I think I’ll write about the Bard-Parker blade factory. I was a lucky to get a summer job that was easy and clean. I say that now since the next summer I was glad to get a job as second tipper in a hat factory.
Bard-Parker produced mostly surgical blades. The manufacturing part was on the first floor. The blade inspectors were on the second floor. That’s where I sat, in the blade inspectors’ large room. It was air-conditioned. Nice huh? Back in 1953, too.
The reason it was air conditioned was because the blade inspectors–all women– needed it. If they were hot, their fingers sweat and rusted the blades. Not a good marketing ploy. So the room was air-conditioned.
I never touched a surgical blade. I remember I packed hershey (Hershey?) blades. They fit a holder and were used for slicing cartons open. I must have done other jobs but I can’t remember them. Oh yes, the hershey blades were covered with grease.
I remember Irene who shared my table. She’d had to leave high school at sixteen to go to work. She later married and ended up at Bard-Parker.
She must have thirsted for knowledge because I remember memorizing poems for her at night so I could recite them to her the next day.
Why didn’t I give her a book of poems? I was young and thoughtless.