Did You Know?
by Ken Carr
DID YOU KNOW...
...in 1916, the NCR Printing Department received a supply order from a cash register user in Greece. There was nothing unusual about the transaction except for name on the order. Requesting the supplies was J. Pappathedorokouminountouigeotopoulas. That name was and probably still is the longest of any NCR customer. The NCR News article of the July, 1916 indicates that everyone took their shot at trying to pronouncing it.
Apparently, industrial espionage is not even close to being a new phenomenon. Over 100 years ago in 1902, Mr. Patterson thought he had that very problem. NCR was an emerging industrial leader in manufacturing and he suspected that individuals other than employees were getting access to the NCR buildings. He ordered a test search throughout the factory and discovered 40 unattended non-NCR people roaming about. They had gained assess by blending in with the workers as they entered the buildings. He immediately put in place “a door-keeping system.” Doorkeepers were installed at building entrances and workers were issued printed passes which had to be presented upon entry. Department heads and assistants were issued buttons which were worn at all times. Today it’s all electronic and doormen need not look at the ID but the intent is the same as it was 100 years ago, if you don’t belong, stay out.
NCR was probably the first company to have a United States Post Office located in its facility. The new postal station (as it was called then) was opened in February, 1907 and was located on the first floor at the east end of building #10, World Headquarters. The station was manned by five fulltime clerks and two letter carriers who delivered the mail to the surrounding community. The station was made necessary by the large amount of mail issued by NCR, mostly advertising. In 1906, the year before the station opened, NCR mailing represented 23% of all mail posted in the city of Dayton. The month the station was opened, NCR’s postage bill was $10,000 and the number of pieces processed was nearly 800,000. What would that be in today’s dollars?
At one time, NCR provided transportation for its employees from the NCR complex to downtown Dayton. In 1907, public transportation was just one of many City of Dayton provided services which Mr. Patterson considered very much lacking, so much so that he considered moving the company out of Dayton. But, that’s another story for another time. The company was growing at a rapid rate and most of the employees at that time relied on the street car for transportation to and from work. The Oakwood Line and the Main Street Line which serviced downtown Dayton to the southern suburbs couldn’t expand fast enough to handle NCR’s increasing need. To Mr. Patterson thinking, the sometime one hour wait for space on a street car was way to long in the cold of February. He ordered all of the company’s transportation equipment to be placed at the service of the employees. Everyday at 5:30PM, lined up in along Main Street, were 20 horse drawn wagons and four new horseless trucks ready to transport workers downtown. In the spring, as the weather improved and as the street car service improved, the company went out of the employee transportation business. This was just another example of Mr. Patterson acting on his belief that happy and satisfied employees were more dedicated and produced better products.
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