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Westclox History from 1920 to 1929

1920

Employees

1,527 (Twenty times as many as in 1895.)

Production

15,000 per day (approximately) (39 times as in 1895)

Corporate

Officers in charge

George P. Blow - President

Directors already in office

F. W. Matthiessen, Sr., G. P. Blow, E. Roth

added in 1920

W. S. Hawthorne, R. I. Hughes, E. C. Roth, Ralph Matthiessen

SOME OF THE FOREMAN IN 1920

Leo. Stevens - Miscellaneous Dept.
Joe Washkoviak - 2'' Material
Otto Seepe - Watch Case
Emil Frizol - Mainspring
William Bendix - Auto Casting
Harry Mauritzen - Dial
J. E. - Starkey - Vibrating
Wm. Kemper - Power Press
Frank Tobler - Casting
Art Catteneo - Wheel Cleaning
Frank Holsinger - Automatic Screw
M. Mankowski - Foot Press
Martin Danz - Plating
Gus Hoenschied - Buffing
K. A. Kilduff - Planning
B. Nelson - Stock
Paul Beeby - Inspection

Some Assistant Foremen Appointed In 1920

(showing date started w/ Company)

Art Smith - Automatic Screw (st. 1904)
Wm Schmidt - Casting (st. 1899)
Ed Halm - Power Press (st. 1902)
Frank Jagodzinski - Foot Press (st. 1910)
John King - Buffing (st. 1899)
Wm. Phillips - 4'' Assembly (st. 1907)

Miscellaneous

Central Park Property

acquired (Five new homes to be can't see the rest of the sentence

Parking Area

In the parking area at this time< there were 70 bicycles< 8 motorcycles, and 30 automobiles.

Employees

Quarter Century Club Pres. - Frank Holsinger, (foreman of the Automobile Screw Dept.

New Building

Plant floor space now covers - 310,000 sq. ft. Twenty-five times as large as in 1895.

Machinists Training School

has been initiated under the supervision of Mr. Sewry.

1921

Western Clock Company

Factory area covers approximately 10 acres of floor space.

Acquired

Lasalle Tool Company (10/21) (Later sold -1926) (Controlling interest - Western Clock Company ; Board of Directors - Geo P. Blow ; E. Roth; A.S. Johnson, ( also continues as Superintendent) ; E.C. Roth, O. J. Senftleben.

Miscellaneous

With the aid of Western Clock Company - a new road was built connecting LaSalle and Peru - through Central Park.

Water Tank

built north of 11th (by Western Clock Co.) Capacity - 7,000 gallons plant use.

Night School Classes Started

in Math, Drawing Slide Rule - This was for employees and held Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, and Friday nights after work.

Factory Safety Committee Formed

(elected)

Western Clock Company LTD., Peterborough Canada - built new building.

Employees

Fire Department

Chief - Peter Kettwig

Asst. Chief- Charles Fritz

Factory Watchmen

T. Weiller, J. Forrester, L. Mankowski, F. Ratajczak, C. Pelka, L. Foley, S. Geiger, E. Bennett.

Deceased

J. Klein - One of original force died April 9 - with 35 years of service.

Introductions

"Bluebird"

Pocket Ben -1st Advertised-Mar. 12 issue Saturday Evening Post -$2.00 Bag Pocket Watch - First started advertising pocket watches, although manufactured since late 1800.

A sale of clocks, not up to standard, Big Ben $0.25; Baby Ben $0.20; Jack O'Lantern $0.20; Glo Ben $0.15.

1922

Corporate

Captain George Blow

President of Western Clock Company

Died - November 22, 1922 - at age 62

Director 1/1900

President 6/1900

Buried - Arlington Memorial Cemetery

Miscellaneous

Police Department

Peru, Illinois - Chief and three patrolmen.

Population

Peru, Illinois - 9,000 - covered two square miles.

Building

New five story building (Western Clock Company) nearing completion.

1923

Name of Westclox Adopted in 1923

Corporate

E. Roth - President (served 34 yrs as General Manager)

F.W. Matthiessen, Jr. - 1st Vice President (Director since 1918 - son of F.W. Matthiessen)

Ralph Matthiessen - 2nd Vice President (Grandson of F.W. Matthiessen

G.Blow, Jr. - Director (replacing his father, Capt. G. Blow)

Board of Directors Elected

E. Roth (Director since 1980), F. W. Matthiessen, Jr., Ralph Matthiessen, W. S. Hawthorne, R. L. Hughes, E. C. Roth, G.W.Blow Jr.

H. Hackman - Assistant General Manager and Secretary

R. L. Hughes - Treasurer

W. S. Hawthorne - Superintendent

Employees

2,400

Miscellaneous

Office Building

New L-Shaped office building to be built across the street from main Factory entrance (Old "Waiting Station" located there now). (Plans are being drawn up.)

Bowling Alleys

Company started to install Bowling Alleys below the Mainspring Department. Cost approximately $6,000 for four lanes, five balls each alley, automatic pin setters.

Player Piano

A player piano was installed in the Cafeteria- Noon dances to be held several noon-hours a week.

Quarter Century Club

31 members.

Model Of Clock - Wall

This model was called BERKSHIRE (featuring a 2" Ivorine dial, beveled crystal, one-day movement, rustic finish - made so it could sit on a table or be hung on a wall).

