Motor caught in time warp

12 January 2009

Mark P. Hodge, Maintenance Supervisor at Whirlpool Corporation's Evansville, Indiana USA plant, where top-mount refrigerators and large ice-makers are manufactured, was amazed when he found an old motor still running up on the roof of the building. As it turned out, it was very old — an artifact of the 1940s.

motor is at least 65 years old
motor is at least 65 years old

Mr. Hodge said: "We had an exhaust motor fail in our power house.

“When we got up on the roof and started investigating the cause of the failure we found that the old motor was still operational, but the pulley had been worn through and the belt was spinning on the shaft.

“My engineers and supervisors had never seen a motor like this one.

"Our plant was built in the 1940s and we believe this motor was an original installation. If so, the motor lasted more than 65 years! This is unheard of in today's world!"

A photo of the motor shows the decades of wear and tear, but the machine was still operating.

Mr. Hodge contacted the motor manufacturer, Baldor Electric, and gave them the information on the nameplate.

The company confirmed from the name tag information that the motor was built at the company's St. Louis plant, in the middle of the 1940s.

Mr. Hodge had words of praise for the quality of the motors. "Baldor motors are top-notch as far as we are concerned. We are going to keep it as part of our history. Keep up the great quality!"

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