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Tuesday, July 26, 2016


I had no way of knowing it back on March 17, 1952 when I went for a job interview with the Trenton Bearing Company at 1812 North Olden Avenue Extension that I was  entering a profession that would ultimately see America and the Trenton area lose industrial supremacy to foreign manufacturers who could produce products at prices far, far below those required by the American manufacturers. Indeed, I started as a delivery driver for the bearing company, making daily deliveries to the COUNTLESS industrial entities in the area at that time. Just to name a few: General Electric, C.V. Hill, Ternstedt Division of General Motors, Fairless Works Division of U.S. Steel Corp., L.A. Young Spring and Wire Co., Bayer Aspirin, and as indicated above, COUNTLESS other factories and businesses that required machine replacement parts. The graphic posted herewith was one of our MAJOR customers. I made daily trips to Ternstedt Division which ultimately became Fisher Body. They were a major source of income for our little bearing distributorship as was U.S. Steel Fairless Works in Morrisville, Vulcanized Rubber and Plastics also in Morrisville, along with other far flung industries such as Cold Spring Bleachery in Yardley, Warner Company and really, too many others to list in this posting. I ultimately became an inside telephone-counter salesman at the Trenton Bearing Co. along with my equally talented side kick, Bill Kuestner. Things went great until the imports began to arrive in the latter part of the 1950's. Datsun, Renault, Volkswagen, began to bring their autos into America with prices far below those of our American counterparts, all of whom had to price their vehicles far above the foreign competitors in order to offset the relatively high union worker's, and upper management wages. From then on it was DOWNHILL. I remember that U.S. Steel Fairless Works Purchasing agent let it be known that anything foreign would place a vendor on the "no bid" list. Indeed, I remember the day then salesman Charlie Brown returned from a sales call at Fairless and told us of the foreign boycott that extended to even our use of American only automobiles. Trenton and American never recovered from the true "Industrial Revolution" that occurred in post-war America, and today our heavy industry is only a memory.

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