Jay Horan: Roger, why don’t we just start at the beginning? How did you first decide to become a machinist. How did you decide to go into that line of work in the first place?

RB: I thought we were going to start at my start.

JH: I’m sorry, you’re right. That’s a better place to start, really.

RB: I started October 2, 1908. Born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and lived in Worcester, Massachusetts, until I was eleven. My father died when I was eleven. He died of influenza, and I, my brother and sister, went to a school in Illinois operated by a fraternal organization, the Moose Lodge. I spent from 1920 to 1927 in this school, so that’s my education as—

JH: This school was a technical vocational school, as well as a regular high school?

RB: The school operated 48 weeks a year, in which we had two weeks vacation in the summer and two weeks at Christmas time. The balance was in school classes in the morning and then vocational classes in the afternoon. So in the seventh and eighth grade I went through all the various trades for three months in each one. At the end of that time I chose the one I thought I would like to pursue in high school, which was for four years. I graduated in July 1927, and at graduation I had an offer to work at either Western Electric in Chicago or Elgin Watch Company in Elgin, Illinois, with a credit of three years apprenticeship. I would then work one more year and become a toolmaker at either of those plants.


Parent contents