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WHERE MOTOR TRUCKS ARE MADE FOR THE ALLIES The factory of the Locomobile Company has about doubled its working force to fill its orders. The trucks are tested in the roads around Bridgeport by runs with heavy metal weights aboard, and after passing inspection are run under their own power to the pier in New York from which they take ship for Europe the first of the "millionaire babies." He into business the day after he graduated disappointed the expectations of people from college in 1903. He soon showed an who naturally doubted the benefits of a understanding of the tendency of modern ready-made success by plunging head-first business to consolidate allied lines of manu
BRIDGE PORT SEEN FROM THE CARTRIDGE WORKS Nearly every machine shop in Bridgeport that could be adapted to the manufacture of machine tools or of rifle accessories is working on war orders for the Allies. In the foreground are fulminate sheds in which is manufactured the explosive contained in the caps of rifle cartridges
cture by buying a rifle factory to supple- new plant of the Remington Arms Coment his cartridge factory. And he be- pany, to supplement the plant at Ilion, me a member of one of the most astute N. Y. The rumor located this new developisiness families in the world through his ment in Canada. This was intolerable to arriage with the daughter of Mr. William the Board. They first verified the rumor, ockefeller.
and then demonstrated to the Dodge inThus, in 1914, Mr. Marcellus Hartley terests that Bridgeport was better equipped odge, aged 34, possessed the big plant of to supply skilled laborers, and houses for le Union Metallic Cartridge Company at them to live in, than their Canadian rival. ridgeport, the big plant of the Remington The new factory came to Bridgeport. rms Company at Ilion, N. Y., and busi- Probably no more dramatic illustration ess connections that radiated from the of the power of money and organization has ery heart of the powerful Standard Oil lately been given anywhere than was given roup of financiers in New York.
by the magician-like creation of this Then came the European war-and war mighty plant. In the five months from ontracts.
March 15 to August 16, 1915, a row The inside story of the Dodge war con- of one-story brick buildings and a parracts is probably known only to the in- allel row of five-story brick buildings a iders. But the material effects of them quarter of a mile long rose upon a site urst upon Bridgeport like the efflorescence north of the Union Metallic Cartridge of a tropical jungle under the influence of a works. Where before had been only cheap ummer's sun. Where had been vacant frame dwellings scattered through a desert ots or rambling houses, swiftly rose seven of vacant lots, suddenly swarmed two our-story brick buildings, fronting the thousand workmen, tearing down old full length of a city block apiece-new structures, digging up the earth for foundabuildings of the Union Metallic Cartridge tions, arranging mountains of brick into Company. Where one shift of working orderly walls. Carpenters and glaziers people had been employed nine hours a and roofers followed, and before the first day, suddenly three shifts of eight hours dead leaves of autumn had reddened the each were substituted, at better wages. ground, machinery was installed in eight Where 2,200 people had been an average of the eighteen buildings and three thouworking force, more than 7,000 now crowded sand (mechanics were making rifles and the street between the twin rows of fac- bayonets for the Allies. tories. Electric lights glared on every And all this had come to be because the foot of yard and wall, armed men mounted Allied Governments had put in the hands guard at every gate and passageway. As of the House of Morgan large sums of the product of these stimulated factories money, that had coaxed into activity other was destined for the Entente Allies, the large sums of money in the hands of Marpossession by an employee of a German cellus Hartley Dodge, which had attracted name became at once a suspicious circum- still other large sums of money in the hands stance that earned discharge unless proof, of the Rockefellers and others. A few in pedigree and past performance, could be conversations in London and New York furnished of indubitable loyalty.
had been translated into 8 or 10 million Bridgeport quickly showed the effects of dollars' worth of visible new value in land the first war orders. Street cars were and buildings in Bridgeport, Conn., besides crowded, jitney buses multiplied, “rents” daily work for thousands of flesh-and-blood became scarce, real estate rose in value, American men and women. theatres and hotels did a big business, The organizing genius displayed in bank deposits began to grow, shop-keepers mobilizing the man-power of this underprospered. Bridgeport was in the first taking was as striking as the financial stage of a war boom.
