How do I know I am fertile?


A normally fertile couple who use no birth-control measures and have intercourse whenever the spirit moves them start a pregnancyin about ten months on the average. However, the laws of probability have a good deal to say about exactly when conception will occur. Ten months is average, but two years is common and three years far from rare. Unless advancing age makes the situation unusually urgent, you should not worry about failure to get pregnant for some time.

The home measures described ab.ove are worthwhile if you are anxious to have a youngster, but the situation is neither so grave as to cause concem nor so pressing as to call for medical examinations and care until three years of unhampered marital relations have failed to initiate pregnancy. After three years of unsuccessful attempts to conceive, thorough medical examination of both partners is worthwhile. About half of the couples who have been infertile this long prove to have difficulties which can be corrected. The other half occasionally have children later, but have a suffidently remote chance of doing so to begin thinking about other ways of building a family, such as by adaption.

A great many couples use birth-control measures for a few years, then find that pregnancy does not occur promptly when they decide that the time is ripe. If this happens to you, do not let guilt feelings or recrimination add their burdens to the problem of infertility itself. None of the birthcontrol methods discussed above cause infertility once you stop using them. Fertility may decrease with the passage of time or with progression of otherwise undetectable disorders, so that it is wise to start having your family as soan as you find it convenient. Family-spacing measures do not themselves cause this problem, however, and you should not blame yourself for it. In most cases, people who experience difficulty having a child when they stop using birth-control measures would have had just as much trouble if they had tried to reproduce right at the start of their marriage, with no one whatever at fault.

Practical Ways of Cooking Fish


If you want to know how much fun there actually is in a trip to the woods—if you want to know how much genuine enjoyment you can derive from a week's fishing —you must make up your mind to master the art of outdoor cookery. To be the mere desultory sportsman, the dilettante who goes out to rough it with a retinue of cooks and other servants at his heels, or to depend upon the hospitality of inns and fishing clubs for the material comforts of civilization, is to miss more than half the pleasure of an outing. Even when you know that there is a more or less complaisant cook waiting to serve the day's catch in the most approved fashion, you do not sit down to the eating of the fish you have caught with anything like the same keenness of appetite that you display when you have prepared your own repast in accordance with the primitive culinary methods that all true woodsmen know.

To fully realize just what this means it is only necessary to try the experiment and compare the results of the two methods. Even though it may be prepared by a thoroughly good cook, and by the best of recipes, your freshly caught fish will bear but slight resemblance in flavor to the one that you have cooked with your own hands, and with practically none of the facilities that are so requisite to the successful operation of a modern kitchen. In fact, it is because foods taste so much better when cooked by the simplest methods, that all lovers of nice eating still swear by the "plank," or the hot stones that form the foundation upon which that wonderful piece of culinary architecture, the clam bake, is constructed.

The idea of "planking" fish, like that of cooking upon hot stones, and most other methods of out-door cookery, may be traced back to the days of the American Indian, for, in almost every instance, it was in much such a way that the native redskin prepared his simple fare. As Clem Johnson, the planked-shad chef of Marshall Hall, on the Potomac, used to say, "Being short of dishes, Mr. Indian hit upon the idea of pinning his fish to a board, so that he could set it up before the fire to roast, and when the white man came along and saw the trick, it didn't take him long to get to practicing it himself." And, as the venerable Clem might have added, the only improvement that the white man has been able to devise is the invention of the savory sauces with which he now bastes the fish during the process of cooking.


From a gustatory point of view, planking is the ideal method of preparing rather large fish, not shad alone, but many of the more sizeable fish that may be caught in American waters. Thus, blue fish, weak-fish (squeteague), fresh mackerel, sheepshead, etc., may all be planked delectably, and are far more tasty when cooked in this manner than they ever can be when stuffed and roasted, or baked in a modern oven.

Accordingly, after the fish have been cleaned, and split through the center, as though for broiling, it is nailed securely to a thick cypress, birch, or oak plank, which is set on edge before a rousing wood fire. You must be careful at first, not to let the fish stand too near the fire, for that will tend to make the flesh dry and tasteless. Instead, let the first heat be gradual; then, little by little, at regular intervals, move the plank nearer the fire, and, every few minutes, baste it with some appropriate sauce.

While the ingredients of these sauces are largely a matter of personal choice, and must depend, to some degree, upon the nature of the fish that is to be planked, a mixture of melted butter, bacon fat, Worcestershire, lemon juice, mustard, pepper, and salt, can scarcely fail to give satisfaction to the majority of palates.


Hard and soft clams, crabs, lobsters, etc., are always tasty when baked on the hot stones, and, in this case, nearly everything else that goes to constitute the repast may be cooked in the same "bake." To prepare this distinctively primitive "oven," it is first necessary to arrange a foundation of large stones. Upon this bed of rock, build your wood fire, and keep it burning until the stones have become thoroughly heated. At this point, clean the stones well with a long-handled brush; then, cover them with wet rock weed to the depth of about twelve inches, Place the clams, or other shell fish, on the weed, with the potatoes, corn, chicken, and other ingredients of the "bake," being careful to wrap each variety of food except shell fish in pieces of wet cheesecloth.

Cover all with more weed; arrange a thick square of carpeting, or sailcloth over the "bake," secure the corners with heavy stone, and wait as patiently as you can for the results. It will not take more than an hour and a half to two hours. While the clambake is an ideal method of preparing large quantities of food, in the case of a comparatively small camping party it would be impractical to resort to it. At such times, clams, lobsters, etc., should be boiled in a huge pot that has been suspended over the fire, while the fish, when small, should be fried, or, when large enough, encased in a mold of wet clay and cooked in the hot embers. This, in fact,
is about the only way in which trout, pickerel, and the daintiest of fresh-water fish should be cooked.

If you are too weary to take much trouble about culinary affairs, the easiest way to solve the problem of cooking is to roll the previously cleaned and dressed fish in a mold of clay, which is then buried in the glowing coals in the very center of the fire; but, if your love of nice flavors is sufficiently strong to tempt you to pay more attention to details of cooking, there is a way in which your fish may be made to seem far more palatable. If this is your purpose, clean and dress the fish as usual; then stuff it with a mixture of fresh mint, wild celery, and salt pork, that have already been well minced and fried lightly together. When this has been done, wrap some thinly cut slices of pork around the fish; cover the pork with a layer of poplar leaves, and encase in a mold of clay. Bake as directed.


