“My First Job”
Ex-Gov. Allen Took Care of Leather Firm’s Stove
This boy’s pay was raised to $3 weekly: Ex-Gov. Allen in his early days in the leather business.
By FRANK G. ALLEN – Former Governor
(As Told to M. E. Hennessy)
When I was graduated from Lynn High School in 1892 at the age of 18 I took the entrance examination for Harvard and passed, but I decided to go to work. I got a job in a Lynn bank, but at the end of two weeks I made up my mind that I’d rather become a businessman.
I had worked around my father’s little tannery and I knew quite a lot about that trade. Marked up in pencil on the wall of our tannery were some figures put there by my father. They represented the highest record ever made there for taking off skins off the boards on which they are mounted for drying by me, when, after school hours and Saturdays, my father paid me one cent for every dozen skins I took off.
My father got me a job in the leather business. Two old friends of his, Black and Newhall of Lynn, had an office on High st., Boston, the heart of the leather district in those days. My pay was $2 a week. My duties were to keep the; store clean, run errands, tie up bundles and in season take care of the pot-bellied stove that heated the store.
At Christmas I received a present of $15. Mr. Black told me that I had been a good boy and that thereafter my pay would be $3 a week My wages were eaten up by carfares and lunches, but I didn’t mind I was getting valuable business experience and making contacts with businessmen.
After a while I got a job with Lyman Smith’s Sons Company of Norwood. There I moved, married and prospered.