War Production at Eclipse by Erin Doane, curator

During World War II, the Eclipse plant in Elmira Heights was part of the United States’ “arsenal for democracy.” Eclipse started making bicycles and coaster brakes at the plant in 1895. In 1938, the company became a division of the Bendix Aviation Corp. and began the switch from producing bicycle parts and engine starters to ordnance for the war effort. Over the course of the war, Eclipse Machine Division produced anti-aircraft shells, automatic time fuzes for the anti-aircraft shells, and 20mm aircraft cannons. It also continued to make Bendix starter drives for military vehicles, as well as, aircraft magnetos and fuel injection pumps for the B-29 Super-Fortress. (READ MORE)