If the demands of hunger forbid you waiting so long for dinner—it takes from an hour and a half to three hours to cook a fish in a mold—very nearly the same results may be obtained far more easily. To meet this difficulty, take a sheet of oldfashioned brown paper and spread it thickly with butter, or, if butter is not any too plentiful, a mixture of butter and pork fat may be used. Wrap the fish in this; around the outside tie a goodly quantity of sprigs of sweet-fern, and cover this again with three or four sheets of the brown paper. Bury this brown-paper bundle in the ashes of the fire, taking care to see that all the live coals, or embers, are removed, and cook for about thirty minutes.

Many amateur cooks—and some who are not strictly amateurs—seem to have the idea that fish, to be properly fried, must first be covered with a coating of egg and crumbs, or egg and meal. This, however, is a most erroneous theory. Trout, for example, can be spoiled more easily by this sort of treatment than in any other way. To fry trout, the only facilities that are necessary are a good fire, a frying pan, and plenty of fat salt pork. When the pan has become heated, several slices of the pork should be fried in it until practically all the grease has been extracted, after which the meat scraps are removed, and the fish are dropped directly into the hot fat. It is only necessary to turn them once or twice, and, when done, the only seasoning they require is a sprinkling of salt. Most fresh water fish may be cooked in this fashion, although some of the less dainty varieties will stand the egg-andmeal, or egg-and-breadcrumb treatment.

The majority of salt water fish should be coated with the beaten egg and crumbs, or with dry meal, before being fried. When it is tautog (blackfish) that are to be cooked, they should invariably be skinned, as it is extremely difficult to scale them, and before they are fried they should be scored across each side, about an inch apart. Fry some slices of fat salt pork as before; and when it is crisp, remove the scraps, roll the fish in corn meal, and fry them in the sparkling hot fat until they have browned deliciously.

If there is a gridiron in camp—and there certainly ought to be when there are so many fish that may be broiled so nicely— it will be found quite as useful as the frying- pan. Fish, to be broiled on the gridiron, should first be salted, and, if it has been caught in fresh waters, it may well be left in a salted water bath for an hour or more before it is cooked. When ready to cook it, score it evenly to prevent it from bursting open when it swells under the action of the heat; then place it upon the greased gridiron and brown carefully. Just before serving, baste the fish lightly with butter and season to taste with pepper and salt.


Should the fish be too small for ordinary broiling, and yet it should be necessary to utilize the gridiron in cooking them, this difficulty may be overcome and a pleasing note of variety given to the menu by combining them with potatoes. To do this, boil and mash the potatoes as usual, and season to taste with butter, salt and pepper. When thoroughly mixed into a paste, envelop each of the little fish in a coating of the potato, and broil for several minutes, or until the potato has browned.

If, as sometimes happens, even such commonplace culinary utensils as the frying pan and the gridiron are out of reach, there is little reason why the ingenious fisherman should go hungry if he has plied the hook and line at all successfully, for—should the fish be in evidence— it is possible to prepare a very dainty repast practically without the use of anything like a pot or a pan. To meet this emergency, first start your fire, and, while it is getting under way, select some of the small fish on your string, and clean and scale them thoroughly. If you have a broiling fork, or wire, you may string the fish upon it, or, in the absence of such a utensil, a stout greenwood twig will answer the same purpose, but, in either instance, be sure that you do not neglect to place a thin strip of salt pork, or bacon, between the fish, that the melting fat may baste each of them constantly as it drips into the fire. As fish prepared in this way need to be cooked very slowly, the twig should not be suspended too near the fire at first. Later, when more than half cooked, they may be brought closer to the heat, that they may brown more attractively. While most sportsmen prefer to broil, or fry, their fish, or, at the most, to bake them in the embers, it is so much easier to boil the larger varieties that it is rather surprising that they are not cooked in that fashion more frequently.

To boil fish properly, it is necessary that the cook should have a clean piece of cloth at hand, and, after cleaning the fish, and salting it with discretion, it should be wrapped closely in this towel, or cloth, the end of which should be tied, or pinned securely. Before putting the fish into the pot, you must be certain that the water is actually boiling, and be sure to add a handful of salt. Cover the pot closely, and keep it simmering, but do not let it boil. This is particularly important in the case of freshly caught salt-water fish, which are very apt to become hard if the water in which they are cooked is permitted to boil. In estimating the time required to boil fish, it is pretty safe to allow ten minutes to each pound, although especially large, or thick, pieces may take a few minutes longer. When done, serve with the simplest kind of a white sauce. This may be made by mixing a lump of butter and a tablespoonful of flour with the necessary quantity of warm water. Let this, simmer slowly for a few minutes; then add a little minced parsley—if you can get it—or, if more convenient, a hard boiled egg that has been cut into small pieces. Season to taste and pour over the fish.


To the man who is "roughing it," no dish can be more appetizing and filling than a good chowder, and, fortunately for the fisherman who is near the ocean, a good chowder may be made with either clams or fish, If clams are within the reach of the digger, this, of course, obviates all difficulties.

To make any chowder—either fish or clam—begin by frying diced salt pork in the bottom of the pot. When the pork has become crisp, remove the scraps, and, in the fat remaining, fry some sliced onions until they are nicely browned. At this point, add some diced potatoes, with the clam juice—if a clam chowder is to be made—or some water, if the chowder is to be of fish. Boil the mixture slowly until the potatoes are practically done; then add the fish or clams, and continue cooking about ten minutes longer. Prom time to time, while the chowder is cooking, the scum that rises to the top should be carefully removed, and if the mixture threatens to become too dry, a little more hot water should be added. At the last moment a quart of milk may be introduced, if milk is obtainable, or, if you have such an article among your supplies, a can of tomatoes will add an agreeable flavor to a chowder made from clams. Just before serving, add the pilot-bread, or hard-tack, crackers, and season to taste with salt and pepper. The result cannot fail to prove amply satisfying to the hungriest member of your party.