genius that mobilized the money which But more was to come. A rumor
made it possible. The mere erection of the reached the ears of the Board of Trade that buildings had, of course, been committed Mr. Dodge intended to build an immense to a construction company that had its organization already in existence and man is seeking life insurance. Name trained for rush work. But how man this address, age, education, trade or profession, new factory, so suddenly called into being? experience, nationality, citizenship, referHow create quickly from nothing that ences, even religion, are required. After a delicately balanced mechanism of skilled man has filled out his application he hands hands and heads, working harmoniously it to the secretary. In the next few days and effectively, that is called an organiza- his answers are checked up from indepention-and that usually is the product of dent sources, and if he still seems worth years of carefully nurtured growth? while, he is again interviewed or employed
The employment of high-priced specialists outright. For several months, lately, bewas the solution. Major Walter G. Pen- tween 1,400 and 1,600 new men a month field was placed in command of the works. have been employed. Though only 3,000 By his military training he was an organizer were working last November, the plant as and disciplinarian; by his special studies he then built, when fully equipped with mawas an expert on small arms; and by his chinery, will require the services of from long service as superintendent of a Govern- 16,000 to 20,000 men; and that number will ment arsenal he was a practical employer probably be at work by the first of April. and manufacturer. He in turn committed The housing of these men and their parts of the management to other men families has required the work of an expert equally experienced in specialized work. director and a staff of assistants. In his The employment director of a big corpora- office in a tall building downtown, overtion in Pittsburg was commissioned to looking the city, he has kept a card index hire the mechanics to man the machinery. file of every room, house, or apartment in The president of a large company near Phil- Bridgeport that could be rented. New adelphia was engaged to solve the problem workmen are placed in homes through this of housing the men whom the factory would agency. But long ago Bridgeport excall to Bridgeport. Men of like kinds were hausted most of its resources in lodgings set at the other big tasks of organization. Last February, the seven leading real estate
dealers reported to the Board of Trade that HIRING A MAN EVERY TEN MINUTES
they had 527 houses available—some of One of the biggest jobs was the hiring of them two-family, some six-family, houses
For several months the employment so that perhaps 800 "rents” were in the bureau of the Remington Arms Company market. Practically every one of these has been one of the sights of Bridgeport. It was occupied before the summer was over. occupies a small detached building at one New houses were built, and were rented corner of the group of factories. All day before the framework was up. Individual long a line of men stands on the sidewalk in rooms grew so scarce that newcomers often front of it. Each man in his turn has to had to sleep in the railroad station a night satisfy an armed guard that he is a bona or two before they could find lodgings fide applicant for work before he may even Many housekeepers that had never opened enter the building. Once inside, he may their homes to lodgers were persuaded to do have to wait twenty minutes before he can so; and in a number of regular lodging get the ear of the secretary to the director houses the rooms were occupied by three of employment. The secretary stands sets of tenants every day, the beds vacated behind a counter, and the director sits by the morning shift being remade to behind the partitions of a private office. accommodate the dog-watch night shift The secretary eliminates at once men who just home from work-and so on through are obviously unfit for the work. They the twenty-four hours. Naturally, rents must be skilled-whether mechanics, drafts- have risen, and Bridgeport landlords and men, statisticians, or what-not. If a man housekeepers are taking a profit. seems to be a likely candidate, the secretary But, at the best, Bridgeport was unable hands him an application blank. It is a to supply the demand for living quarters. big sheet of paper, and the questions are as The Remington Arms Company had to go searching as the medical examiner's when a into house-building on a big scale. Last
November it was erecting 84 brick dwellings It is as hard to get out as to get in. If a -the smallest of them being two-family man loses his pass while inside, the next houses and the biggest of them duplex guard he meets takes him to the guard six-apartment houses. All these houses house, and he is not released until he gives a consist of either four or five rooms and satisfactory account of himself and gets a bath, and they are furnace-heated and new pass from the head office. lectrically lighted. In this way 196 In this atmosphere of military efficiency amilies were being provided for. The and under the mellow glow of so much new Company even then had plans laid out, gold, Bridgeport blossomed into a rapid however, by which it will ultimately pro- business growth. The “Remington-U. M. ride modern dwellings for 2,500 families. C.” had not only brought to town men and And it has enlisted the coöperation of money: it had come demanding tools as professional real-estate operators from as
well. Even by November it had managed ar west as Chicago in the development of to equip only the five bayonet factories and new residential tracts in Bridgeport to three of the rifle factories with tools for the are for the thousands of additional fami- men to work with. It placed orders with lies for whom homes must be provided practically every machine shop in Bridgeluring this year.
port that could work in metal, so that The welfare of the men at their work has concerns that had nearly starved during been equally considered from the first. the lean summer of 1914 were running three The factories contain the most modern shifts a day in the summer of 1915. Shops sanitary appliances-steel lockers for the that could not make tools were set at other men's clothes, shower baths, gymnasium, useful tasks; one company that normally emergency hospital, and a kitchen from manufactured chains and locks was 'soon which 10,000 people can be fed in thirty turning out nothing but the little metal minutes. The man whom the Govern- clips in which soldiers carry cartridges in ment borrowed from the Y. M. C. A. to rounds of five. manage the welfare work in the Canal Zone But Remington-U. M. C. was by no during the digging of the Panama Canal means the only concern in Bridgeport that was employed to install and direct the profited by war orders and contributed to welfare work of the plant. His duties the booming of business: it was simply the include the supervision of the details men- biggest and the most spectacular. The tioned above, and, besides, the formation great Bridgeport Brass Company took conof baseball teams, rifle clubs, and other tracts and enlarged its staff of mechanics. recreational agencies; the organization of The Locomobile Company increased its the work for "safety first” and of "first working force from a normal average of aid” squads; and the arbitration of indi- about 1,200 employees to about 1,800 vidual cases of friction in the relations of employees; and soon motor trucks, laden the men and their bosses.
