Globe Electric Company

The early history of the Power Solutions Business Unit

February 1, 1911 (PD: 201202)

Globe Electric Company

Globe Electric Company logo used in the 1920s

On February 1, 1911, three enterprising Milwaukee men, G. W. Youngs, David Decker and J. H. Gugler, formed the Globe Electric Company.

The primary business of the new company was the manufacture of electrical apparatus for street lighting and street cars.  However, by the 1920s, automotive storage batteries became Globe’s major product line. In 1936, the company consolidated its various incarnations under the name Globe-Union Inc.

Under the leadership of Globe presidents C. O. Wanvig and his son C. O. Wanvig, Jr., the company became the largest American manufacturer of automotive replacement batteries by the early 1970s.

Among Globe’s many innovations were the polypropylene battery case, cast-on-strap process, and “H-V” (high voltage) batteries.  Notably, Sears’ “DieHard” batteries, introduced in 1967, were supplied by Globe.

Johnson Controls acquired Globe-Union in 1978.  Today, the Johnson Controls Power Solutions Business Unit is the global leader in the manufacture of lead-acid automotive batteries and advanced batteries for Start-Stop, hybrid and electric vehicles.