ChryslerDodge consolidation gave the automobile industry a Big Four

An observer of 1928 would have grounds for claiming that the ChryslerDodge consolidation gave the automobile industry a Big Four rather than a Big Three, because there was in existence another automotive combination which looked big, which had been in operation since 1921 with apparent success, and which had a variety of models on the market, including a lowpriced competitor of Ford and Chevrolet. This was Durant Motors, formed less than a month after Durant had been ousted from the presidency of General Motors. The company was first chartered in New York in midJanuary, 1921, with a capital of $7,000,000 subscribed by Durant and a group of 67 friends, and was then reorganized, in April as a Delaware corporation.

Durant's announced intention was to manufacture a four-cylinder car to be sold below $1,000. His first associates were F. W. Hohensee, who had been production manager for Chevrolet, and H. T. Strut, who had been Chevrolet's chief engineer. An emphasis on the low-priced car seemed clearly indicated, although, in view of the poor condition in which DuPont and Sloan found the Chevrolet company, there might have been some misgivings about the likelihood of the same personnel doing any better elsewhere.

Operations were supposed to begin in Durant's home town of Flint, but, while manufacturing facilities were being developed there, Durant was making other arrangements to get into production. In March, 1921, he bought the Goodyear plant in Long Island City for two million dollars and prepared to bring out the Durant Four in the fall. Two months later, he acquired what had been the Sheridan Motor Car Division of General Motors, located in Muncie, Indiana, and the Sheridan car became the Durant Six. In addition, a new plant was projected for Oakland, California.

These moves were just preliminaries. Durant still held to the multi-model philosophy which had led to the founding of General Motors, and apparently had not intended the car that bore his name to be the entry in the low-priced field. This role was assigned to an automobile named the Star, which Durant introduced early in 1922. It was to sell for about $350, and the first full year's production was to be 200,000, as against 80,000 Durants. In practice, Durant never succeeded in making Stars for this price; they sold at the level of the Chevrolet rather than the Ford. They did, however, enjoy considerable popularity, some 1,500,000 being manufactured before Durant Motors went out of business.

Shortly after the announcement of the Star, Durant staged his coup of outbidding Chrysler and Studebaker for the Willys plant in Elizabeth and getting with it the designs that Chrysler's engineering trio had been working on, thereby adding another six-cylinder car, the Flint, to his line. He then reached into the luxury-car area by getting control of the Locomobile Company, just emerged from its unhappy involvement with Hare's Motors. Subsequently, Durant Motors offered two other models, the Princeton and the Eagle, but both were short-lived. There was also a truck manufacturer in the Durant structure, the Mason Truck, formerly Mason Motor Company, of Flint.

In addition, Durant managed to assemble a collection of parts-making subsidiaries. He selected the New Process Gear Company out of the wreckage of the Willys Corporation, buying it through the Warner Transmission Corporation of Muncie, Indiana, which he also controlled. Other supplier firms in Durant Motors were the American Plate Glass Company, whose acquisition meant that Fisher Body, Ford, and Durant together controlled a third of the country's plate glass production, the Adams Axle Company, and the Associated Bodies Corporation. Continental Motors supplied Durant with engines. Although it never was absorbed into the Durant organization, there was a point in the middle 20's when practically all of Continental's annual output of 300,000 engines was going to fill Durant orders.

Nor was this all. There was a Durant Motors of Canada, a Durant Motors Acceptance Corporation, which was not only to finance purchases but also to underwrite storage of cars during the winter by dealers so as to guarantee prompt spring delivery, and a bank, the Liberty Bank in New York. This last item, if unusual for an automobile company, was also ominous. Durant had begun with seven million dollars, and the breakneck expansion of Durant Motors in its first three years had certainly swallowed up all that plus whatever earnings the component companies had made. The incorporation of the bank was clearly an attempt to improve Durant Motors' cash position.

The basic trouble was that Durant had nothing to offer but a name, and while it was a name with some glamor in automobile circles, it was not one to arouse enthusiasm in the money markets. The man who had twice run General Motors into a financial crisis and had been jettisoned by the DuPonts was hardly a good risk. And even if a careful investor was willing to overlook the past record, a casual inspection of Durant Motors would show that it was predominantly an assortment of makeshift and castoffs.

By 1926, although the business boom was well on its way up, Durant's combination was beginning to come unstuck. In that year the properties in Flint were sold to General Motors, and in the following spring the Long Island City factory was disposed of to Ford. Durant's reaction was characteristic. Instead of reducing his operations to a scale commensurate with his resources, he announced grandiose plans for new mergers. There was to be a new combine called Consolidated Motors, which was to unite a group of unspecified independents around the Star "exactly as Buick in 1908 was used as the nucleus and keystone of General Motors. The companies in question were later rumored to be Hupp, Chandler, Peerless, Moon, Gardner, and Jordan.

But the automobile industry had changed too much in 20 years for Durant to be able to make history repeat itself. Nothing came of the proposed mergers; on the contrary, Durant Motors continued to shrink. The Locomobile Company stopped production early in 1929, and late in the summer it was announced that the Elizabeth plant was to be closed --this before the stock-market crash. (These closings left recently developed facilities in Lansing, Michigan, as the company's principal center of production.) Durant was also in trouble with stockholders who claimed that they had been induced to invest through misrepresentation, and he made a typically flamboyant effort to restore confidence by stating that for reasons of health he was turning the management of his affairs over to a group of executives who stood head and shoulders above any others in the automobile industry. This group turned out to be Frederick J. Haynes and several other Dodge executives who had been dislodged in the Chrysler-Dodge merger. They lasted a little over a year.

The crash of 1929 finished Durant Motors, although the final liquidation was delayed until 1933. Durant was not the man to concede defeat until he was knocked out. He tried to salvage his company by an arrangement with E. E. C. Mathis, a French automobile manufacturer, to make Mathis cars at Lansing, predicting with his usual incurable optimism that the day of the small car was at hand because of parking problems and cost of maintenance. It could be that he was right but merely premature. In any event, as the depression deepened, people were buying neither small nor large cars, and this time Durant was out. The fall of Durant Motors was his third strike.

