#206 Merrill Wheel Balancing System
Innovative method of wheel balancing (on the vehicle) adopted worldwide
Marcellus Merrill first implemented an electronic dynamic wheel-balancing system in 1945. Prior to the development of this system, automobile wheels had to be removed from the vehicle for static balancing (without rotating). Merrill's system allowed the wheel to remain on the vehicle and to be spun at high speed so that resulting vibrations could be detected by an electronic pickup unit for analysis. This system was developed for balancing crankshafts of high-speed racing car engines and later for use by General Electric Company for 2,000 to 3,000 pound rotors.
Elements of Merrill's dynamic balancing systems are still used today, primarily for industrial and automotive production applications. The Merrill Axle and Wheel Service is still using (as of September 1999) one of the Merrill aligning machines and a Stewart Warner strobe balancer designed on the Merrill system.
Merrill Engineering Laboratories
2390 South Tejon Street
Merrill Axle and Wheel Service (shop)
7800 West 16th Avenue
September 18, 1999, joint with IEEE, IEEE Milestone
Nominated through IEEE, Charles Wright from the IEEE Denver Section was key in organizing this landmark designation.