Did You Know?
November 2010
Did You Know?
By Ken Carr
November 2010
     DID YOU KNOW...
     Using carbon paper between two blank sheets of paper for many years was the only process by which copies could be could be made of a typed or hand written document.  Anyone having used carbon paper knows the mess that often resulted.  Enter another NCR inventor to the rescue.
     Microencapsulation involves encapsulating a liquid or solid into tiny capsules where it is contained for later release. An inventor at NCR, Barrett Green, used this method to produce the first carbonless paper.  The back of the top sheet of paper was coated with microcapsules filled with an ink like fluid. The second page was blank.  Pressure from writing or typing on the first page broke the microcapsules leaving an imprint on the second page. The patent for this process was granted in July, 1955.  Carbonless paper became a must in the business world and was the duplication method of choice until its usefulness was diminished by the copy machine and later the computer printer.  Even today, 55 years later, there remains a need for carbonless paper particularly in the use of forms.
     The next application for microencapsulation was scratch and sniff advertisements. Greeting card use would soon follow. When a person scratches the card, the capsules are broken releasing the odor enclosed within.  The first use of the scratch and sniff process was a cooperative program between NCR and the Dayton Power & Light Company.  Cards were mailed that when scratched releases the smell of natural gas.  It was an effort by DP&L to educate its customers to recognize gas leaks.
     Later use of microencapsulation and the one with the greatest impact on society was time released medication.  Aspirin and other medicines are enclosed in special microcapsules and the medicine is slowly released through the shell of the capsule, rather than all at once.
     The process was eventually adapted for use in many other products, including detergents, baking products, and even the ever popular Mood Ring.
     Mr. Patterson, as most of you know, was famous for using sayings, slogans, and quotes to illustrate his position on a subject.  The following are few such mottoes that he felt so strongly about that he had them painted on the buildings of the NCR campus.  “We Progress Through Change” was on Building #2.  “By Hammer And Hand All Arts Do Stand” appeared on Building #3.  “Improved Machinery Makes Men Dear And Their Products Cheap” was located on Building #4.  “Welfare Work Is Capital And Labor Working Together For Each Other’s Benefit” was to be found on Building #4.  “We Are Part Of All We Have Met” was positioned on Building #6.  “Good Enough Is The Enemy Of The Best” was on Building #1.  “Improved Machinery Creates More Demand Than It Fills” appeared on Building #1.  “Man Ought Not To Be Employed At A Task Which A Machine Can Perform” was to be found on Building #4.
     When Mr. Patterson purchased the National Manufacturing Company in 1884, one of his first tasks was that of improving the working conditions of his factory employees.
     In the factory, the very first day, he had all production stopped and had the employees clean their tools and their work areas.  The men complained that the drinking water was bad, so he purchased earthen crocks and kept them filled with lemonade.  Other changes led to a model manufacturing factory of the day.
     Even after the move to the new factory, new problems in employee relations presented themselves. In 1892, cash registers on a $50,000 order were returned to the factory because of mechanical defects.  Said Mr. Patterson, “It was all in the attitude of the employees;  they had no heart in their job”.  He admitted that even with the many changes he had made, while he was busy building the sales organization, he had not spent enough time on the factory.  He moved his desk into the factory and began to find out what was wrong.  He soon discovered conditions many which he thought had been corrected by the move to the new location.  Mr. Patterson found he was losing skilled workers for no apparent reason.  Lighting and ventilation were poor: the plant was dingy and unsanitary; there was a lack safety features.   He realized that “you can buy head power and hand power, but not heart power, that must be earned.  He set about earning his employees hearts my making changes to the working conditions and by establishing benefit programs which he placed under the heading “Welfare Work”   Next quarter, I will be begin discuss Mr. Patterson’s “Welfare Work” programs, many of which were “first” in the Manufacturing Industry.