That Durant had some of the qualities of greatness is beyond dispute. The Durant-Dort Carriage Company achieved its success because it made a better article more efficiently than its competitors. The Buick represented a contribution to the development of the automobile, and while Durant was not responsible for the contribution, he was the one with the foresight to realize the car's potentialities and the daring to gamble on it. His vision of a great automotive enterprise offering a car in each price range was perfectly sound. This was the concept that made both General Motors and the Chrysler Corporation, and to which Ford eventually had to come.

This much was constructive. But somewhere along the line "Billy" Durant became lost in a dream world of high-pressure promotion and paper values. He was not alone in this error during the 1920's, and it is much to Durant's credit that his fall was unaccompanied by the kind of scandal that attended the collapse of other paper empires of the period. He brought catastrophe to himself as well as his investors. At the age of 75, in fact, he had to file a petition in bankruptcy listing assets of $250 and liabilities of $914,000.

Yet he still was not finished. The year of his bankruptcy saw him open a supermarket in Asbury Park, New Jersey, which restored him briefly to the limelight because a newspaperman saw him helping to clean up the night before the opening and spread the story that the former master of General Motors was reduced to sweeping floors for a living. General Motors remembered its founder long enough to give him a place in the celebration of the production of the 25 millionth General Motors car in 1940. Subsequently his health failed and he was virtually a complete invalid when he died in 1947, the same year as Henry Ford. If Durant made big mistakes, he paid heavily for them. His epitaph can be given in the words of his onetime associate, Frederick L. Smith:

It would be a poorly posted analyst who failed to list W. C. Durant as the most picturesque, spectacular, and aggressive figure in the chronicles of American automobiledom. He certainly made some capital mistakes, a fact as to which we often violently disagreed, but the man who makes no mistakes rarely makes anything at all on a large scale.

Chrysler and Dodge, The Chrysler car was a success from the start

The arrival of Walter Chrysler as an independent automobile manufacturer has already been described. The Chrysler car was a success from the start, with the result that it was possible to organize the Chrysler Corin Delaware on June 6, 1925, to take over all the business and properties of the Maxwell Motor Corporation. The Maxwell car, which Chrysler had never liked, was then discontinued.

Chrysler thus realized his dream of having his own company and his own car, but he was too experienced an automobile man to stop there. As a onecar producer, he would be just another of the struggling group of independent automobile manufacturers. To attain major stature in the industry he had to expand his line and above all compete in the low-priced field. His first step in this direction was to bring out the De Soto early in 1928. The next step was to issue a direct challenge to Ford and Chevrolet, but for this purpose Chrysler required far more extensive facilities for production and distribution than the Chrysler Corporation at that point possessed. In particular, he needed to be able to cut his production costs by becoming independent of outside suppliers for such elementary items as forgings and castings. 33 The solution to his problem came when he was offered a chance to buy the Dodge Brothers Manufacturing Company.

For this part of the story it is necessary to go back to 1920, the year in which both John and Horace Dodge died. Ownership of the company passed to their widows, and management to Frederick J. Haynes, who had been vice president and general manager and was elected president early in 1921.

Haynes was a natural choice. A one-time mechanical engineering student at Cornell, he left college after three years because of financial troubles and took a job with the E. C. Stearns Company of Toronto, bicycle manufacturers. This company was later sold to the National Cycle and Automobile Company of Hamilton, of which John Dodge was general manager. Then there was a 10-year interlude while Haynes worked as factory manager for H. H. Franklin, an association undoubtedly originating in the fact that E. C. Stearns had made bicycles and steam automobiles in Syracuse also. In 1912, after turning down an offer from Ford, Haynes joined the Dodge organization.

Under Haynes, the Dodge company went along successfully if uneventfully until 1925, when the Dodge widows sold the company to Dillon, Read and Company of New York for a reported 100 to 125 million dollars in cash and about 50 million in securities. 35 Haynes's principal achievement was to put Dodge firmly in the motor truck business by joining forces with the Graham Brothers, Joseph C., Robert C., and Ray A. This was a family which had begun with a glass-manufacturing business in 1901, using machines invented by Joseph. Ray, the youngest of the brothers, was graduated from the University of Illinois in 1908, and, while he was managing the family's farm properties, became interested in designing a light-weight motor truck. 36 He first designed a rear axle which could be used with a Ford frame. Then the glass company was merged with the Owens Bottle of Toledo [so that the Grahams flater became major participants in Libbey Owens], and the rest of the brothers went with Ray to establish a factory in Evansville, Indiana, to build truck cabs and bodies.

In 1921, the Grahams made an arrangement with the Dodge company whereby they manufactured trucks in Detroit under the Graham name but used Dodge engines and transmissions and marketed the vehicles exclusively through Dodge dealers. To keep this association intact, Dodge bought a majority interest in the Graham Brothers Truck Company six months after its own sale to Dillon, Read. The Grahams then became officials of Dodge Brothers, Ray as general manager, Joseph as vice president in charge of manufacturing, and Robert as sales manager, with John R. Lee, formerly of Ford and Wills Sainte Claire, as his assistant. Haynes remained as president.

This arrangement dissolved six months later. Haynes became chairman of the board and was replaced as president by Edward G. Wilmer, a lawyer who had been an official of various industrial corporations and had recently distinguished himself by reorganizing the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company--also in behalf of Dillon, Read and Company. At the same time, the Graham brothers sold the rest of their truck company stock to Dodge and withdrew completely from the Dodge organization. The reasons for this upheaval are unexplained. It was announced at the time that Haynes had wanted to retire from active management earlier but had stayed on at the request of the Dodge family and later of the banking house, and this could well have been so.

The same explanation will not work for the Grahams. They may have had disagreements with the bankers, or they may simply not have wanted to stay with Dodge as subordinates. It would have been an unaccustomed role for them. At any rate, they returned to automobile manufacturing on their own a year later by buying the Paige-Detroit Motor Car Company and converting it into Graham-Paige.

