This article appeared in the Journal Herald on August 30, 1976
Deeds Barn is dedicated in shadow of Frigidaire
By Belva Datcher
With the sprawling Frigidaire division of General Motors as a backdrop, the old Deeds Barn, where much of that corporation’s automotive history began, was dedicated at 1:30 P.M. yesterday.
The small green and white structure, now located at 35 Moraine Circle South, Kettering, was surrounded by various state and local government and business leaders as well as relatives of the two men, who made much of that history, Charles F. Kettering and Col. Edward A. Deeds.
FOR THE ADULTS, it was a time of remembrances as William S. Anderson, chairman of the board, NCR Corp.; Thomas A. Murphy, chairman of the board, General Motors Corp., Detroit; Richard L. Terrell, Vice-chairman of General Motors, and Winston Franklin of the Kettering Foundation, told their anecdotes and stories of the two men.
For the children, the old barn itself held fascination as they poked their way past old crank cash registers, ancient calculators, self-starter engine prototypes and an original porcelain icebox.
Most of the speakers praised what they called the inventive spirit of “Boss Ket” (as he was known to co-workers), Deeds, and a group of assistants known as the Barn Gang. NCR Chairman Anderson said such a spirit as that is under attack today.
“It is ironic that even as we meet here today, to commemorate the achievements which came out of Deeds Barn, the economic system that made those achievements possible is under heavy attack from different quarters,” Anderson said.
ANDERSON named those quarters, from the Humphrey-Hawkins unemployment bill co-sponsored by Sen. Hubert Humphrey, D-Minn., and rep. Augustus Hawkins, D- Calif., to Ralph Nader’s calls for the federal chartering of large corporations.
“One wonders how many Ketterings or how many Deedses, would emerge from the rigidly controlled business environment which the Humphreys and the Naders would bring to the United States of the 1980s. I’m afraid the answer is none at all. Such an economy would smother innovation…”
He quoted Kettering as saying,” We have a great many people who are always talking about dividing up what we have. We don’t want to study division in this country. We want to study multiplication.”
Kettering Mayor Charles F. Horn, proclaimed yesterday Charles F. Kettering Day, noting that yesterday would have been Kettering’s 100th birthday.
The renovated barn, moved from its original location at 312 Central Ave., will be opened, free of charge, to the public on Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m.
Melba L. Hunt, president and director of the Kettering-Moraine Museum and Historical Society, which sponsored the renovation, said group tours can be arranged by appointment.