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TIME Magazine, Monday, October 24, 1938:

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  • mrcooby
    Every time Powel Crosley Jr. gets sidetracked, he builds the side line into a main line. Having built five main lines, he appeared last week about ready to
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 5, 2009
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      Every time Powel Crosley Jr. gets sidetracked, he builds the side
      line into a main line. Having built five main lines, he appeared last
      week about ready to shunt into a sixth.

      Powel Sr. wanted Powel Jr. to follow him into law. But young Crosley
      liked to tinker with automobiles. By 1906 he was a private chauffeur
      (although his father was a prosperous attorney). By 1909, at 23, he
      was president of an automobile manufacturing company. It was his idea
      to make a low-priced, six-cylinder car, but bad financing wrecked the
      venture and for eleven years he drifted from job to job, automobiles
      to advertising to gadgets.

      In 1921 Powel Jr. wanted to buy a radio for Powel III. Asked to pay
      $130 for a one-tube set, he found he could buy parts and make one
      himself for $35. Result was Crosley Radio Corp. of Cincinnati, Ohio,
      now approximately fourth largest U.S. radio producer. From the
      vocation of making radios to the avocation of radio broadcasting was
      a short shunt and the upshot was station WLW, most powerful in the
      world along with Moscow's RVI. WLW sends out such big charges
      (500,000 watts) that neighbors report hearing hillbilly bands in
      their drainpipes and lighting electric bulbs with wires stuck in
      nearby ground.

      In 1927 Mr. Crosley became interested in iceboxes. Now Crosley
      Refrigerators are turned out on an assembly belt at a rate of nearly
      2,000 a day. An old baseball fan, Mr. Crosley had long been disturbed
      by the Cincinnati Reds consistently losing money and games. So in
      1934 he bought Line No. 5. He has since carried the Reds out of the
      red and into the first division of the National League.

      A few Crosley sidings have remained sidings. Soon after he went on
      the air with WLW he went into it with biplanes which he called
      Moonbeams. Now he no longer makes planes but owns three airfields,
      always travels by private plane. He produces washing machines,
      ironers, ranges, bottle coolers, and a strange gadget called the
      Xervac, designed to stimulate hair growth by alternate vacuum and
      pressure. These big and little lines are all gathered under an
      $8,800,000 corporation, Crosley Radio Corp., which last year lost
      $376,915 (partly because of damage by fire and flood), but which had
      average net profits of $820,000 for the three previous years. About
      33% of sales are radios, 50% refrigerators.

      All through his experiments and expansions, Mr. Crosley has been
      wistful about his first and least successful love, the automobile.
      For some time he has been reported toying with a little two-cylinder
      car, to sell at about $200. Last month stockholders received a letter
      proposing that the company change its name¬óleaving out the word Radio¬ó
      and alter articles of incorporation "so that the company will be
      able, if conditions warrant, to enter the automobile industry when,
      as and if, such entry into the automobile industry appears
      desirable."

      Last week, as Mr. Crosley left Cincinnati for a ten-day trip on his
      100-foot yacht, Sea Owl, he denied that his company was ready to
      produce automobiles, but admitted "experiments." Stockholders, having
      ratified the proposed changes, met this week to discuss next moves.
      Cincinnatians, believing Powel Crosley had crossed the switch into a
      new siding, expected to see the new car before the New Year.
    • Dennis Nichols
      It is interesting to me that Time magazine published this article in October 1938. A bit behind TIME I believe. My father, Carl Nichols, was transferred from
      Message 2 of 3 , Feb 11, 2009
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        It is interesting to me that Time magazine published this article in October 1938. A bit behind TIME I believe.
        My father, Carl Nichols, was transferred from the Cincinnati plant to Richmond, Indiana in September of 1937 to be Line Superintendent for the Crosley Car.
        When we arrived in Richmond the plant was just being built. Dad was there to help in the design and set up of the assembly line.
        We have a photo of him on the line wearing roller skates. He was always seeking new and more productive ways to spend his time. He figured it would take less time to manage the long line on roller skates.
        Wouldn't OSHA have a field day with him on skates in an industrial plant.
        Regards to all,
        Dennis
      • mrcooby
        Hi, Dennis. Thanks for posting the information about your father. I have a 1941 and a 1942 that your Dad might have worked on. We re heavily into Crosley
        Message 3 of 3 , Feb 22, 2009
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          Hi, Dennis. Thanks for posting the information about your father. I
          have a 1941 and a 1942 that your Dad might have worked on. We're
          heavily into Crosley history and I'd like to gather more information
          for posterity. Could you email offlist at X779@... . Thanks again!

          =Lou=
          ===================================
          --- In Crosley@yahoogroups.com, Dennis Nichols <dcharlesnichols@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > It is interesting to me that Time magazine published this article in
          October 1938. A bit behind TIME I believe.
          > My father, Carl Nichols, was transferred from the Cincinnati plant to
          Richmond, Indiana in September of 1937 to be Line Superintendent for
          the Crosley Car.
          > When we arrived in Richmond the plant was just being built. Dad was
          there to help in the design and set up of the assembly line.
          > We have a photo of him on the line wearing roller skates. He was
          always seeking new and more productive ways to spend his time. He
          figured it would take less time to manage the long line on roller
          skates.
          > Wouldn't OSHA have a field day with him on skates in an industrial
          plant.
          > Regards to all,
          > Dennis
          >
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