Dillon, Read and Company's intention all along was undoubtedly to hold the Dodge firm only until it could find a suitable buyer. If the banking house entertained any ideas about running the company itself, they were dissipated in 1927 when Dodge, although still one of the top sellers, lost ground to its competitors and the company paid no dividend on its common stock. So, in the spring of 1928, Clarence Dillon approached Walter Chrysler on the subject of purchasing the Dodge concern. It was an interesting bargaining situation. Chrysler wanted to buy, and Dillon knew it; Dillon wanted to sell, and Chrysler knew it. So they haggled, each trying to appear indifferent but each in fact eager to make a deal. In the end, an agreement was reached whereby the Chrysler Corporation acquired Dodge Brothers for $170,000,000 in Chrysler stock and the assumption of various Dodge liabilities including $56,276,000 in debenture bonds.

This one transaction made the Chrysler Corporation the third of the automotive giants. Contemporary observers placed the market value of the securities of the two companies at $432,000,000, of which $174,000,000 was Dodge and $258,000,000 Chrysler, and their assets at $131,569,968 for Chrysler and $103,894,691 for Dodge. The consolidated organization would have 18 plants, including ample forge and foundry installations, a manufacturing capacity estimated at between 700,000 and 1,000,000 cars a year, and 12,000 dealers.

So Walter Chrysler had arrived. It was now possible for him to execute the plan he had already been formulating and put a car on the market in direct competition with Ford and Chevrolet. The Plymouth made its appearance in 1928, and if it did not exactly set the automotive world on fire, it still managed to get itself securely established.

Most of the credit for this achievement is due to Chrysler himself, but he never at any time claimed to have done it all single-handed. His experience at General Motors gave him all the training he needed in the desirability not only of choosing good subordinates but also of giving them a free hand to do their jobs. Consequently, while the Chrysler Corporation was not decentralized like General Motors under Sloan, neither was it the one-man operation that Ford had become. The three men who had helped to develop the Chrysler car were still very much on hand, Zeder as vice president in charge of engineering, Breer and Skelton as directors. So was treasurer Hutchinson, who had done the figuring in Detroit while Chrysler was dickering with Dillon in New York. And when the Dodge purchase was consummated, the management of what was now the Dodge Division of the Chrysler Corporation was put into the hands of Kauffman T. Keller, who would later be Walter Chrysler's successor.

Keller, who was 42 years old when he became head of the Dodge Division, was a machinist by training, having served an apprenticeship at the Westinghouse Machine Company after being graduated from high school in Mount Joy, Pennsylvania. He eventually arrived at the Metal Products Company in Detroit as inspector of Chalmers and Hudson axles, served as general foreman of the Metzger Motor Company, and as chief inspector at the Tarrytown, New York, plant of United States Motors. He entered the General Motors organization in 1912 as general superintendent of Northway Motors and came under Chrysler's supervision as master mechanic of Buick in 1917. He later became manufacturing manager of Chevrolet and then vice president and general manager of General Motors' Canadian branches. He had wanted to leave with Chrysler, but the latter persuaded him to stay where he was--until the Chrysler Corporation was a going concern and Keller could be brought in as vice president in charge of manufacturing.

The End of Model T

While General Motors was moving rapidly ahead, the Ford Motor Company was standing still and thereby forfeiting the unique position it had attained in the automobile industry. For three years after the First World War, every other car produced in the United States was a Model T Ford; as late as 1923 the company's position in the low-priced market was still regarded as unassailable. Ford sales in that year were 1,700,000 as against 800,000 for General Motors, of which Chevrolet accounted for 465,000. Two years later, Ford's loss of ground was being noted and associated with the fact that his car had been virtually unchanged for 15 years; two years after that, Ford, as has been mentioned, dropped behind Chevrolet.

For this loss of his company's leadership, responsibility rests squarely and inescapably on the shoulders of Henry Ford. He refused to recognize that the happy-go-lucky managerial techniques which had been possible in the early days of the Ford Motor Company were not suitable for an industrial giant, so that, while General Motors was acquiring an integrated, smoothly working administrative mechanism, the Ford organization depended on the whims of one aging individual. Ford retained all his prejudice against the trained technician and made no serious effort to develop anything resembling a systematic research program. Above all, he stubbornly disregarded the warnings of his officials, including his son Edsel, that Tin Lizzie had had her day.

The contrast between the phenomenal growth of the Ford Motor Company before the First World War and its stagnation afterward has led to speculation that Henry Ford's unhappy ventures into pacifism and politics caused a sort of psychological change of life. There may be something in the idea, but in the conduct of his business the only visible difference is that, as Henry Ford became older--he was sixty in 1922--he became more set in his established thought patterns. He had always been a oneidea man; he had always preferred cut-and-try methods to orderly planning, either in design or administration; and the executives who found themselves out of their jobs because they represented a real or imaginary challenge to Henry Ford's authority were in lineal descent from Alexander Malcomson and James Couzens.

The cumulative effect of Henry Ford's methods was to throttle initiative in his company. In the days when the cheap car and the assembly line were being developed, Ford and his associates played their hunches, took chances, tried any new idea that looked promising. By the 1920's this condition had changed. There was no opportunity for experimentation when the same model was being produced year after year, and any executive who expressed an independent opinion on company policy was in effect handing in his resignation. Of the brilliant group that had made the Ford Motor Company one of the wonders of the world--Couzens, Wills, Sorensen, Knudsen, Flanders, Avery, Lee--only Sorensen remained in a position of authority, and Sorensen by his own admission was "Henry Ford's man," whose function was to take his chief's, ideas and put them into workable form.

This personnel situation was the Ford Motor Company's worst weakness. Henry Ford had fallen into the classic pattern of the despot, preferring servants to counsellors and even carrying on the traditional feud with the heir to the throne. Edsel Ford, officially the president of the company, was fully aware of the need for change and had his own ideas on what ought to be done, but he was never allowed a free hand to try them. On the contrary, his questioning of his father's judgment contributed to the tragic rift between the two which was terminated only by Edsel's death. Of the two men to whom Henry Ford did give his confidence, one was Charles E. Sorensen, who, as we have just seen, was content to put Ford's ideas on to the production line and did so very ably. The other was Harry Bennett. Of his activities, all that needs to be said at this point is that his Ford Service Department was a long way down hill from Dean Marquis's Sociological Department.

