Description: Dated ca. 1935-1943, this photograph shows a worker arc-welding steel cabinets at the National Cash Register Company in Dayton, Ohio. John H. Patterson founded the National Cash Register Company in Dayton, Ohio. Patterson (1844-1922), hoping the machines could save him money by reducing accounting errors in his supply business, purchased the patent rights to the cash register from James Ritty in 1884. Within six months, he reduced his debt and showed a profit. Patterson built the first National Cash Register factory on his family's farm in Dayton in 1888. By the turn of the century, the company had become one of the largest employers in Dayton. Known for his strict training program for salespeople and health and education programs for employees, Patterson was closely involved in the daily lives of many of his workers. This photograph is one of the many visual materials collected for use in the Ohio Guide. In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Works Progress Administration by executive order to create jobs for the large numbers of unemployed laborers, as well as artists, musicians, actors, and writers. The Federal Arts Program, a sector of the Works Progress Administration, included the Federal Writers’ Project, one of the primary goals of which was to complete the America Guide series, a series of guidebooks for each state which included state history, art, architecture, music, literature, and points of interest to the major cities and tours throughout the state. Work on the Ohio Guide began in 1935 with the publication of several pamphlets and brochures. The Reorganization Act of 1939 consolidated the Works Progress Administration and other agencies into the Federal Works Administration, and the Federal Writers’ Project became the Federal Writers’ Project in Ohio. The final product was published in 1940 and went through several editions. The Ohio Guide Collection consists of 4,769 photographs collected for use in Ohio Guide and other publications of the Federal Writers’ Project in Ohio from 1935-1939.
View on Ohio Memory. Image ID: SA1039AV_B07F10_005_1 Subjects: Industries--Ohio--Dayton; Business and Labor; Business--Ohio; National Cash Register Company; United States. Work Projects Administration (Ohio) Places: Dayton (Ohio); Montgomery County (Ohio)
Buckeye Steel Castings lining ladle with cement gunSave
Description: This photo depicts the lining of a ladle with a cement gun in the Buckeye Steel Castings taken on June 15, 1917. The Buckeye Steel Castings Company began producing iron castings in Columbus, Ohio, in 1881. It was not until it shifted to automatic steel railroad car couplers that the company exploded. By 1916, Buckeye Steel Castings claimed to be "the largest steel foundry in the world" to produce steel castings for railroads. Samuel Bush, President George Bush's grandfather, was president of Buckeye Steel during this time period.
The Buckeye Steel Castings Company closed its doors due to insufficient capital in the early 2000s. A new firm purchased the company and renamed it Columbus Steel Castings Company. This company continues to manufacture railroad-car undercarriages. View on Ohio Memory. Image ID: AL04084 Subjects: Franklin County (Ohio); Ohio Economy--Economy--Labor; Business enterprises--Ohio--Columbus; Railroads; Places: Columbus (Ohio); Franklin County (Ohio)
Description: This photograph shows police clashing with strikers at the Goodyear Tire and Rubber strike in Akron, Ohio, in late May 1938. Two police officers are holding raised batons as they and other police advance toward a group of workers. The activity is taking place along a brick and iron fence. A car with a driver at the wheel is visible to the right of the workers and police. One hundred people were injured during this strike.
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, factory workers faced poor working conditions, low wages, and almost no benefits. This was true for the workers employed by rubber manufacturers in Akron, Ohio, such the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, B.F. Goodrich, and Firestone. In an attempt to alleviate their conditions, workers went on strike and left the factory to join picket lines. Company owners often hired “scab” laborers to cross the picket lines and continue production. This practice made it difficult for striking workers to obtain their demands.
In 1935, rubber workers in Akron, Ohio, tried a new approach to strikes, the sit-down strike, in which workers stopped working but still occupied their places within the factory. This process meant that the factory owners could not send in additional workers to continue the job. In addition, factory management was more reluctant to use private security forces or other strike breakers to intimidate the striking workers, as that approach threatened destruction to plant property.
