II. The Depression -- "...during the Depression we got paid by Brinks Express, and was only paid $10.00. If we had more coming it was owed us..." --Frank Glyda, press operator, as quoted in The Acklin Press, 1975.


B. Acklin Employee's Tales of the Depression

The depression hit the company as hard as it hit the rest of the country. Jobs were scarce, but Acklin did better than many similar companies in the area. Homer Percival, a machine repairman for the Toledo Machine and Tool company, was reduced to half time in 1929 following the stock market crash. In early 1930, Mr. Percival was sent to Acklin to repair a press. Since he could only work half days it took him nearly a month to complete. On his last day, while heading for the door, James Acklin stopped him and offered him a full time position. Homer Percival accepted and remained at Acklin for the next 35 years, actively involving himself in the company and eventually becoming Acklin's general production foreman during the 1950s.

Frank Glyda, in the September-October 1975 issue of the Acklin Press, remembers his days at Acklin during the Depression. He was hired in 1929 and started on the presses earning 45 cents an hour. This dropped to 40 cents an hour in the early 30's. "During the depression" he said "we got paid by Brinks Express, and was only paid $10.00. If we had more coming, it was owed us. In fact, we could not exceed $10.00 per week." He also recalled never knowing how long he could expect to work when he came in, "You would come to work and really look for a job to do" he said, "the shortest day I ever put in was 6 minutes." Those six minutes of work were worth but a scant four cents.

Metal Stamping was very dangerous work, especially during these early years of the industry. Accidents were remarkably common, resulting often times in serious injury. Recognizing a need to concentrate attention on this issue Egon Hirschmann, a production engineer, formed a Shop Safety Committe in 1930. For the next decade Egon served either as head or as chair of this committee until a formal safety department was formed. The dangerous working conditions, among other things, were reasons that throughout the country unions had been forming.

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Homer Percival, hired at Acklin in 1929.

 

 

 

Egon Hirschmann, eary Safety advocate at Acklin

Egon Hirschmann, early safety Advocate at Acklin.


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