The pressure of events finally compelled Henry Ford to admit that he was wrong. Dropping the price of the cheapest Model T to $290, extending more liberal credit terms, even dressing Lizzie up with accessories and an occasional deviation from the standard black finish--all failed to halt declining sales in a boom period. None of these expedients could alter the fact that by paying not too much more the customer could get a superior car in the Chevrolet, the Overland, the Essex, or William C. Durant's Star, or that for the cost of a Model T he could get a used car with equipment and styling such as no Ford possessed.

So a landmark in automotive history was reached on May 26, 1927, when the last of some 15,000,000 Model T's rolled off the assembly line at River Rouge and the great plant closed down except for the manufacture of replacement parts. Yet no one regarded this move as a confession of failure. Such was the reputation of Henry Ford in popular imagination, that it was simply taken for granted that he was suspending operations in order to produce another technological miracle.

The Model A which Ford introduced early in 1928 was not quite that. It was built along conventional lines, styled like its competitors, with a four-cylinder engine and a sliding gear transmission in place of the Model T's planetary gears, 30 Still, if it was not a miracle, it was good enough to arrest the decline of the Ford Motor Company, although not to restore the company to its former position. Ford sales exceeded Chevrolet's in 1928 but dropped back again once the novelty of the Model A wore off. The net effect of the Ford recovery was to insure a firm second place among automobile manufacturers for the Ford Motor Company.

The demise of the Tin Lizzie can also be taken as the point at which the annual model came to dominate automobile manufacturing. The tradition of year-to-year change was of long standing in the industry. Automobile shows had been held annually since 1900, and most producers liked to be able to display some novel feature of technique or styling--not a difficult thing to do in the experimental years of the horseless carriage. Model changes, however, had been overshadowed by the apparently endless line of Model T's, all built to the same pattern. But now the Model T was gone, and both its successors and its competitors had to face a market condition in which the new car had to offer something ostensibly superior to its still serviceable predecessor. Since the annual model was primarily a selling feature, it was inevitable that styling should normally be given more emphasis than technological changes, since major technical improvements cannot be guaranteed to arrive on a 12-month schedule.

At any rate, the Model A demonstrated that Henry Ford was still very much in business. The man who could quit completely for six months and then work out the Model A in 90 days still had much of his old resiliency and mechanical talent.

Nevertheless, the basic weaknesses which had brought on the Ford crisis were still there. If Henry Ford could not yet be counted out, the fact remained that he was getting no younger and no less set in his ways. The autocratic management of the Ford Motor Company continued, along with the absence of any adequate research and engineering organization. Despite the temporary success of the Model A, Ford was now following automotive development rather than leading it. Under these conditions he could certainly not expect to overhaul General, Motors; it was even questionable whether he could face the new challenge being offered by Walter Chrysler.

The Triumph of General Motors

When Alfred P. Sloan became president of General Motors in 1923, he took charge of a concern whose future was still far from assured. Its survival was reasonably certain and its financial and organizational soundness could be taken for granted after the end of the second Durant régime, but the figure that the corporation would cut in the automotive world was as yet to be determined. There were enough weaknesses in the structure to create the possibility that General Motors might shrink rather than expand.

In its automobile line Buick and Cadillac had always been consistent money-earners, and their position in the market was too solidly established to be affected even by the departure of men like Chrysler and Leland. Oldsmobile was steady if unspectacular, but Chevrolet had proved a disappointment after its promising start, and Oakland was a weak competitor among the high-priced cars. Durant's latest acquisitions, the Scripps-Booth and the Sheridan, were quietly dropped after his departure.

There was, moreover, some question of morale in the General Motors organization. There was disorder and confusion left behind by Durant's haphazard administrative methods, and some uncertainty over the change of management, since only a few people knew exactly what had happened. Among dealers there was disgruntlement because General Motors' long delay in reducing prices when the panic of 1920 struck had hurt their sales badly.

Sloan approached these problems in systematic, orderly fashion. He rejected the whole idea of playing hunches; he was not the type to have hunches anyway. He believed that managerial technique demanded "a constant search for the facts, the true actualities, and their intelligent, unprejudiced analysis. Thus, and in no other way, policies and their administration are determined." The reorganization of General Motors on the decentralized plan which Sloan had initiated was carried through to completion, so that increasing size did not bring unwieldiness. Needless to say, Sloan put an increased emphasis on technological research, with the great advantage of having Charles F. Kettering to take charge of the research program--even though "Boss Ket" has to be classed as a hunch-player. Dealer discontent was taken care of by sheer hard work. Sloan himself and other top executives made personal visits to every General Motors dealer to find out by direct contact what ideas and grievances they had.

This methodical procedure can be taken as a conspicuous example of the engineering approach to management. If so, it was the engineering approach at its best. As the visits to the dealers indicated, Sloan was perfectly aware that the successful administration of General Motors required something more than organization charts and tables of statistics. The most accurate information in the world would be worthless without competent leadership to make use of it, and Sloan had already made it abundantly clear that he regarded the leadership of an enterprise the size of General Motors as a group rather than an individual function. Consequently, his selection of the lieutenants who were to run General Motors with him should be ranked as his greatest achievement.

First on the list of lieutenants unquestionably comes William S. Knudsen. In 1922, shortly after he left the Ford Motor Company, Knudsen was introduced to Sloan by Charles S. Mott, former head of the Weston-Mott Axle Company and now a vice president of General Motors. Sloan at first gave Knudsen a roving commission to improve production, but soon put him in charge of the Chevrolet Division, where Knudsen's talents were urgently needed. Chevrolet, as has been pointed out, had been going down hill, and a firm of consulting engineers employed by Pierre S. duPont to survey the General Motors properties had recommended that the Chevrolet operation be liquidated, on the ground that General Motors could not compete in the low-priced car market. To Sloan this verdict was completely unacceptable. He refused to agree that there was any part of the automotive field in which General Motors could not compete, and he persuaded DuPont to disregard the recommendation. Sloan then of course had to make good, and this was the task that he delegated to Knudsen.

