: Dated ca. 1935-1940, this photograph shows the Canal Collector's Office in Dayton, Ohio. The photograph's caption reads "Where Mr. Patterson started in business as a canal collector" and a note on the reverse reads "Third and Kenton Sts. [Streets], Dayton, Ohio, where John H. Patterson, founder of the National Cash Register Company, started his career as a canal tolls collector in 1868, and opened a coal and wood business as a sideline." There's a sign on the side of the collector's office which reads "Coal and Coke."
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 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 employees.
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.
: SA1039AV_B02F06_022 Subjects
: Tolls--Ohio; Miami and Erie Canal (Ohio); National Cash Register Company; Patterson, John Henry, 1844-1922; Canals Places
: Dayton (Ohio); Montgomery County (Ohio)