: Asea Brown Boveri Westinghouse publications, 1985-1997

Series 2: Asea Brown Boveri Westinghouse news articles and press releases, 1970-1997

Series 3: Asea Brown Boveri Westinghouse plant construction and planning files, 1955-1969

Series 4: Asea Brown Boveri Westinghouse administrative records, 1957-1980

Series 5: Asea Brown Boveri Westinghouse position appointment anouncements, 1959-1998

Series 6: Asea Brown Boveri Westinghouse transformer plant construction project apecifications, 1960 Mar.

Series 7: Asea Brown Boveri Westinghouse scrapbooks, 1958-1962

Series 8: Asea Brown Boveri Westinghouse Series 8: Asea Brown Boveri Westinghouse oversize maps, transformer and rail car blueprints and drawings, and employee organization charts, 1946-1966

Series 9: Asea Brown Boveri Westinghouse plant groundbreaking film, 1959-1997

Series 10: Asea Brown Boveri Westinghouse photographs, 1955-1988

Series 11: Asea Brown Boveri Westinghouse oversized photographs, 1959-1960

Series 12: Asea Brown Boveri Westinghouse negatives, undated

Series 13: Asea Brown Boveri Westinghouse slides, 1958-1969

Custodial History

This collection was received by Archives and Special Collections as a donation from Carmel Jones on 1986/10/23 and 1998/11/18, and from Larry W. Campbell on 2009/01/26 and 2010/01/13.

Related Archival Materials

Materials relating to this collection may be found in the following collections in Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries, Muncie IN:

SC.051: Westinghouse plant records, 1961-1986

V.017: ABB Westinghouse Award of Excellence Program video, 1997

V.024: ABB Westinghouse Award of Excellence Program video, 1996

V.064: ABB Westinghouse: Power Transformers: Desigining, Building, and Repairing the World's Best video, circa 1955-1998

V.067: ABB Westinghouse Integrated Models to Enable New Business to Gain Market Share Against Established Competition video, circa 1955-1998

Processing Information

Collection processing completed in 1999 by M. Long. Finding aid revised 1999/10/20. Finding aid revised 2003/11 by A. Childers. Finding aid revised 2007/03/28 by Maren Read.

EAD finding aid created 2012/03/06 by Lisa Barney. EAD finding aid revised by 2012/03/08 Bethany Fiechter.

Asea Brown Boveri Westinghouse records
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Stoeckel Archives of Local History Repository

Alexander M. Bracken Library
2000 W. University Avenue
Muncie Indiana 47306 USA