What Knudsen did with this challenge is automotive history. By 1924, Chevrolet sales, although still well behind Ford's in total volume, were showing the most rapid rate of increase in the automobile industry; two years later Chevrolet was approaching the goal with which Knudsen had brought down the house at a convention of Chevrolet dealers: "Vun for vun"; in 1927, Chevrolet moved into first place and held it with only occasional lapses for the next 20 years. Knudsen admittedly was materially assisted by Henry Ford's blunder in hanging on to the Model T and by the nine-month suspension of Ford production when Ford finally realized his mistake. On the other hand, Knudsen did not make the error of trying to compete directly with Ford. He was aware, as Henry Ford was not, that the American people had become sufficiently automobile conscious to be willing to pay a little more for style and comfort. So the Chevrolet was priced from one to two hundred dollars above the comparable Model T, and for that the buyer got a car with distinctly more graceful lines and such features as a self-starter, a three-speed transmission, and a spare tire.

The other lame duck, the Oakland, underwent more drastic if less highly publicized treatment. The initial step was Sloan's decision that General Motors should have a low-priced six-cylinder car to compete with popular newcomers like the Essex, and that this car might as well be produced by the Oakland Division, which was not doing very much anyway. The preliminary work was done by Sloan's M.I.T. classmate, Henry M. Crane, who was brought into General Motors as technical adviser to the president. 20 Crane's design, however, was going to be too expensive for Sloan's purpose and was turned over to the Oldsmobile Division.

Meanwhile, Oakland's affairs were put into the hands of Alfred R. Glancy, a mechanical engineer who, as a student at Lehigh University in 1903, had written a thesis on the automobile, arriving at the conclusion that it was a rich man's toy and had no commercial future. After his graduation, Glancy spent several years in an assortment of mining and construction jobs, plus a session as a salesman of mining and quarrying machinery along the New York State Barge Canal. He then joined a chemical company which was acquired by DuPont during the war, and it was this association which brought him at long last to General Motors and the automobile industry. The circumstances of his arrival might well have led Glancy to wonder if perhaps his original judgment had been correct after all. In 1920, he was made general manager of Durant's ill-advised Samson tractor venture and also of the Sheridan Motor Company, his principal responsibility with each being to liquidate the enterprise as painlessly as possible. He did well enough for Sloan to pick him out in 1924 as the man to reconstruct the Oakland Division.

Glancy assembled a new engineering staff, headed by Benjamin Anibal, who had formerly been chief engineer at Cadillac under Henry M. Leland, and went to work on the six-cylinder car. They redesigned Crane's engine, put it into an enlarged version of the Chevrolet chassis, and came up with a car that they called the Pontiac after the city in which it was to be built, just as the Oakland was named for the county in which Pontiac is located. The new car went on the market in 1926, so successfully that presently the Oakland was withdrawn and the manufacturing facilities given over completely to the production of Pontiacs.

Another figure to move up rapidly under Sloan was Charles E. Wilson. A graduate of the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1909, Wilson made his first acquaintance with the automobile industry by working on automotive electrical equipment for Westinghouse. 22 In 1919, he joined the Remy-Electric subsidiary of General Motors and seven years later became president and general manager of the merged Delco-Remy organization. He was made a vice president of General Motors in 1928.

Sloan's taste in lieutenants, it can be seen, ran understandably to engineers: Crane, Mooney, Wilson, Glancy. It was not an exclusive preference; Knudsen was primarily a production man with some formal technical training, while Harlow H. Curtice, who reached the top echelon as president of A. C. Spark Plug in 1927, had started with the company as a bookkeeper. In any event, the test of results provided a convincing endorsement of Sloan's selections.

While the weak spots were being bolstered, the General Motors giant was continuing to grow. In 1925, it bought the Yellow Cab Manufacturing Company of Chicago for $16,000,000 and merged it with the General Motors Truck Division under the title of Yellow Truck and Coach Manufacturing Company, with the founder of the Yellow organization, John B. Hertz, as president. 23 Hertz had founded his company in 1910 after a varied career as a sportswriter, fight manager, and automobile salesman. 24 He became a taxicab operator because he found himself with nine unsalable Thomas Flyers on his hands, so started an automobile livery service with them. When he found that too few calls were coming in, he sent the cars cruising in the streets of Chicago, painted yellow to attract attention. Then, as the business grew, he decided to manufacture his own cabs, and later developed a motor bus business as well.

General Motors also began at this time to acquire foreign subsidiaries, as other American manufacturers were doing in order to bypass the accumulation of restrictions on international trade which sprang up after the First World War. An attempt to buy the British firm of Austin Motors, Ltd., in 1925 got as far as approval by the Austin directors but was blocked by the shareholders. 25 Two months later, a similar deal with Vauxhall Motors, Ltd., was carried to completion. Germany's Adam Opel Company was added in 1929. This step by no means completed the structure of General Motors, but the corporation was clearly in first place among automobile manufacturers--it had been since 1925, in fact 26 --and, since 1929 marks another watershed for the automobile industry, as for so much else, the further development of General Motors can be postponed for subsequent discussion.

The Automotive Giants in the early 1920's

With the return of prosperity in the early 1920's, the American automobile industry came into its own as the nation's largest manufacturing enterprise. Production of motor vehicles climbed from 2,227,349 in 1920 to a phenomenal high of 5,337,687 in 1929, a figure not surpassed for another 20 years. By 1929, there was one automobile on the highway for every six people in the United States, and Herbert Hoover's campaign slogan of "two cars in every garage" was by no means as ridiculous as it was made out to be by subsequent critics.

Much of the economic expansion of the period, in fact, was a direct consequence of the rise of the motor vehicle. The production and the operation of automobiles absorbed 20% of the country's annual steel output, 90% of its gasoline, 80% of its rubber, and 75% of its plate glass. Moreover, as millions of Americans became automobile owners, they demanded better roads. The Federal Highways Act of 1921 and the dedication of the Zero milestone in Washington a year later, a ceremony at which Roy D. Chapin was appropriately one of the principal speakers, signaled the launching of a vast program of road building by both Federal and state authorities. The automobile also brought with it a substantial new area of service occupations: dealers and repair shops, filling stations and tourist camps.

