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From our archives: ‘Fine effort’ saves factory jobs

What we thought: 75 years ago

Published: Monday, July 7, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT

Note to readers – Sauk Valley Media reprints editorials and articles from the past as a regular Monday feature. The following items appeared in the Telegraph on July 3, 5 and 6, 1939

Freeman buys

Brown Shoe factory

Possession to be given Aug. 15; Chamber of Commerce succeeds

in fine effort

Members of the industrial committee of the Dixon Chamber of Commerce today gave out information which is of vital importance to the citizens of Dixon and will be welcomed by the members of the shoe making profession, to the effect that R.E. Freeman, president of the Freeman Shoe Company of Beloit, Wis., had announced the purchase of the Brown Shoe Co. plant in Dixon, together with plans for the almost immediate operation of the important industry.

The announcement concluded several weeks of activity which has required numerous consultations between the industrial committee of the Dixon Chamber of Commerce and the Freeman company officials at Beloit.

The local committee had been advised that the Brown Co. of St. Louis had decided to cease all activities at the Dixon plant and immediately interested the Freeman company in the prospect of purchasing the property.

President Freeman informed members of the committee today that his company will take possession of the local factory on Aug. 15, and start work immediately in a program of general overhauling of the building. The plan provides for the expenditure of approximately $50,000 in improving the plant, which includes complete rewiring and dismantling of the power plant. ...

Present plans are for the employment of between 300 and 400 shoemakers in the Dixon factory, this number to be increased as the demand requires. The Dixon-made shoe will be sold in all parts of the United States and will be added to the stock now sold in the Freeman-owned retail stores in the larger cities throughout the country. ...

The industrial committee of the Dixon Chamber of Commerce was elated over the success of its efforts in securing the addition of the Freeman concern to Dixon’s industrial life. The success of the movement, however, depends very largely on the fulfillment of an arrangement between the committee and the Freeman company, which provides that Dixon people respond to the financial obligation agreed upon.  ...

The Freeman company has a reputation of continual operation with a minimum of closed periods, and its entrance into Dixon’s industrial life will be heartily welcomed by the citizens of Dixon. – July 6, 1939

Out of the

‘angel’ business

The United States government is to be congratulated for getting out of the theater business.

It was laudable enough to make some attempt to keep the wolves away from the door of established actors and see that they did not starve. But as administered by those in charge of the theater projects, the business went further than that. It sponsored a number of bohemian crackpots whose real business was anything but art, and whose real aim was unknown even to the crackpots themselves.

The idea that government relief to unemployed Thespians had to be in the form of open theaters and large audiences, plus prolonged applause, was an insane notion in the first place, and cost the taxpayers a pretty penny.

Any actor worth his salt could have acted dramatically with a pick and shovel at some constructive project if the people didn’t have enough money to attend legitimate plays.

Give the theater good plays and good actors, and the public still will attend. – July 6, 1939

Traffic safety,

Nazi style

Everybody is for traffic safety. Everyone agrees that the personal liberty of drivers must be compromised for the sake of the safety of others.

But like all these compromises between the rights of one and the rights of all, there must be some point where reason marks off a dividing line.

That line must be somewhere pretty close to a new German regulation promulgated by Gen. Kurt Daluege, chief of German police, who has ruled that no one may smoke while driving.

Apparently Germany has not yet bred the omnipotent sort of American auto driver who can drive, smoke, listen to the radio, neck a pretty girl, and read the shaving-cream advertisements, all at the same time.

This is a peculiarly American product, not yet developed, it would seem, in Hitlerland. – July 6, 1939

Hometown star

(Advertisement for the Lee Theater)

Now showing: “Code of the Secret Service,” presented by Warner Bros., starring Ronald Reagan, Rosella Towne and Eddie Foy Jr. – July 3, 1939

Over 600 met violent ends over holiday

By the Associated Press

The motor car killed 70 times as many persons as did fireworks as America observed the 163rd anniversary of its independence with a four-day celebration marred by more than 600 violent deaths.

A survey today listed only four lives lost by exploding fireworks to 277 sudden deaths in automobile accidents throughout the 48 states.

The total toll was at least 615 compared with 517 reported for the three-day celebration last year.

Thronging of beaches by merry-making millions accounted for the second highest number of fatalities – 183 drownings. Trains killed 29 persons. There were 36 fatal shootings, eight plane deaths and 79 died in miscellaneous accidents. – July 5, 1939

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