Purchased controlling interest of Spicer Joint Manufacturing Company in 1914, partnering with Clarence Spicer to produce automotive universal joints
Developed Spicer company into a multi-faceted automotive supplier known today as the Dana Corporation
Charles A. Dana proved that you don’t have to be an engineer to become a driving force in the automotive industry. Trained and practicing as a lawyer, Dana saw the potential for growth in the universal joint manufacturing company founded by Clarence Spicer. Dana purchased the company and assumed the administrative duties, leaving Spicer free to invent and perfect useful components. Dana was President of the company from 1914 to 1958 and Chairman from 1948 through 1966, an amazing 52-year career. An easy-going, innovative approach to business led to deals made while traveling on trains or steam ships, and to informal, hand-written instructions to plant managers. Unwilling to let an opportunity slip away, Dana once bought a $3 million business by writing out a contract in the margin of a newspaper. Dana’s corporate successor, R. E. Carpenter, remarked that great rewards often come from the unconventional, which is the one word you must use in discussing Mr. Dana.