Expansion, of course, had its problems. For both the manufacturer and the dealer, the most serious was the fast-growing number of serviceable used cars. The trade journals of the decade contain a variety of proposals for taking second-hand cars out of circulation; quite clearly, none of them worked. Associated with the used-car difficulty was the unbelievable fact that after just a quarter of a century, automobile ownership in the United States had become so widespread that for the time being new cars would be bought predominantly for replacement rather than by purchasers who had not previously owned an automobile. This situation gradually achieved a reluctant recognition within the industry. As early as the end of 1925 there were warnings of the danger of overproduction and of excessive liberality in retail financing. The continued upsurge of business made this note of caution appear needless at the time, although at the peak of the boom in 1928 Alfred P. Sloan was advising that the automobile industry was thinking too much of volume production and not enough of net profits, while James D. Mooney, president of the General Motors Export Corporation, was suggesting that the executive who thought in terms of production for its own sake was now outmoded. These, however, were minority opinions, noteworthy because it was the engineer-executives who were looking critically at the demand side of the picture while practically everyone else was hypnotized by the bull market ( Mooney was a graduate of Case who had worked for Westinghouse and B. F. Goodrich before entering General Motors via the Hyatt Roller Bearing Company).

On the technological side, there were few major changes in the cars themselves. Essentially the automobile of the 1920's was the same as its predecessor of the previous decade, with refinements in the form of more efficient and more powerful engines, better lighting systems, and more graceful body styling. The most conspicuous innovation of commercial significance was Roy D. Chapin's offering of both Hudson and Essex closed cars in 1922 at prices only $100, above the comparable touring car.

The boldness of the move may be seen in the following table:


Make Lowest Touring Car Price Lowest Closed Car Price Differential
Ford $ 393 $ 595 $202
Chevrolet 525 850 325
Dodge 880 1,195 315
Buick 885 1,395 510
Essex 1,095 1,195 100
Hudson 1,575 1,695 100

The Essex coach body, the cheaper of the two, was at first a somewhat ungainly wooden box with a metal framework, since cost considerations ruled out either manual cabinet work on the wood or an all-steel body-the latter because stamping presses large enough to make steel body forms had yet to be introduced, along with facilities for making sheet steel cheaply and in quantity. Nevertheless, Chapin was right in assuming that the American public would regard a closed car as being worth some deficiencies in style. The experiment was so successful that the rest of the industry had to conform. In a short time, the touring car with its awkward top and its flapping side curtains virtually disappeared from the American scene, until a swing of the technological circle brought it back in vastly improved form as the convertible.

There were several important technological developments in what can be classified as essential adjuncts to the automobile. Quick-drying and durable lacquer finishes became available in 1923 through the joint efforts of Charles F. Kettering and the DuPont Company; Kettering and Dr. Thomas H. Midgley contributed ethyl gasoline a year earlier, the result of 10 years of research. Kettering was convinced that the cause of motor knock was in the fuel, and in due course he and Midgley came up with tetraethyl lead as the most effective antiknock agent. Ethyl gasoline was first marketed through the Standard Oil Company ( Indiana), but in 1924 General Motors and the Standard Oil Company ( New Jersey) joined forces to organize the Ethyl Gasoline Corporation. The rubber industry was also pressing to keep pace with the needs of its principal customer. Cord tires came into general use at the end of the First World War, and low-pressure balloon tires first appeared in 1922. Automobile manufacturing was also responsible for a revolutionary change in glass making when the Ford Motor Company built its own plant and worked out a technique for continuous-process production of plate glass. Safety glass, moreover, was developed largely in response to automotive needs.

Thus, there was enough technological activity in and about the automobile industry to keep its leaders aware of this part of their field. When the agreement for cross-licensing patents came up for renewal in 1925, there was a vigorous demand for modification, led by Roy D. Chapin, Alfred P. Sloan, and Alvan Macauley. Chapin was especially disgruntled with the cross-licensing system because he had just been through a long and unsuccessful fight to get class B rating for a patent on a balanced crankshaft designed by Stephen I. Fekete, the Austrian-born chief engineer of the Hudson Motor Car Company. The fact that the Fekete patent was the only one for which B classification was sought during the 10-year life of the original cross-licensing agreement is striking testimony to the absence of any basic change in the automobile itself.

While Chapin was discontented, he was unwilling to go as far as Sloan, who wanted to limit cross-licensing to minor construction details. Macauley's company had not been a party to the original agreement, but he was willing to work with Chapin to revise the system. In the end, crosslicensing was continued for class A patents held as of January 1, 1925, later extended to January 1, 1930, at which time the number of patents included was 1,687. This modified agreement was renewed at intervals until December 31, 1956, when it finally lapsed.

The gradual decline of the cross-licensing arrangement was directly related to the advance of concentration in the industry. As the larger comparties developed their own research programs, they came increasingly to feel that they should be reimbursed for what they were spending in this way before they gave their competitors access to their discoveries. On their side, the smaller concerns were at some disadvantage because patents taken out by parts manufacturers, even if they were subsidiaries of the big automobile companies, were excluded from the agreement. Nevertheless, the tradition of cross-licensing had become so ingrained in the automobile industry that, in 1953, Alfred Reeves was able to boast that there had not been a patent suit between members of the Automobile Manufacturers Association in 37 years.

The principal beneficiaries of the automobile industry's expansion were the big companies. Mass production and mass marketing gave a tremendous advantage to large-scale operation. This feature of automobile manufacturing had, as we have seen, been emerging for some time, but without a definite indication of how many giants the industry would support or which firms would make the grade. To be sure, Ford and General Motors appeared to be secure once they had weathered their respective crises in 1920, but beyond these two it was anybody's guess. Studebaker, Hudson, Nash, Willys-Overland, Maxwell--all were prospective candidates for the top rank.

The boom period of the 1920's saw the pattern of bigness crystallize. Ford and General Motors remained well in the lead but changed places, so that General Motors became the nation's and the world's largest manufacturer of motor vehicles. Meanwhile, Walter Chrysler was putting together another behemoth, and these three completely outstripped and overshadowed the rest of the field.