Thursday, December 11, 2008

F.W. Dodge

My recent interest in corporate history and information organization has led me to F.W. Dodge, one time parent of Sweet's. I'm not sure what information is available but some starting points include:
  • Corporate America: a historical bibliography.
  • United States corporation histories: a bibliography 1965-1990.
  • International directory of company histories.
  • Corporate archives and history: making the past work.
  • Reminiscences of Carl Coash : oral history, 1956
  • Reminiscences of Donald Cushing McGraw : oral history, 1964.
  • Reminiscences of Alton Walker Kitchens : oral history, 1973.
  • Reminiscences of Paul Abbott : oral history, 1964.
  • Reminiscences of Wallace Francis Traendly : oral history, 1964.
  • Tebbel's A History of Book Publishing in the United States.
We'll see where this goes.

Some other information: (May, 1903). Yale Law Journal, 12(7): 460-461. An article on Dodge's conflict with a competitor.
George A. Christie was a long time economist for Dodge. He may have left something.

Some more insight from the biography of Howard Wesley Johnson, Holding the Center:

"I had no trouble getting jobs in downtown Chicago, and I worked forty hours a week doing low-skill tasks. I soon got a job at F.W. Dodge, the construction data company in the Merchandise Mart on the Chicago River, running their mimeograph machines. The minimum wage in those years was forty cents per hour, so twenty hours produced $8.00. But I soon arranged the job so that I could start at 4 P.M., when my classes were essentially over, and work until 8, and then worked out an arrangemetn for finishing the day's mimeographing in two ours by running two or three machines and still drawing the same daily pay. By the time I left that job, I was making the equivalent of $1.60 per hour.

"The night crew at F.W. Dodge consisted of envelope stuffers who would arrive at 6 P.M. and fill the addressed envelopes with data sheets on construction in Chicago. The crews were mostly young women of Italian decent, and the workroom next to the mimeography room was full of song, laughter and, occasionally, shouted ribald remarks. I didn't mind it a bit and especially lokked forward to the monthly party where we enjoyed sandwiches brought from their homes and five-cent cokes from the machine amid noise, dancing, and fun. It was a happy constrast to the dull grind of my college classes." p. 16

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