July 22, 1908 – Fisher Body is formed

On this day in 1908 brothers Fred and Charles Fisher founded Fisher body in Detroit, Michigan. After launching the company they would bring on their five younger brothers as well. Prior to forming the business, the two eldest Fisher brothers built horse-drawn carriages for C. R. Wilson Company. During his time there Fred participated in the building of the Cadillac Osceola, the first fully enclosed automobile (see it here).  Starting in 1910, Fisher Body was the sole supplier of all closed bodies for Cadillac. During this time they also produced various bodies for Buick. By 1913 the brothers were able to produce 100,000 cars per year and had clients including Ford, Krit, Chalmers and Studebaker, along with Cadillac and Buick. By 1914 they were the largest automobile body manufacturer.

body by fisher 1950s
Top: Early body assembly line, courtesy GM Heritage Center. Above Fisher in the 1950s.

In 1916, with a capacity to build 370,000 bodies per year, the company became Fisher Body Corporation. In 1919 the brothers received a deal offer direct from General Motors president William C. Durant, which would give GM 60 percent of the company. They accepted and in 1926 Fisher Body became an in-house division for General Motors. Fisher Body dissolved in 1984 with factories being absorbed by GM. The company name lives on through other family founded companies, including Fisher & Company and Fisher Dynamics, which produces seating mechanisms and design for numerous purposes. At the height of operation Fisher Body owned more than 160,000 acres of timberland and employed more than 100,000 people.  

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