G. Robert Vincent Voice Library
Lansing Auto Town Gallery

Jack Down discusses his career at REO Motor Car Company and Diamond REO Trucks, Inc.

Jack Down, an R. E. Olds Transporation Museum volunteer and former REO Motor Car Company/Diamond-Reo Trucks, Inc. employee, recalls his experiences with the company and his life in the Greater Lansing, MI area. Down talks about his youth in East Lansing, attending Michigan State College, his jobs prior to working for REO, the factory buildings and land around the plant, the REO Clubhouse, and the beginnings of the REO Motor Car Company and the Oldsmobile and Fisher Body operations in Lansing. He also discusses the tragedy of owner Francis Cappaert raiding the REO worker's pension fund and the turmoil of the Lansing Labor Holiday and the labor confrontation known as the "Battle of the Red Cedar". The interviewers are Shirley Bradley and Lisa Fine. Recorded as part of the "REO Memories" oral history project.

  • Transcripts