This model was a premium clock made for Castendyck Brothers Farm Implement dealer in LaSalle, and given to purchase of a Peru Pacemaker Plow made by the Peru Plow and Wheel Works.

1924

Corporate

H. E. Hackman (Asst. GEn. Mgr.) elected to BOARD OF DIRECTORS (will continue as Secretary of Company also).

J. D. Lent (General Sales Manager) elected to BOARD OF DIRECTORS.

Clarence Griggs - Company Attorney

Deceased

E. Roth, President and General Manager died - 67 yrs old - 10/2/24 - 35 years of service.

Miscellaneous

Quarter Century Club

44 members

Office Building

New office building opened - tunnel connecting Factory and Office.

Activities - Noonday Dances (w/orchestra) held in lunchroom.

Income & Pension Plan

proposed and accepted - Employee and Company participation.

Employees

2500 - January 1924

1925

Employees

2748

Corporate

F.W. Matthiessen, Jr. - Chairman of Board (son of F.W. Matthiessen, Sr.)

(Director since 1918)

R. H. Matthiessen - President (Grandson of F.W. Matthiessen , Sr.)

(Director since 1920)

H. E. Hackman - 1st Vice President & General Manager

(Director since 1924. Started Western Clock Company in 1898)

E. C. Roth - Secretary

(Director since 1920)

R. L. Hughes - Treasurer

J. D. Lent - General Sales Manager

J. L. Steward - Comptroller

(Started with Western Clock Company 1901)

John Schmidt - Assistant Treasurer

(Started with Western Clock Company 1909)

Homer Z. Cook - Assistant Comptroller

(Started with Western Clock Company 1906)

M. F. Gallagher - Director (replacing E. Roth) (Chicago firm)

Plant

Paul Beeby - Superintendent
Albert Hasselman - Assistant Superintendent (st. in 1913)
Andrew Neurether - Chief Engineer
Joseph Reinhardt - Assistant Chief Engineer
F. L. Hackman - Superintendent Industrial Relations (st. in 1895
Art Smith -Fore Automatic Screw Dept(st. in 1904) - succeeding Holsinger who is to be in charge of Training School for Automatic Screw Machines.
William Duncan -Assistant Foreman Automatic Screw Dept. (st. 190? (it got cut off)

Miscellaneous

insurance -

Employee insured for amount of one--year salary ( amount not to exceed $2,000, or below $300.00.)

Western Clock Company Skating Rink Opened (Ice-Rink)

Western Clock Company Baseball League Organized

(Teams from different Department competed.)

Factory Closed On Memorial Day

Vacation-

June 27- July 13

Manufactured

Zero Hour Torpedo for shooting Oil Wells (used Pocket Ben)

1926

Corporate

LaSalle Tool Company sold to F. S. Knowles, Ottawa, Illinois.

Miscellaneous

Sickness Benefit Plan initiated.

Some of the Home Owners of Central Park at this time - Wascher, Faerbe, Johnson,Swegar, Bob Walker.

Mrs. Blow and Mrs. Matthiessen - donated $400,00 toward the building of a High School and Junior College. Balance was voted on, and met with taxes...$200,000

1927

Miscellaneous

869 Western Clock Company employees will receive part or whole Vacation pay.

Working Hours per week now 44 1/2 hours - 7:30 - 4 :30, Saturday 7:30 to 12:00 noon. (Working hours were 47 hours per week.)

1928

Corporate

Sterling Clock Co. (Meridan, Connecticut)

purchased by Western Clock Company - being moved to LaSalle.

Construction on additional building

(30,000 sq. ft.) was started - Buffing, Plating building.

New connecting street between Peru and LaSalle

opened -- through Central Park - ninth street.

(New addition to High School completed - Mrs. Eda Matthiessen and Mrs. Adele M. Blow - large stockholders of Western Clock Company had contributed $400,00 - taxpayers voted on additional $200,000.)

Miscellaneous

Quarter Century Club

69 active members

3 associate members

Foreman's Club

75 members

Girl's Dormitories

to close June 1 - Started during the War years - Boarding home for girls employed at Western Clock Co.

Park

For recreation and relaxing - east of Dormitory, was opened. (Was Twin City Park - old saloon torn down.)

Tennis Courts

built and opened

Bridge Lessons

for card players are available

Horseshoe Courts

opened north of Plating Department and also East of new Park.

Introductions

Big Ben Deluxe - $3.75 (Old rose, green, blue, lum. dial)
Baby Ben Deluxe - $3.55 "
Ben Hur
Tiny Tim Clock
First Autoclock

George Smith Started With Western Clock Company - June - 1928

1929

Employees

3,058

Payroll

$3,700,000

Corporate

Started new addition to Plant

adding 24,750 square feet.

(Mrs. C. Blow, daughter of F.W. Matthiessen, wife of Captain George Blow, died. She was a great benefactor to the community.)

Planned - Grove Residence Park

Was called Halligan's Grove and used for a picnic area. Planning of Grove Residence took several years effort on the part of Western Clock Company - drawing up plans, with the aid of several men knowledgeable in this particular field.

Foremen Appointed At This Time

Charles Keenan - General Foreman Baby Ben and Electric Clock Departments

(started in Company - 1897)

George Willmeroth - Foreman Electric Clock Department

Carter Weisheit - Foreman Baby Ben Department

Introduction

New Pocket Ben Watch - lum, oval top ring, small sweep.1930

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