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Westclox History from 1900 to 1919

1900

Employees

245

Mr. Hackman headed Office Force of five, (including himself).

Organized

Safety Idea formed-later under Mr. F. W. Matthiessen a Safety Committee was formed.

1901

Employees

285

Payroll

$100,000

1905

Employees

410

Production

3500 complete units per day.

2/13 -Temperature dropped to 24° below zero.

1907

Activities

Men's Basketball Team organized.

1908

October 13, 1908 Board of directors resolved to change company name to Western Clock Co. (but the change was not approved until 1912)

1909

Models

Pocket Watch production for Peru Plow and Wheel Company.
(Plow & Wheel Company printed on the dial)

Organized

Western Clock Company Athletic Association

Western Clock Company Fire Department

1910

Models

Big Ben

First put on the market and first advertised in the Saturday Evening Post magazine.

(The name Big Ben was selected for this powerful clock, because of the well known Big Ben clock located in the House of Parliament in England.....This clock was nicknamed 'Big Ben' after Benjamin Hall, England - Commissioner of Public Works. As clock struck the hours, people would say "There speaks Big Ben', and so the name originated.)

Little Ben

This was the forerunner of Baby Ben.

"Bulls Eye" Clock

Employees

Jerry Roach, Foreman Big Ben Department (started 1898, retired 1946)

Charles Keenan, Foreman "Little Ben" Department (st. 1897, ret. 1946)

1912

June 11, 1912 Stockholders approve name change to Western Clock Co. (the name change had been proposed by the board in 1908)

Wooden Water Tank was built, holding 35,000 gallons of water for factory use - including drinking water and fires. This tank was later dismantled in 1928.

1913

Employees

1290

E. Roth was Secretary and General Manager at this time.

Organized

Foreman's Club

Miscellaneous

Western Clock Company

Chauffers were Bill Morris and Doyle Gudgel from the Traffic Department. (Bill Morris, at the time he was appointed the Westclox chauffer, was given the job because he knew how to drive. Job consisted of-

Take home persons who were ill - (A cot could be placed in the back).

Carry finished clock to Railroad Station.

Haul Raw Material.

Paydays - Iron safe was chained to the floor in the truck as money for payday was carried from the Bank. Employees were paid in Gold. Two men were appointed as Guards on these particular trips.

1914

(Words illegible)

1917

Employees

1640

Production

15,000 units per day

Organized

First Factory Safety Committee

(Western Clock Company was a pioneer in the Safety Program for the nation.)

W. Shields (Shipping, then to Sales Dept.)
L. Lawson (Buffing)
W. Duncan (Automatic Screw Dept.)
H. Scholle (Power Press)
H. Robinson (Automatic Casting Dept.)
Robert Acton (Store Dept.) Committee Chairman
J. Hausch (Watch Case Dept.)

Group Life Insurance Program Initiated For Workers

Life insurance was given free to workers employed over six months. Total not to exceed $2,000, minimum $300.)

Western Clock Company Military Band Formed

1918

Employees

1,473

Payroll

$1,100,000

Corporate

Elected

F. W. Matthiessen, Jr. (son of Founder of Western Clk. Co.) was elected Director - (In 1923 then elected 1st V.P. )

Serve with -

F. W. Matthiessen, Sr.
Captain George Blow
E. Roth

Organized

Quarter Century CLub organized (15 members)
(See next page)

Miscellaneous

War ended.

Basic Soldier's pay - Private U.S.A. - $475/year - or minimum $30.00/month, $36.00/foreign service.

Great Britain - $7.50/month
France - 2.00/month
Germany - 3.00/month

A U.S.A. Corporal was paid a total of $36.00/month - foreign duty $43.20.

"Westclox" Trade Name first used in advertising to make line known -

Models

Models in the line -

Big Ben, Baby Ben, Sleepmeter, America

Quarter Century Club Organized With The Following 15 Members

E. Roth (1889) 1889
H. E. Hackman 1890
J. Klein 1887
R. Paton 1886
O. Senftleben 1891
T. Strohm 1892
B. Reeve 1888
R. Nelson 1892
J. Wolfe 1890
G. Hoenschied 1891
W. Bishop 1887
F. Holsinger 1887
Rebecca Barker 1888
Mary O'Brien 1895
Anna Behrens 1887

1919

Employees

1,830 - then 1916

Corporate

Elected

E. Roth - V.P. and General Manager
H. E. Hackman - Secretary and General Mgr.
R. L. Hughes - Treasurer
W. S. Hawthorne - Superintendent
(Geo. P. Blow - President - already in office)

Directors For 1920

G. P. Blow
W. S. Hawthorne
R. L. Hughes
F. W. Matthiessen
R. W. Matthiessen
E. Roth
E. C. Roth

Organized

Machinists Training School

Tool Training (under Sewery)

Cooperative Weather Observation Station (using instruments furnished by the Government). Daily readings were made and furnished to the news media, etc. (posted throughout the plant).

Canada

Western Clock Co. Canada, Incorporated in 1919 as a subsidiary of the LaSalle Peru Plant
General Manager - J. H. Vernor (Sandwich , Ill.)

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