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Memorial Tributes, Volume 11
HERBERT LOUIS MISCH
Elected in 1976
“For contributions to the formation of a rational societal policy on matters ofAmerica’s environmental and vehicle safety.”
BY HAREN S. GANDHI
HERBERT LOUIS MISCH, born December 7, 1917, in Sandusky, Ohio, grew up in Port Clinton, Ohio. He attended Miami University of Ohio, then moved in 1939 to attend the University of Michigan. He graduated in 1941 with a Bachelor of Science in engineering.
Herb Misch made his mark first at Packard Motor Company, where he started his employment as a detail draftsman to the chief engineer. Although he had extremely limited resources and staff, he played a pivotal role in the development of Packard’s Ultramatic (automatic) transmission. Misch recalled, with considerable amusement, that, after the transmission had proven successful, Packard marketing people bragged that the company had spent $7 million on its development. According to Misch, “We had to scrape up everything to even get close to that.”
Misch was employed by Packard from 1941 to 1956, during which time Packard applied for nine U.S. patents on his transmission inventions. When the company folded in 1956, Herb had attained the level of chief engineer. His next career move was to the Cadillac Division of General Motors as director of advanced product planning during 1956–1957.
In May 1957, Misch began his career at Ford as an assistant chief engineer for the Mercury Division. He quickly moved through various areas of the company, achieving the rank of executive engineer in production engineering, chief engineer