EIK - Session 10 Part 1
I went into many angles of the developing of the omni-medium transport and experiences that I had, I did speak to you about the problem of the men who worked for me not daring to finish the car because it meant they were all going go off their family wouldn't eat again the Depression was so vivid in their feelings. And I kept on really through the developing doing car #3, and in doing Car #3, that was the one really to wipe out all of the stigma. My mother died and she left me some inheritance, and I had to spend all of that on car #3. And I came pretty close to the end of my funds, and in order to be able to carry on I was selling shares in General Electric or whatever it might be Standard Oil. And there were others, my brothers and sisters and they were back which was the co-administrator of the will, and they, when I needed some money they couldn't do it right away, and I learned a great deal, incidentally, about banks really delaying the sales, where the banks get together, and they all know when they're selling some kind of a stock, so there really was quite a lot of manipulation involved here. They had orders from numbers of Trusts quite different from just the order of an individual in the stock brokerage house where he asks somebody to buy something, and it happens just like that. But there are enormous numbers of banks handling enormous numbers of trust funds, so they can really get together, and it means quite a lot to suddenly being selling General Electric in a big way, or selling Standard Oil or whatever it might be.
At any rate, they were not very prompt when I needed money it would take me quite a long time before that money would arrive, and the Depression was so bad, and I owed money to two or three people in Bridgeport lumber firm and others, and the sheriff came around to see me one day, and he said that these people are getting worried about your account in town, and you're the only one that has any money in town anyway, and it looks like its running out.
I then showed him, I went over the books so that he could see that I actually had some money, and that I had ordered sale, and that I was going to be able to meet all of my bills. And he said, "you really are in trouble here, because your workmen I had been trying to lay off my workmen and when I did, suddenly the windows would be broken, and I had a building full of I had bought the machinery, I bought it really very, very cheap, because Bridgeport is a mechanical town, and so it was easy to get lathes, to get beautiful things that they nothing nobody was using those things anymore, so I was able to buy them, so I really had quite a beautiful shop set up there. And when I tried to close it up, things would go wrong all the time. I didn't own the building it belonged to the Bridgeport Bank and they just rented it to me, so it was a rented building and full of my tools, and I didn't want to spend the money to move the tools in fact I didn't know where they should go. I would have been glad to have sold the tools, but at any rate, there were no customer's to buy it. It was still very much the depth of the Depression.
So, the sheriff said, your men, I've talked to them, are just not going to allow you to close your place up. They are really so afraid about their jobs. He said, there is really only one way you really get out of here, and not go bankrupt, because I can see you are going to use up your funds, and then you're going to be forced to just keep on going on spending money, and not producing anything, and not using it. So he said, if you will let me, as sheriff, I will make a sheriff's sale I will sell off your machinery for you and close you up and do so in a minimum amount he said, you just wouldn't be able to do that. And so I let him do it.
I ended up not owing anybody any money, and I had learned a great many lessons, and that was that. It made me, however, in thinking about strategy of the little individual taking initiatives, I made up my mind, thereafter that I would never own tools. I had really had quite a lot of shops. I want you to think about the experience I had in just producing the 240 houses in the early '20's-1922. I had 5 factories going and I invented my own machinery for making those fibrous blocks. It was interesting that the day after I talked about the fibrous blocks, somebody called my attention to the fact that the room outside here in the studio is lined with the material that I produced, and that the company as I finished it up and sold it out to, the Celotex Company for what they called Soundex, and it is still really the best sound absorption material you can get.