with test loads of old iron, were careering
around the streets and suburban highways 200 ARMED GUARDS ON DUTY
of Bridgeport-going, after final inspection, Military
discipline is maintained under their own power to the piers in New throughout the works. Two hundred armed York from which they embarked on ships guards are posted around the grounds and for Europe. Here, too, a curious and profthroughout the buildings. They are not in itable indirect reaction of war orders was uniform, but they wear a distinctive badge; felt: the depression of 1914 had hard hit a and every one of them is an ex-United company in Bridgeport that manufactured States regular soldier and means business monumental bronze castings, chiefly for when he says “Stop!” Every person who cemeteries. After the Locomobile Comenters the grounds, workmen included, must pany got its contract for trucks, it gave to have a pass, and the pass expires during the this company an order for castings, to be current day at an hour that is marked on it. used in their construction, that far more At every doorway in every building a guard than made up for its sluggish business of halts the bearer and inspects the pass.
the year before.
All these accretions of men and money 40 per cent. in population in eighteer in Bridgeport were utilized on behalf of months is a pretty good performance for the Entente Allies. Meanwhile, the Ger- even a small boom town in the West; to mans also were busy. As the New York achieve it in a staid old manufacturing city World's exposure of the activities of Ger- in New England is to give striking evidence man agents showed, the seven-acre plant of of the significance of war orders in the the Bridgeport Projectile Company, which economic life of the country. was created from nothing in the last year, The war, of course, has not created any was erected to manufacture munitions for new mechanics. It has not caused the the Central Powers. Some evidence exists immigration of mechanics from abroad, for to suggest that it was intended chiefly to they are all needed at home. Indeed, give a material basis for a gigantic game of many American artisans have gone to bluff by which the Germans should be Europe to work at high wages in Goverenabled to contract for great quantities of ment arsenals. Hence the newcomers in shell-making machinery and thereby hinder Bridgeport are workmen from other parts the manufacture of shells for the Allies of the United States. But the significance However that may be, land was bought and of their employment here is that they are large factories erected at a cost of several employed.
employed. In 1913 and 1914 manufactures millions of dollars; and Bridgeport pros- of all kinds had lagged. Many men were pered accordingly.
laid off; many more were working only part Meanwhile, our own Government was time. The war itself threw still more men, stimulated to begin taking military precau- in certain manufactures, out of work tions, and Bridgeport got the benefit of Textile mills, especially, were forced to cut some of its near-war orders. These came down their staffs because they could not get to the Lake Torpedo Boat Company, which German dyestuffs through the British manufactures submarines after the designs blockade. But for men thrown out of of Mr. Simon Lake. When the war began, work by industrial depression and by the this company was making few boats and war, the war created new jobs. had no immediate prospects of expansion in business. But a month ago, the com
EFFECTS ON LABOR pany, having bought new water lots ad- And these new jobs were of a character joining its old plant, was finishing work that gave the men an opportunity of which which would quadruple its capacity of they quickly availed themselves—an oppor1914. Whereas it could build five boats a tunity to make new and better terms for year at that time, it can now turn out the sale of their labor. Speed is of the twenty. And the product is intended for essence of war contracts. Thus the the American Navy, as the company has Remington-U. M. C. early went on an so far refused all foreign orders, though it eight-hour day to get continuous operahas been able to maintain this position tion at the highest possible efficiency. The only with great difficulty.
choice was between two shifts of twelve
hours each and three shifts of eight hours THE WAR GROWTH OF BRIDGEPORT
each. With American skilled workmen ai. Before the war began, a recent careful customed to the nine-hour day as theoutside census showed that 102,000 people lived limit, the three-shift eight-hour day was the in Bridgeport. Very conservative esti- only possible alternative. The company mates, based upon the known new me- accepted the situation-war contracts are chanics employed in the factories, upon highly profitable if the goods are delivered school statistics, and upon other dependa- and worthless if they are not. And to get ble indications, prove that at least 20,000 the men they needed, and to keep them people have been added to the population high wages were offered. in the last year. By next April, when the The effect of this situation on labor Remington plant will probably be fully conditions in the older establishments it manned, at least another 20,000 can fairly Bridgeport is easily imagined. Here was a be added to the estimate. An increase of powerful new company come to town,