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Film and Television Discussion
: PBS Station Producing Important Biographic Documentaries
PBS Station Producing Important Biographic Documentaries
2 years ago
(June 07, 2016 08:25 PM)
Member since October 2004
As far as I can search, even here on IMDB there are no records of a couple of local PBS Documentaries I have watched. If I see them out here I will review them. Meanwhile, let me post some comments here.
This is about George F Johnson, a man who once built the largest shoe manufacturing company in the world. His family is still a legend in the Binghamton, Endicott, and Johnson City, New York area. His company once employed over 20,000 workers in this area. His company provided Cradle to Grave Health Care for all his workers. His company had it's own Grocery Store for Employees at dicount prices. His company built homes for his employees. His company provided Carousels for the area on which rides are always free, even today. His company built public parks and swimming pools for the area. He was one of the founders of "the Valley of Opportunity" which provided many of the most important products of the 20th Century. He helped build a golf course which is still used on the Senior PGA Tour- Enjoie Golf Club is home of the Dick's Sporting Open coming in July in 2016.
This is about Thomas Watson Sr., Founder of IBM, though this Biography goes through his entire life prior to IBM as well. Once convicted as a criminal, violating anti-trust laws when working for NCR, Watson wore several hats and careers before IBM. He learned lessons from every leader he ever met including George F. Johnson. He helped build a business empire in Endicott, NY which at it's height employed nearly as many as Johnson did. It was his hiring during the Depression that was a gamble for the IBM Company but made IBM the only company that FDR and the Federal Government could go too when Social Security was started in 1935. In a way, he became larger than life becoming the first celebrity CEO of the modern era. Watson also built houses for IBM Employees and provided Health Insurance for every IBM employee at no cost and IBM continued to do so until 1991.
Both of these programs are touching portraits of these men, who became such giants of industry, that when World War 2 came, Endicott-Johnson would make every combat boot, and IBM would manufacture a lot of weapons for the war in Endicott, NY.
As big as these men were, there are more events not even covered by what just these two accomplished in the Valley of Opportunity. Still, these are important starts that cover two men who knew each other and who both became rich and successful men while playing important roles in the success of the USA in the 20th Century.
The station that ran these programs is PBS Channel 46 in Binghamton, NY. They deserve kudos for putting together 2 important programs. The entire story of what came from the Valley of Opportunity, is one of the most amazing stories of the 20th Century and these 2 men were important pieces of a much larger picture.
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