Viewing page 3 of 80
It looks like you're using a mobile device. We recommend using a physical keyboard for transcription entry.
3 I have a faint recollection of a friend of mine once making the comment that the name Industrial Haulage always conjured up a picture of garbage and trash collection. Therefore, I shall begin by trying to clarify just what this business was that I had been put in charge of, at least to the extent at that time that anyone in Erie might be said to be "in charge" of any business as such. The Industrial Haulage "line" of products embraced all locomotives sold to industrial and mining customers as well as the electrical equipments for such locomotives sold to other locomotive builders. In other words it included all locomotives sold to everybody except the railroads. Neither GE's railroad nor industrial locomotive businesses were large until the development of the diesel-electric because they were confined largely to straight electric units and there weren't many electrifications either railroad or industrial. On the other hand, electric power was used exclusively in the underground mines and therefore electric mining locomotives represented a tidy little business with little competition from other forms of material handling. This was soon to change drastically, however, with the development of the shuttle car and conveyor. But the greatest change in the industrial haulage activity was the development of the industrial sizes of the diesel-electric locomotives and their replacement of old steam power in almost all types of industry. This change was already in progress but it was enormously accelerated by the war threat, not only in the replacement of old steam but also in the acquisition of locomotives for new plants and expansion of old ones. There were various nuances to this picture but this gives the essentials. I implied above that no one was really "in charge" of a business the way the Apparatus Department of the Company was set up because this was before product departments were created, each run by a general manager with full authority and responsibility. The Company was set up on more of a functional basis wherein the responsibility was split. I shan't go into all this, having pretty well covered it in previous material. However, the commercial people did more of the signal calling than any other functional group and had more responsibility for the health of a business than the others like manufacturing or engineering. The commercial people were the ones who directed the marketing show, mapped design requirements, placed manufacturing orders in anticipation of customers orders, conducted trade association matters like standardization, and were held mainly responsible for the financial results of their lines. The Industrial Haulage Section was such an operation. This was the way it worked in practice. Theoretically the businesses were run by "management committees" on which were a representative of sales, engineering and manufacturing and I was the sales representative on the Locomotive Management Committee along with A.J. Woodward, head of
1. removed extra space between 'Erie' and 'might.' 2. changed 'sold o' to 'sold to' 3. in the original, 'drastically, however' has the 'w' and 'e' overwritten
Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact email@example.com.