• U.S.

STATE OF BUSINESS: Facts & Figures, Nov. 1, 1948

2 minute read

Western Steel. In Pittsburg, Calif., Columbia Steel Co., a U.S. Steel subsidiary, opened a new $25 million sheet and tin-plate plant which will add 325,000 tons a year to West Coast steel capacity. Columbia will also get a new president, Alden G. Roach, 47, who had joined Big Steel when it bought his Consolidated Steel Corp. Ltd. (TIME, June 21).

Trust-Busted. In a federal court in Manhattan, the Department of Justice won a skirmish in its antitrust battle (TIME, Oct. 4). Eight of the biggest U.S. tiremakers* and the Rubber Manufacturers’ Association, all charged with conspiring to fix prices and discounts, were fined a total of $50,000.

Glass Sandwich. Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co. announced a new “folding glass,” that can be collapsed like an accordion. It is made of thick glass sections joined together by a flexible airtight plastic. First use: in large, full-vision rear windows in the ’49 Hudson convertible.

Incentive. Gum King Philip K. Wrigley, tired of losing money on his Santa Catalina Island resort (it has showed a profit only twice in 29 years and is losing $750,000 this year), began to lease a Catalina hotel and some bungalows to employees. Said Wrigley: “A manager with a lease . . . will work a little harder . . . and doesn’t need as many assistants.”

The Plunge. The insurance companies, which usually shy away from foreign oil investments, jumped in with both feet. Nine of the biggest U.S. companies and one Canadian snapped up the biggest industrial bond issue ever offered. Shell Caribbean Petroleum Co. of N.J. (a Royal Dutch-Shell subsidiary) announced that the insurance companies would buy $250 million worth of its 20-year, 4% bonds. As security for the loan, Shell Caribbean put up 8,800,000 shares (or two-thirds) of the stock of Shell Union Oil Corp., Shell’s U.S. subsidiary (the stock’s market value last week was $345,400,000).

*Dayton Rubber Co., Firestone Tire & Rubber Co., General Tire & Rubber Co., B. F. Goodrich Co., Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Lee Rubber & Tire Corp., Seiberling Rubber Co., and United States Rubber Co.

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