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Working Girls: 1902

Working Girls: 1902

Dayton, Ohio, circa 1902. "Indicator department, National Cash Register Co." Our second glimpse this month at the inner workings of National Cash Register. 8x10 glass negative by William Henry Jackson, Detroit Publishing. View full size.


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The Indicator Department ladies would have said "Oh, dear!"

If they knew how those machines were sold. Founded by John Henry Patterson, National Cash Register became very successful by employing “predatory” sales practices. Here’s what one sales rep said:
“My first day as a salesman I had to read a booklet telling all Patterson Salesmen what they must not do, because if they did any of this the boss would go to jail. One of the things I couldn’t do as a salesman was blackjack the salesmen of competitors. Another was bribe freight agents to hold up shipments, or drop sand in competitors’ machines to put them out of order, open offices next door to competitors and cut the prices to knock them out of business—these were all things that his knockout squad had been doing which I was prohibited from doing.”
Read all about it:

Re: Strings on chairs

Those may be electrical conductors connected to the device just visible under the left end of the table closest to the camera. They could possibly deliver a shock to the workers not meeting their quota. Just a SWAG.

Strings on chairs

They appear to be twisted wire clamps, used to tighten the bentwood back down to the seat. The first chair probably hasn't seen as many years of use, loosening the glue joints.

Strings on chairs?

Can anybody guess what the strings on the back and underneath 2 chairs are for? Notice that the chair on the left doesn't have any strings that I can see. Thanks.

"We sell National Cash Registers in Siam"

I'm not saying things were idyllic, but potted plants and flowers sure brightened the place up!

Fire Protection

Not only is there a soda/acid fire extinguisher provided here, but there appears to be a sprinkler system at the ceiling as well. I wonder if there is a small leak in one of the pipes, because there is a pail hanging from a pipe to the left. It is also worth noting that the original gas lighting system is still intact, and in the earlier days of electricity many people retained gas lighting in case of a power failure.

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