Skip to main content

James Parrish Inland Collection (MS-696)

Identifier: MS-696

Scope and Contents

The James Parrish Inland Collection contains general history materials (written histories, chronologies, etc.); administrative materials (directories, organizational charts, handbooks, etc.); newsletters, including many issues of "The Inlander"; reports, mostly describing technical details or testing results; product catalogs; photographs of buildings and facilities, people, and products; and memorabilia (small items such as patches, pins, etc.).

Individual series and subseries are described in greater detail in Scope and Content Notes at the series or subseries level.


  • Creation: 1935 - 2009
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1960 - 1990


Language of Materials

Materials are predominantly in English, but occasionally individual items may include one or more of several other languages, including German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. This is indicated at the file level. Items are in English unless otherwise noted.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on accessing material in this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

Inland was born out of General Motors' acquisition in 1919 of the Dayton-Wright Airplane Company. In 1923, GM established the Inland Manufacturing Division on former the Dayton-Wright Company Plant No. 3 (on West Third Street), to produce wooden steering wheels for Chevrolet and Cadillac. By 1930, the plant had converted to making rubber steering wheels and other rubber and metal products. By 1937, the Inland Division had over 700 products, mainly rubber insulating and noise dampening, for airplanes, escalators, trains, automobiles, tractors, refrigerators, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, and motors.

During World War II, Inland produced over 2.5 million M-30 carbines, as well as tank tracks, gunsights and shoulder rests, helmet liners and extinguisher horns, aircraft steering wheels, truck clutches, brake linings, and other items. Inland employment had increased from 225 in 1923 to nearly 6,000 in 1943. (This reduced to about 3,000 in the immediate post-war period, however.)

A list of Inland products from shortly after World War II included: weatherstripping, steering wheels, vibration dampers, door sill mats, hydraulic brake hose, pedals, defroster hose, motor mounts, brake lining, adhesives, ice cube trays, cluthes, and miscellaneous other rubber and plastic parts.

In the 1950s, Inland added suspension ball joins, instrument panel pads, urethane foam seat pads. The 1960s added Saf-Wood steering wheels, energy absorbing bumpers. In the 1970s, air conditioning hose and MacPherson strut mounts were added to Inland's products.

By its 50th anniversary in 1973, Inland had several sites around the Dayton area: The Main Office was in Dayton. Plant 1, Dayton, manufactured steering wheels, bumper rub strips, enginer and transmission mounts, and flexible body componanets. Plant 2, Dayton, meanufactured automotive latex and sponge roof rails, door and deck weatherstrips, windshield sealers, and brake and refrigerant hose. Plants 3 and 4, in Vandalia, manufactured instrument panel pads, seat pads, knee pads, brake lining, brake hose coupling, and ball joints. The Vandalia plants had previously been part of GM's Aeroproducts Division and later GM's Allison Division, prior to becoming part of the Inland Division.

By the mid-1980s, the list of Inland's current products included: ball joints, brake hose, brake lining, defroster nozzles, door trim panels, engine mountains, horn pads, interior trim panels, instrument panel pads, Liteflex composite suspension springs, miscellaneous plastic trim, seat assemblies, seat covers, seats cushions, steering wheels, sunshades, suspension mountings, and weatherstrips. Inland had 22,000 employees and facilities in at least 15 cities in 6 countries (U.S.A., West Germany, Japan, Mexico, Portugal, and Canada).

From the 1980s through the early 2000s, Inland went through many organizational changes. In 1985, Inland reorganized into business systems management units. It merged with Fisher Body and later GM Delco Products Division. It eventually evolved into the Chassis Division of Delphi Automotive Systems. Delphpi filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2005.


6 linear feet


The collection is arranged into 7 series:

  1. General History
  2. Administrative
  3. News and Newsletters
  4. Reports
  5. Product Catalogs
  6. Photographs
  7. Memorabilia

Custodial History

Materials in this collection were contributed by many individuals, gathered over the years at social get-togethers of Inland retirees. The gathering of the materials was initiated by James E. Parrish, in whose honor the collection is named.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The James Parrish Inland Collection was donated to Wright State University Libraries' Special Collections and Archives by Robert Bauerle in June 2022. Bauerle donated the collection on behalf of a group of Inland retirees who contributed items to the collection.

Related Materials

Related materials include several collections pertaining other divisions of General Motors, such as Aeroproducts and Frigidaire.

Guide to the James Parrish Inland Collection (MS-696)
Lisa Rickey
2023 Feb 2
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Wright State University Libraries
Special Collections and Archives
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton OH 45435-0001 USA