Publication: National Glass Budget
Pittsburgh, PA, United States
ANNUAL MEETING OF GLASS
Whether due to the beautiful surroundings, the miserable weather or tackling a job that to many of the delegates seemed hopelessly at sea, there was a pronounced apathy manifested in getting things started in connection with the fourteenth annual meeting of the Glass Container Association of America, which convened at White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., on Thursday of last week.
While the program called for business activities to start at 9:30 Eastern Standard time, it was long after that time when W. H. McClure, vice president and general sales agent of the Hazel-Atlas Glass Company, Wheeling, W. Va., and acting president of the meeting, took the chair and called for attention. Beside him were C. R. Stevenson and E. G. Ackerman, manager and assistant manager of the organization. At the sound of the gavel the 90 or more delegates present took on the air of submission as an indication that they were ready to hear the worst and seemingly not expecting to hear much of an encouraging nature.
That this was the proper spirit was soon demonstrated, so far as the manufacture and distribution of the product was concerned. Mr. McClure wasted no time in the discussion of generalities, but after establishing his authority to act in the capacity of chairman, he called on Mr. Ackerman to give his report as assistant business manager. Following him came the report of J. C. Magness, the Director of Traffic; that of H. G. Phillips, chairman, and K. L. Ford, director of the Technical Department. Then came W. S. Richards, who discussed the question of Standardization; and W. R. Leach, whose business it was to explain all that was obscure and, we might add, detrimental as related to the tariff and its effect on the glass container business as carried on in this country. That these gentlemen met the expectation of the listeners seemed evident inasmuch as but few questions were asked and but little amplification of statements called for. In a general way it may be said that each of the speakers seemed at home in the discussion of his subject and was able to report progress. From much that was said it was made quite clear that making glass containers and distributing them did not exhaust the list of painful endeavors connected with the container business. However, these phases of the industry seemed to be in good hands and in the end may bear satisfactory fruit.
The above questions out of the way, a trinity of reports was made by V. L. Hall, treasurer of the organization, viz., the treasurer's report, report of the nominating committee, and the election of directors. At this time only the treasurer's report could be presented. This was done, and considering conditions that have existed in the industry for months past it may be regarded as an exemplification of a satisfactory and judicious handling of the association's finances during the past year. Any organization that can close its year's business in black figures is entitled to congratulations. Action on the other two questions was taken later and will constitute a closing part of this story.
At this point in the program time was set apart for an open discussion. As no one seemed inclined to launch out on a question of general business tendencies, the discussion centered around the program to be followed out during the afternoon. It had been raining almost constantly during the night before and all that morning and the advisability of advancing Friday morning's part of the program to that afternoon and postponing the golf game until the morning was considered. As there were signs of a change for the better in the weather, it was decided to be governed by conditions when time for the afternoon program arrived. Adjournment of the general meeting was then ordered and the directors went into a noon luncheon and business meeting during which officers for the ensuing year were chosen. These were W. H. McClure, president; George S. Bacon, of the Whitall Tatum Company, Millville, N. J., and H. C. Mandeville of the Thatcher Manufacturing Company, Elmira, N. Y., vice presidents. V. L. Hall was re-elected treasurer, as was C. R Stevenson and E'. G. Ackerman, manager and assistant manager respectively.
The weather appeared to be somewhat favorable when time for the afternoon meeting arrived and as there was no telling what Friday morning would bring in the way of golf weather, it was decided to follow the program and play the game. So the stout-hearted in the golf fraternity took up the favorite sport and the rest roamed around the hotel waiting for the banquet in the evening, the report on which will be given in another article.
A. W. Sherwood, who was on the program as committee chairman of the Public Relations Department, being absent on Friday morning, the bulk of what was submitted on that question was presented by J. T. Hendricks, director of the department when the last session of the general meeting convened, and was followed by the statistical report offered by V. L. Hall. This was decidedly the highlight of the meeting so far as definite, concrete and authoritative information was concerned. With his charts and accurate figures made more easily understood by different colors and comparative curves, a very intelligent mental picture of every important phase of the industry as compared with other leading industries of the country could be gotten. No other single feature of the meeting presented as much real information as does this annual report of Mr. Hall. Following this was the only stated address on the program. It was given by Mr. Stevenson and was heard with marked attention. The speaker corroborated what the Budget has called attention to more than once as one of the most dangerous and disturbing features of the industry and the one most difficult with which to cope, viz., the unstable market conditions, and the strong effort on the part of some manufacturers to keep the industry on a sound footing in that respect while others seemed disinclined to co-operate and thus lose the opportunity for a justifiable profit on the part of all. How long such a condition will likely last is of course problematical. But if the speaker's judgment of conditions that will likely hold in the industry for the next twelve months is borne out, there is plenty that can happen during that time that will be helpful to none and dangerous to all. We have no disposition to in any way take issue with Mr. Stevenson's forecast; on the contrary, we have the feeling he may be right, but we also believe he will gladly join with us in the hope that the real picture may be brighter than the word-painted one. On the other hand he is in position to gain information denied to those on the side lines, and on which he no doubt bases his prediction. In that case the most important work that manufacturers and distributors can do is, by harmonious action to bend all energies towards a situation in the industry that will mean a fair profit for all and keep them in better shape to avoid dangers until a gradual upswing has started.
The following is a list of representatives to the Glass Container meeting, as shown by the registration cards on Thursday evening:
I. R. Stewart,
J. P. Treadwell,
Anchor Cap & Closure Co., New York, N. Y.
J. O. Deegan,
Anchor Cap & Closure Corp. of Toronto, Canada.
M. G. Babcock,
Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co.