Monday 12 November 2012

Davis Controls Ltd. - Putting Things In Perspective

As we look forward to 2013 and our milestone 80th Anniversary supplying Canadian industry with the process controls, industrial instrumentation and factory automation solutions required to meet their needs in this increasingly competitive environment, we are challenged to consider the business, economic and social conditions that confront our Customers and our Markets now and into the future.
Doing this has made me wonder about what must have been going through Cecil Davis’ mind as he considered the business, economic and social conditions of 1933 as he was about to launch the new business venture that has successfully survived 80 years.
1933 was the worst year of the Great Depression, with unemployment peaking at 25.2%.   In fact, C.R Davis was a component of that statistic.  That year, the US banking system, which was under tremendous strain, was propped up by the US government (US Banking Act of 1933) in an attempt to stop the panic withdrawal of money from the banks.  The continuing drought in the Midwest was turning once fertile and productive farmland into a giant dust bowl, the average income was $1,550.00/yr and a new house cost $5,750.00

The cost of a gallon of gas was 10¢, a loaf of bread 07¢, a pound of hamburger meat 11¢ and a brand new Plymouth 6-cylinder car would you cost $445.00 when the average wage for a labourer was $20.00/wk.

Technology advances that year included the invention of the electron microscope in Germany and the Drive-In Movie Theatre in the USA.

That same year, the chocolate chip cookie and the board game Monopoly were invented, a 5-year old Shirley Temple signed a contract with Fox and the original King Kong movie was shown.  Larry King, Yoko Ono, Jayne Mansfield and Willie Nelson were born.  It was also the first time that the Loch Ness monster (or something) was photographed.  The inoculation fight against diphtheria in the western world began that year and Alcatraz became a federal penitentiary.

On the world stage, Franklin D. Roosevelt succeeded Herbert Hoover as President of the United States, the Reichstag passed the Enabling Act, making Adolf Hitler the Chancellor of Germany, (that same year the Gestapo is established), Joseph Stalin was the leader of the Soviet Union and Benito Mussolini was the Prime Minister of Italy.

Under the circumstances, I would rather deal with the issues facing us in 2013 than those that challenged C.R. Davis in 1933.