The Businessman And The Government

Corruption, Yesterday and Today

The recent spate of revelations of bribery by American corporations of government officials, domestic and foreign, has left many with a sense that the business ethics of the nation are going to hell in a handbasket.Read more »

The Way I See It

Back in the early years of the present century the advertising industry cooked up an art form that had a quaint and brief life.

Which is to say that the industry used to get out pamphlets using fictional situations to draw attention to the merits of the product that was being advertised. These were aimed straight at the ten-year-old mind, and inasmuch as I was just ten when I first met them I became a devoted reader. Read more »

The Tyranny Of Oil

HOW AND WHY THE UNITED STATES GOT INVOLVED IN THE MIDDLE EAST

In October, 1973, Arab states clapped an embargo on oil shipments to the United States. All at once the nation had to go on daylight-saving time, throttle back on the highways, and turn down thermostats. Millions of baffled Americans found themselves lining up, sometimes for hours, at filling-station pumps. Up to that moment Americans had paid little heed to the quarrels of the Middle East. Until the Second World War that part of the globe had been strictly a British problem.Read more »

Esprit De Corporation

In the booming 1920’s, when business was nearly America’s national religion and advertising its Holy Writ, the Mather Poster Company of Chicago designed a set of texts to inspire greater peaks of productivity from the workingman. These posters, recently shown in New York’s Hundred Acres Gallery, now rate as Nostalgia, possibly even Art; but a half century ago they represented a dead-serious campaign employing an early version of the power of positive thinking. Read more »

Bubble, Bubble No— Toil, No Trouble

The brisk little Italian immigrant promised you 100 per cent interest in ninety days. Some people actually got it

Seen from the high oval windows of Boston’s City Hall on that sultry June morning in 1920, the line of stiffbrimmed straw hats bobbing along School Street resembled a roiled, wheat-colored stream. Among the straws were dark blotches of cloth caps, women’s brighter hats, and even the official visors of the police. On the honky-tonk outskirts of Scollay Square the stream grew denser and contracted into the cleft of Pi Alley.Read more »

The Good Provider

“57 VARIETIES” WAS ONLY A SALES SLOGAN, BUT H. J. HEINZ UNDERSTOOD FROM THE START THAT THERE WAS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR HONEST PRODUCTS AND WELL-TREATED WORKERS

Pittsburgh, God knows, was no fourth-century Athens, but around 1900 it did have a remarkable group of industrial leaders. The Pittsburgh barons exercised their power and made their fortunes in coal and coke, iron and steel, aluminum and oil, glass, rails, and heavy machinery. Five of them were commanding figures in their time and are legends in ours: Carnegie, Frick, Westinghouse, Mellon, and Heinz. Allan Nevins has called such men the architects of our material progress. They have been called other things as well, all except H. J.Read more »