The WWII Emergency Rubber Project A synthetic rubber – Buna-S (Butadiene- Styrene) Technology derived from IG. Farben Patents Plants in Texas and West Virginia Successful by late 1944 The basis of the modern petrochemical industry
The Post-WWII Reconversion Economy The gradual shift from a totally controlled wartime economy (supplies and prices) to a more free market one In terms of the automobile industry, FDR’s aim of breaking up the power of the Big Three by awarding surplus war plants to new industry entrants
New Players on the Automobile Industry Scene, Post-1945 All were very successful businessmen and innovators during WWII Henry Kaiser Joseph Frazier J. Powell Crosley Preston Tucker
Common Problems for all new Entrants Undercapitalization – despite what was thought to be enough start up capital, subsequent analysis showed that these firms were all undercapitalized. Difficulties in securing critical materials necessary for manufacture – especially steel. Government roadblocks, especially from the SEC and the DOJ.
All of the New Entrants Failed by the Mid-1950s!!!
J. Powell Crosley 1st car radio 1st push button radio Most powerful radio broadcast system in the world 1st Soap Opera 1st refrigerator with shelves in the door 1st mass produced economy car 1st lights on a major league baseball field 1st car to have disc brakes
An Open Letter to The Automobile Industry In The Interests Of The American Motorist By Preston Tucker President, Tucker Corp. June 15, 1948 When the day comes that anyone can bend our country's laws and lawmakers to serve selfish, competitive ends, that day democratic government dies. And we're just optimistic enough to believe that once the facts are on the table, American public opinion will walk in with a big stick.
Letter, Charles A. Lindbergh to Orville Wright, 4 January 1934].Letter, Charles A. Lindbergh to Orville Wright, 4 January 1934]. General Correspondence: Lindbergh, Charles A., 1927, 1933-1940, undated. Wilbur and Orville Wright Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.