In 1935, the rubber workers organized a union, the United Rubber Workers (URW). In its first year the URW created thirty-nine local chapters. This union’s goals were to improve wages and working conditions for its members, and it soon had its first opportunity. The URW organized its first strike against Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company the following year. This sit-down strike began as a protest against a plan created by Goodyear to reduce wages and increase the pace of production. In addition to the sit-down strike, the rubber workers also organized long picket lines in protest. Akron’s mayor, Lee D. Schroy, attempted to send in the police to put down the strike, but the police officers refused to do so when they faced the thousands of organized workers.
After the violent strike in May 1938, three more years of cooperation between the new URW and Goodyear elapsed before the first formal contract was signed in 1941.
In the long term, Goodyear was forced to recognize URW and negotiate better contracts with workers. Legislation passed during the New Deal required industries to recognize unions and legitimized collective bargaining, increasing the URW's popularity and success even further. By the end of World War II, membership had grown to almost 200,000.
After World War II, the URW continued to work to improve laborers conditions. The union began negotiating industry-wide agreements rather than focusing on one factory. The union also became more inclusive, working to reduce gender and racial discrimination both within the union itself and in the workplace. The URW also negotiated pension plans and insurance plans with employers.
In the 1990s, the URW merged with the United Steelworkers to form an even stronger union. This union still strives to improve its members' working conditions, wages, and benefits.
View on Ohio Memory. Image ID: AL06154 Subjects: Strikes; Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company; United Rubber Workers of America; Labor unions--Ohio; Labor movement--United States--History--20th century; Strikes and lockouts--Rubber industry; Business and Labor; Akron (Ohio) Places: Akron (Ohio); Summit County (Ohio)
Marietta Chamber of Commerce dinner photographSave
Description: This photograph shows tables set at the Betsey Mills Club gymnasium for the annual Marietta Chamber of Commerce dinner. Keynote speeches at this event were given by U.S. Postmaster General Arthur E. Summerfield and Ohio Governor Frank J. Lausche. At each place setting is a copy of "The Marietta Story," published in 1953 for the Marietta Chamber of Commerce dinner as part of the Ohio Sesquicentennial celebration. The booklet was created by S. Durward Hoag, President and Manager of the Hotel Lafayette in Marietta. Advertisements for various local stores and members of the Chamber of Commerce are hanging from the upper-level seating area and include: "Wainwrights, your friendly neighborhood Furniture Store;" "Tommy Windsor, Marietta's World Famous Banquet Entertainer;"
"Carl E. Mead & Company, Complete Investment Programs;" "Remington Rand, Inc., Safe Cabinet Division;" "Elson Lumber;" "Brother's, Where Good Furniture Isn't Expensive;" "Marietta Paint, Fine Finished for Fifty Years;" and "Otto Brothers Department Store." View on Ohio Memory. Image ID: SA1039AV_B08F18_005_1 Subjects: Banquets; Marietta (Ohio); Business and Labor; Chambers of Commerce Places: Marietta (Ohio); Washington County (Ohio)
Description: These two pictures show the Ohio River near Marietta in the 1920s. The first picture includes the town of Marietta within the photograph while the second picture focuses mainly on a railroad bridge and the Ohio River. The photographs measure 3" x 5" (7.62 x 12.7 cm). Marietta was the first organized American settlement in the Northwest Territory in 1787 by the Ohio Company of Associates. The Ohio and Muskingum Rivers played very important roles in the development of Marietta; citizens used the rivers for everything from agriculture to transportation. The emergence of railroads further heightened the economic growth of this town. View on Ohio Memory. Image ID: Om3269_5969534_001 Subjects: Transportation; Business and Labor; Geography and Natural Resources; Rivers; Cityscapes Places: Marietta (Ohio); Washington County (Ohio)
Ohio Bell Telephone Company building PhotographSave
Description: The Ohio Bell Telephone Company was established as a result of the 1921 incorporation of Cleveland Telephone. Despite the Great Depression, the company continued to upgrade services and expand operations and was the 8th largest of Bell Companies by 1940. Ohio Bell's parent company is AT&T. The company is now known as Ameritech Ohio because it became a subsidiary of Ameritech Corporation in 1984. This building was built in 1925, after the Ohio Bell Telephone Company consolidated with the Toledo phone system in 1924. View on Ohio Memory. Image ID: SA1039AV_B05F04B_019_1 Subjects: Business and Labor; Ohio Bell Telephone Company; Telephone industry Places: Toledo (Ohio); Lucas County (Ohio)
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