Today, February 3, 2014, we celebrate the 95th anniversary of Cummins. On this date in 1919, the “Articles of Incorporation” was signed by William A. Roach, Secretary of State for Indiana, marking the beginning of Cummins Engine Company.
In 1918 Clessie Cummins convinced his employer, William G. Irwin, to help finance a license and form a corporation to produce Hvid diesel engines. Mr. Cummins was a self-taught mechanic who met Mr. Irwin when he became his driver. Eventually, Mr. Cummins opened an auto mechanic operation and machine shop with Mr. Irwin’s help. That business relationship led to the formation of Cummins Engine Company.
By April 1919, the first completed engine – a 6-horsepower, single-cylinder Hvid engine that operated at 600 rpm – was already making news. In the words of Mr. Cummins, “The design and operation of an engine at 600 rpm was considered quite the extreme, and much criticism was heard in engineering societies and circles, and the technical press, as to its success.”
In reflecting upon 95 years as a company, it’s important to look back and acknowledge our beginnings. In those early days of the Company, Cummins built diesels for yachts, work boats, stationary power plants and similar uses, and started exploring automotive applications as well. You can see more of our history in words, in pictures or in videos.
In an article Mr. Cummins wrote for Modern Mechanics and Inventions in April 1930, he pointed to fuel economy and longevity as two reasons for early interest in his engines. Today, ongoing innovations in fuel economy and legendary Cummins dependability are reasons we have been leaders in engine and related technologies for 95 years.
Another point of pride for Cummins employees is that our mission goes beyond products to our responsibility to the communities in which we live and work. Corporate responsibility, as we know it today, has always been an important part of Cummins culture. J. Irwin Miller, former Chairman and CEO, gave an important speech at the National Industrial Conference Board Public Affairs Conference in April 1970. Miller highlighted the responsibility businesses have not only to their stakeholders but to their communities
We are thankful to our employees, both past and present, because their hard work has made the Company what it is today. As we celebrate our past, Cummins will continue to build upon our legacy with the same innovation and commitment that drove our success during these first 95 years.