G.E. Auction Sparks Memories

Items up for auction at Wednesday and Thursday at General Electric.
The plant is preparing to close the complex after about 100 years in Fort Wayne.


FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): The end is near for General Electric in Fort Wayne.

The company is hosting an auction Wednesday and Thursday of items at the multi-building complex on Broadway. 

For about a century, G.E. towered over downtown and employed tens of thousands. At its height in the 1920s, more than ten thousand worked at the site. Company officials say similar numbers of workers helped with production during World War II.

The auction includes electrical systems, tools, fork lifts, office furniture, pallets of wire – and even a Christmas tree.

Lawrence Hille's grandfather was one of those workers. During the war, his grandpa worked a double-shift, seven-days a week. 

“My grandfather worked two shifts. I was about five years old when he took me up here one time to look at the machinery he worked on.” He laughed. “I have no idea, what it is.”


Hille returned to the plant Tuesday for the first time in nearly 80 years. It was a last chance to grab some memories and reflect on a different era. 

“Everyday he did the same thing. I don't think, to this day, I could do that.” Hille said. 

Last spring, G.E. announced it would close the plant, and ship about 100 jobs to Mexico. The transition is expected to be complete by the end of January. 

Hundreds are expected to attend the two day event. You can see a list of auction items at http://www.charlestonauctions.com/