AN IDEAL History 

The Ideal Electric & Manufacturing Company was founded in May of 1903 by Stanleigh Glen Vinson at the corner of East 5th and Elm Street, Mansfield, Ohio. The company was later relocated to the corner of East 1st and Oak Streets in 1920. The Vinson family owned the company until November 1976 when it was purchased by the Carrier Corporation. Ideal Electric Co. was then purchased by United Technologies Corporation in June of 1979 when UTC purchased the Carrier Corporation. M. Vucelic, members of his family, and several investors acquired the company on May 28, 1986 until it was later aquired Hyundai. Currently, Ideal Electric is owned by a private American affiliate, making it the only wholly American-owned independent manufacturer of high-power, specialty electric machinery and power systems in the world.

1903

The Beginning of an American Ideal

May 28th, 1903, The Ideal Electric and Manufacturing Company is created out of the Card Electric Company. The original plant, a converted horse carriage shop, occupies 2,500-square-feet. Glen Vinson, the founder and first president, leads IDEAL ELECTRIC in steady growth for the next coming years.

1905

Elevator Motors

First high torque squirrel cage motor for elevator service developed and produced by IDEAL.

1914

Synchronous Motors

After World War I, Ideal pioneers two major products for the electrical industry. Large, slow-speed synchronous motors and generators that use across-the-line starting, and the polyphase capacitor induction motor.

1920

The Ohio Works Constructed

Continued growth necessitates the hire of expert, leading American engineers. Ideal constructs the revolutionary Ohio Works, situated on 29 acres with over 280,000 square feet of space.

1927

First Transatlantic Telephone Call

An IDEAL Motor-Generator Set powers the first official transatlantic telephone call on January 7, 1927, when W. S. Gifford, president of the American Telephone & Telegraph Company (AT&T), calls Sir Evelyn P. Murray, secretary of the General Post Office of Great Britain, commencing the new, Across-The-Ocean commercial telephone service.

1939-1945

World War II

Ideal delivers generator sets to US Navy to provide shipboard power for EC-2 Liberty class ships; as well as powering gun turrets on US cruisers and supplying power to allied ground bases throughout the world.

1950

Brushless Excitation

IDEAL leads the world in synchronous innovation, developing brushless excitation systems.

1953

50 years of ideal

IDEAL marks 50th anniversary with over 500 employees.

1964

Hermetic Motors

Hermetic motors break the 2000 HP barrier in refrigeration compressors.

The “8th Wonder of the World”, Houston, Texas’ Astrodome, the world’s first multi-purpose, domed sports stadium, is constructed with air-conditioned powered by IDEAL. 

1968

Gas Turbine Generators

IDEAL begins supply of generators to a pioneering gas turbine manufacturer who would become 

1976

Carrier Corporation

With a long history designing and building motors for Willis Carrier’s inventions, particularly in hermetic and semi-hermetic types, IDEAL is acquired by Carrier Corporation.

1979

United Technologies

Carrier Corporation is acquired by United Technologies Corporation (UTC) in July 1979.

1986

Independent Ownership

United Technologies Corporation divests IDEAL to a management team lead by Michael M. Vucelic, a famed NASA Apollo Program Director, Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, credited with the safe return of the Apollo 13 astronauts.

1997

Test Floor

Ideal Electric continues to lead the industry with an expanded assembly area and test floor. The expansion adds an additional 30,000 square feet to the assembly and test floor area and is supported by a new 80-ton crane with a 35-foot hook height.

2001

September 11th Recovery

After the terror attacks in NYC on September 11th, Ideal Electric aids Verizon in rebuilding major telephone exchanges throughout the city. 

2003

The Northeast Blackout

The Great Northeast Blackout occurs, leaving over 45 million Americans without electricty. Ideal helps to supply power to those affected.

2007

Hyundai Ideal

Ideal’s 280,000 ft2 facility is purchased by Hyundai Heavy Industries, Ulsan, South Korea and renamed Hyundai Ideal Electric Co. (HIEC).

2008

New Assembly Building

A new 25,000 ft2 assembly floor is added, including two 40-ton overhead cranes.

2009

VPI System

a new, 14 foot vacuum pressure impregnation tank is added to the manufacturing floor.

2011

Heavy Fabrication Hall Constructed

Ground is broken for another 25,000 ft2 building addition to house machining and welding operations.

2017

The American Ideal

In September 2017, Hyundai divests the entirety of IDEAL to a private owner, returning the company to 100% American ownership and setting the stage for a resurgence of the factory led by an entrepreneurial spirit and passion for electric machinery. 

Historical Products

The Ideal Electric & Manufacturing Company received their first order from the A. Kieckhefer Elevator Company on May 28, 1903. New products, including high-torque squirrel cage motors, induction motors, and slip ring motors, were introduced in 1905. These motors were for elevators and electro-plating. AC motors up to 50 hp and DC motors up to 4000 amperes were added to the product line in 1907. Other products were added as the company grew. 

During WWI Ideal Electric supplied many motors for various applications. Many warships housed components built by Ideal Electric.

Synchronous motors were added to the product mix in 1918. Hermetic motors for refrigeration purposes were developed in the 1920’s. Eddy Current Couplings were developed in 1928 to supply variable speed and torque. Ideal supplied 400 cycle generators for the military during WWII.

The Battle of Tassafaronga during November of 1942 was devastating to our fleet of heavy cruisers. The Northampton was sunk, and the Minneapolis, New Orleans, and Pensacola sustained heavy casualties and were sent back to port for repairs. The Minneapolis, after she sunk or helped sink nine Japanese warships, limped into Tulagi Harbor for emergency repairs before proceeding to Pearl Harbor and thence to Mare Island Navy Yard at San Francisco. The gun turrets for this sea fighter, like hundreds of other surface craft, were powered with motor-generator sets manufactured by the Ideal Electric Company. A letter of commendation from Rear Admiral, El Cochrane, USN, Chief of the Bureau of Ships applauded Ideal Electric for its delivery record and quality components.

No-break, Continuous Power Systems that combined the motor, generator, and Eddy Current technologies were developed in the 1960’s

Ideal Electric has designed and manufactured custom-built equipment for a variety of applications and customers. Ideal has built small, land-based, high-frequency motor-generator sets for Naval aircraft, medium size generators for Naval guided missile attack ships, small to large generators for hydroelectric applications, generators for oil platforms, back-up power supplies for NASA, small refrigeration motors for buildings like the Astrodome in Houston Texas and the World Trade Center.

Some of the innovations Ideal has engineered include the Eddy Current Coupling, brushless exciter package, a centrifugal rotor castor, wind-powered generators, epicyclic gear-driven generators, 300% overspeed hydro-generators and 11,000 volt hermetic motors.

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