Now, I had invented the machinery for mixing this, it was machinery I had to have something where I did not take a heavy cementing material and just clot it together with these fibers, and when we had found then that the wood excelsior was best, I tried all kinds of things seaweed from the Sargasso sea, all kinds of dried grass and things, but nothing really worked quite so well as actually shredded shredded wood deliberately shredded wood. It was something that could be manufactured quite rapidly too. So, the idea was then to make a block that was really light weight it was like a felt hat, and so for what I had developed was the means of I learned how to do it, by just taking a pitch fork and putting this wet cement on it, so it looked like more or less milk and cream on there, and taking pitchforks with a number of guys and continually pulling it through the way you'd pull spaghetti out of a bunch, and keep spinning and throwing it up in the air, and gradually you spread the material over all of the fibers. I had to have invent a machine that would spread spread this liquid very thinly, but enough to also saturate it, to beat it, so that I developed a great tumbling drum, and this was before we had the cement tumblers that you see going along the highways. In fact, they came out of this particular invention where I then had developed a way of having a gear wheel on the outside of my drum, and driving it around. And driving it around fast enough that the material tumbled, it went out like a wave on the beach cresting throwing it over. And I moved it at a speed where it would crest over, and then I had a shaft going down through the center of it, with a great steel tongs on it, very much like the pitch fork, but just being a shaft, so the head of one was over the end of the other the base of the other, so the fibers could never get in onto the shaft and wind up on the shaft.
And, then, I was able to introduce the unbailed excelsior and the liquid at the front end, and this whole thing was slanted, and it would start cresting over and landing on the forks and being thrown into enormous. Then I had to have a scraper at the top because I found the liquid tended to stick on the thing, so the scraping was always dropping down onto the tongs below. By the time it would come out the other end, it was incredibly beautifully softened up and absolutely covered with it, but no massing at all, and from thereon I had a conveyor belt. And I used what was used for silo filling silos, I had a tray then a big blower, and we blew this down into molds, and then my molds were full of holes like the lightening holes I made six blocks at a time, and there were two big jig forms, looked like shells, they looked like shells for firing from a big cannon, there were two of these for the four inch holes coming to a streamlined point, and they sat inside in a jig inside of a
We put these we took a perforated sheet metal made into a cage, and it fitted down into the jig, and so just exactly the 16 inches long and 8 inches wide and the holes in ..., and this fiber stuff just blew in around the streamlined cores and filled it up, and then we lifted that whole thing off and they went on it would set up chemically in a few hours. And then when we finished that, we had a saw and cut them into six separate blocks.
Anyway I had to develop my own machinery, it was a very fascinating matter and I developed until we got to the right material which was this magnesium oxychloride cement, we tried all other kinds of cements, some cheaper cements and so forth, and I had to have kiln so I learned a whole lot about oil burning kilns and built my own kilns and a little railroad track in my shop and things like that. It was a very fascinating basic experience of a young man getting into production engineering and reducing to practice various inventions.
One of the early patents I had was on this fibrous thing. I found the only other fibrous handling like this was in making felt hats. It was quite a game, so I went up to Waterbury and studied the hat making industry and so forth which was very fascinating. There they also took the hairs of the hare the rabbit and so forth, and they'd get them into the air, and then they'd suck them in all uniformly here saturated the air that was flying around and then pull that whole thing into one and the air just pull it down, they felt it down so beautifully.
Now, the this is all part of what I'm saying now I'm saying to you because of THE WORLD GAME idea, and I found how little human beings really understood about my world gaming. It's quite easy to understand about the geoscope looking at the earth all at once. It's quite easy to think about getting the inventorying of the world resources wherever they occur. It is easy to think about how you get the data where all the people are. And, so it isn't just a matter of playing a world game, moving resources around to people at all and just things like a business or distributing of materials because materials mean nothing as I said you have to take them from half way around the world. You have to know your engineering, you have to know all the smelting and refining game, and the enormous forwarding of ships, and the enormous handling of materials game, and then you have to learn a great deal about not being wasteful in those materials, I'll just give you a very important big lesson and big economic change that occurred brought out by Henry Ford.
Not only did Henry Ford really get into the first mass production of big things, but he, I think I no, I don't think I told you. Henry Ford was completely inspired as he was a farm boy. And he wanted to have his farmers able to get to market to bring things in and to bring things home. He wanted to be able to get around a little more effectively, and he wanted a vehicle that could run around on the farm that would be very hardy. And that brought him then to the fact that he could bring down the prices by mass production for his farmer. So his motivation was not really one of making money, and never was. And he had great run ins with the money makers particularly with J.P. Morgan. The Henry Ford at the time of incidentally the he did he developed the Cadillac, then people shareholders, he had people that backed him and so forth, and he got into shareholder's battle, and he lost the Cadillac, and he started all over again with a very much better his pure farm vehicle.