Museum program Saturday to focus on Allison plant history

Thursday, June 22, 2017

In 1991, more than 1,600 people from Putnam County and the surrounding counties were employed full-time by Allison in Indianapolis. From a wartime high of 23,000 employees, Allison continues to provide employment for families in Putnam County.

Currently owned by Rolls-Royce, approximately 4,000 employees work in Indianapolis in manufacturing, assembly, testing, engineering and a variety of staff support roles. Today, more products are built in Indianapolis than anywhere else in the world.

On Saturday, June 24, John Leonard, author of “Jim Allison’s Machine Shop – The First 30 Years” and “The Allison Engine Catalog,” will give a talk on the company that put dinner on the table for many locally.

A local resident, engineer and Allison historian, Leonard will share interesting facts and history about James Allison and his company when he presents “Allison History” at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Putnam County Museum, 1105 N. Jackson St., Greencastle.

Leonard graduated from Purdue University in 1964 with a degree in engineering. He worked at McDonnell Douglas for 33 years, mostly on advanced design projects. At Allison/Rolls-Royce, he worked on turbine engine projects in the Controls Department.

For nearly 17 years he has been involved in historical research on Allison engines. He has written articles on Allison-related subjects for Rolls-Royce Magazine, the Journal of the Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust, the American Aircraft Historical Society Journal and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

He recently wrote a short history of the V-1 Buzz Bomb, which appeared in The Arch, a publication of the Putnam County Museum.

This program is free and open to the public.

The museum can be reached at 653-8419.

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