Audio Recording "We perceived we were working for the full factory, as opposed to having the factory do things for us."
About this Item
- "We perceived we were working for the full factory, as opposed to having the factory do things for us."
- Contributor Names
- McLaughlin, Ian M. Watson (Narrator)
- McCarl, Robert (Interviewer)
- Created / Published
- Subject Headings
- - Oral history
- - Interviews
- - Sound recordings
- - Family-run businesses
- - Watson Machine International
- - Machinery industry
- - Ethnography
- - United States -- New Jersey -- Paterson
- - Interview with Ian McLaughlin, CEO, Watson Machine International.
- - Summary of audio segment: McCarl question about changes in the company from an independent production shop to an assembler of sub-contracted parts from various international manufacturers. Ian says that the company is no longer vertically integrated. It used to be. "There definitely was a background of real craftsmanship here, I mean we make everything. We used to make our own hand tools down in the foundry. Literally all the wrenches and the screwdrivers and everything. [Pointing to a screwdriver on his desk] I think we made that screwdriver right there. Actually, I think that screwdriver was made in Germany. That was the way things were made. Well, the fact is, we sort of drew a line in the sand about flip, because there wasn't a real demand for our machinery, because we were in a cyclical business and we were going out and getting jobs when the cycle was down, to keep the factory busy. We perceived we were working for the full factory. As opposed to having the factory do things for us. And when we were able to get rid of the factory and find out now what do we really need and how can we rationalize it, we found that this thing was running on its own steam. And we came in and said, 'My god, this thing isn't working. In other words, you come into a garden and you find that you've got this kind of product and that product to sell, you say, okay, good, we'll keep going with that garden; but then demand goes up for another part of the garden, it's hard to water it over in the corner, you know, you change. And that's exactly what we've done. And the fact is, that was pretty scary. I was scared, I said 'Oh my god, will we really be able to find people?' I mean, we were building machinery, CNC machinery, it was start, it was stop; get a rpoduction job, do this, do that. I had a lot of advice and I was floundering. But we were able to stick it through and now the fact is that when the time comes we can rationalize buying production machinery, which is a discipline, and you can't find it elsewhere, and the mathematics are correct, then we'll do it. But we'll be in charge of that. And someday, down in the future, there will come a time when somebody else will come in here, unless the thing is well-managed and clear in its perception of where the it's going. They'll flounder around also."
- Analog Audio Cassette
- Call Number/Physical Location
- AFC 1995/028: WIP-RM-A011
- Source Collection
- Working in Paterson Project Collection (AFC 1995/028)
- American Folklife Center
- Digital Id
- Online Format
Rights assessment is your responsibility.
The Library of Congress is not aware of any U.S. copyright protection (see Title 17, U.S.C.) or any other restrictions in the material in this collection, except as noted below. Users should keep in mind that the Library of Congress is providing access to these materials strictly for educational and research purposes. The written permission of the copyright owners and/or other holders of rights (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permissions ultimately rests with persons desiring to use the item. See our Legal Notices and Privacy and Publicity Rights for additional information and restrictions.
The American Folklife Center and the professional fieldworkers who carry out these projects feel a strong ethical responsibility to the people they have visited and who have consented to have their lives documented for the historical record. The Center asks that researchers approach the materials in this collection with respect for the culture and sensibilities of the people whose lives, ideas, and creativity are documented here. Researchers are also reminded that privacy and publicity rights may pertain to certain uses of this material.
Researchers or others who would like to make further use of these collection materials should contact the Folklife Reading Room for assistance.
Working in Paterson Project collection, 1993-2002 (AFC 1995/028), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress
Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.
Chicago citation style:
Mclaughlin, Ian M. Watson, and Robert McCarl. "We perceived we were working for the full factory, as opposed to having the factory do things for us.". -08-17, 1994. Audio. https://www.loc.gov/item/afcwip003219/.
APA citation style:
McLaughlin, I. M. W. & McCarl, R. (1994) "We perceived we were working for the full factory, as opposed to having the factory do things for us.". -08-17. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/afcwip003219/.
MLA citation style:
Mclaughlin, Ian M. Watson, and Robert McCarl. "We perceived we were working for the full factory, as opposed to having the factory do things for us.". -08-17, 1994. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/afcwip003219/>.