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Romances of Modern Business
RNOLD BENNETT, the English novelist, came to America not long ago
to look us over. The distinguished author is a keen student of psychology,
and our entire scheme of living fell under his microscopic eye. After visiting several of the largest American cities, he gave some interesting impressions to a Chicago newspaper interviewer. Flinging open a window commanding a view of a wide stretch of Chicago's business district, he said:
“There is your American romance—there in the large office buildings and marts of trade! Yours is the romance of great achievements in commerce, in industrial leadership. And it is a wonderful romance! The child of the world's nations is leading them!”
The British writer got to the heart of this vital, throbbing country. And if we look at our national commercial life as did this noted visitor, we shall find romance, absorbingly interesting stories, on every page of our magazines, not only in the imaginative writings of noted authors, but in the stories of business successes and of merchants and their wares.
There are many such romances in the history of American industry. Here is one of them:
The Story of a Fountain Pen
At the rear of a news-stand, under the stair- the story had been told and the uses of his way in the old Tribune Building, in lower product demonstrated, there returned to the New York City, a remarkable discovery was magazine office a man with a firm conviction made a little less than thirty years ago. that he had made a tremendous discovery.
Pausing to make a purchase, the advertising The man who displayed his pet invention manager of a well-known magazine, by one of in the old Tribune Building news-stand was those curious turns of chance, first learned of Lewis Edson Waterman, and the article he something that was to be of vital interest in showed was the Waterman Ideal Fountain the world of invention, and was to lighten the Pen. work of thousands in many nations.
The story of how these pens became so Back of the news-stand stood a man with a widely known and of how an enormous indussmall tray of goods which he was offering for try was developed in a few years is a very sigsale. He was a kindly appearing man, slightly nificant one. Waterman discovered the way to under middle age. His stock of merchandise make a fountain pen; but a magazine adverwas limited indeed. It contained only a half- tising man discovered Waterman-and therein dozen articles. But his goods were his own lies the story. of his own thought and invention.
That was a little more than twenty-nine This he told the advertising man; and so years ago. The inventor had confidence in much did he interest his listener that, after his pen, but no money with which to market The Story of a Fountain Pen
it; nor had he any business affiliations or in- The business increased in strides so rapid fluential friends. Today, the L. E. Water- that it soon became necessary to form a stock man Company estimates that approximately company and map out a systematic scheme of a million and a quarter of their fountain manufacturing and distributing the pens. An pens are sold annually. Many millions have intelligent campaign of advertising was being been sold in practically every nation of the carried on in a number of national magazines. earth.
In 1888, nine thousand pens were sold; seven The inventor had been a schoolmaster in years later, the number of orders had reached his early manhood; then he became an insur- sixty-three thousand; in 1900, the business ance agent. During these experiences he real- reached two hundred and twenty-seven thouized the difficulties that lay in depending on sand sales; in 1903, the orders had passed the the old-fashioned pen and ink. “Why,"
ink. “Why," half-million mark, and in 1912 nearly a million thought he, “can I not make a pen with a re- and a quarter pens were sold. ceptacle for ink and an easy flow?" He And what was the secret of this phenomenal worked on the idea and soon had made the success? first Waterman fountain pen.
Mr. Frank D. Waterman, president of the Coming to New York in 1880, he was in- L. E. Waterman Company, answering an formed that others had had the same idea, that inquiry as to what advertising had done for more than two hundred other fountain pens their business, with a wave of his hand indihad been patented. He investigated these cated the entire scope of their industry. and found they all had proved unsatisfactory. “Anyone can see for himself what magazine Learning their deficiencies, he perfected his advertising has done for the L. E. Waterman own pen.
Company,” he said. “The business speaks for Then came the problem of selling his pens, itself. The right kind of advertising is the life
. of letting people know about them. How was of trade. You must have the merchandise, of he to do it? The inventor, knowing nothing course, and the merchant must back up what of advertising, could think of no other way appears in his advertisements; but advertising in than going out and personally peddling his the proper mediums is the real force of business. product. This he did, beginning in 1883 and “Advertising today is not merely giving continuing through part of the following year. publicity to your wares. The merchant to
. It was in 1884 that the Waterman fountain day through advertising makes a reputation, pen came to the attention of the magazine ad- and he has to live up to it. Advertising is vertising manager. “Let me run a quarter- sure fire, if it be of a sincere, convincing, conpage advertisement of your pen,” he suggested fidence-gaining quality. to Mr. Waterman. But the inventor had not "Years ago, people asked the founder of the the money it would cost. Then the advertis- Waterman Company why he advertised so ing man did an interesting thing: so convinced much in the magazines, and he replied that he was he of the commercial possibilities of the couldn't get along without them. He found fountain pen that he loaned Mr. Waterman they paid, and so have I.” the price of the quarter-page advertisement. This story is interesting from more than one
This first business announcement of the L. E. point of view. It has been shown that through Waterman Company appeared in a magazine the force of national magazine advertising a in November, 1884. Prior to that, Mr. Water- large industry was created. But there is anman by personal solicitation had sold about other side—that of the significance of this creathree hundred of his pens. Within a few tive power to the public at large. weeks after the advertisement appeared such There is a broad, ethical mission to the a large number of orders had been received development of an industry such as the L. E. that Mr. Waterman negotiated a loan of five Waterman Company. Thousands of people thousand dollars, with which to contract for are served, office and written work is faciliadditional advertising and have the pens made tated, time is saved and life generally made and delivered.
easier and happier for many the world over. This is the first of a series of articles that is being published to show how magasines are serving the public.
Advance By Going Ahead VIE E look back for parallels to riide us.
There are none; we stand today face to face with the most sweeping change of consituations the world has ever known, a change that everywhere contemplates the admission of woman to a share in government. It is the Ouverturning of an entire social system. So where is the guide? It is in this: the nations cof the world have advanced from savagery to civilisation by walking in the light that came froin in front Yesterday's candle is burned trit, ils creeds are dead; today's lamp is dimining, its faith wavering; tomorrow's is the light that gleams, its the promise that leads on. so we turn to it, face ahead.
It will grow. (wsition will increase it. It is the new
ane from which we have much to gain, little to loose, less to fear.
Man's World He Owns It Tas it stands today is man's—after
GM It has been purceled out by man, who made its dins putablished its customs, fought its little les les graves. So it is his; he
He has in the fact of his Alttant: they are his, too, the same lees up to his Hiss pussy milyes for the com
* * Staryu St of view. time that we en was it.
༤ ་ ཀ ་
** พชร รฯ
པཱནད དྷ ཝཱན་ tos
True Style is Only
Cut and Color
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WELLS & RICHARDSON COMPANY, BURLINGTON, VERMONT
AND 200 MOUNTAIN STREET, MONTREAL, CANADA