History of Warner Electric
History of Warner Electric

The history of Warner Electric is the story of invention and innovation beginning with its founder, A. P. Warner. Arthur Pratt Warner was an inventor of great importance with over 100 patents on file, among them the automotive speedometer, a variant of which is still in use in every automobile today. Mr. Warner was also the first official timer of the Indianapolis 500 and the first private person to purchase an airplane (1909).


From the beginning, the hallmark of Warner Electric has been leadership - in creative product design, development, marketing and service.

  • The invention of the "cut-meter" for measuring the speed of cutting tools in industry.
  • The development of the first automotive speedometer.
  • Overland was the first car to have a speedometer as standard equipment, Cadillac was second.

Formation of the Warner Trailer Company just prior to World War I - the first to build two-wheel trailers including the first tourist trailer, the predecessor of recreational vehicle campers.

  • In 1927, Warner organized yet another company, the Warner Electric Brake Corporation, based on a new brake design using electricity.
  • At one time, more than 75% of all mobile homes made were equipped with the Warner Electric brake design.
  • Shortly after the end of World War II, the first industrial electric brake was developed for high-speed engine lathes.
  • In 1950 the first industrial electric clutch was developed for use on large turret lathes.
  • During the 50's and 60's the range of applications quickly expanded to include packaging machines, computer printers, textile machinery, farm combines, conveyor systems and plant automation equipment.
  • More recent developments include packaged designs - foot mounted, shaft mounted and C-face designs for direct mounting to standard reducers and motors highlighted by the industry's first clutch/brake modules - the leading choice of designers today.
We are now a part of Regal Rexnord.