Cyrus Osborn

Cyrus Osborn was a manager at General Motors in the 1930s and 1940s. He is best known for inventing the railroad dome car in 1947. Born in Dayton, Ohio, Osborn served in World War I and graduated from the University of Cincinnati with an M.E. degree in 1921. Osborn then started as an apprentice with Dayton Engineering Laboratories (a division of General Motors). He rose through the ranks to manage G.M.’s overseas division, and then became the second in command at G.M.’s Opel division in Germany in 1936.

His leadership of Opel from 1937 to 1940 was marked by increasing controversy as tensions between the United States and Germany increased prior to the outbreak of World War II. Osborn was elected a vice president of the corporation in 1943. He retired from G.M. in 1962 after 45 years of service.