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We continue with a depression-era strategy for combatting another depression. Personally, I'm not sure the premises hold up today as well as folks thought they would in the 1930s.
Gregg Speed Building, Gregg Publishing Company, 1932, p. 204-206
Building a Depression-Proof Community (concluded)
For instance, we get many inquiries from women. These women are logical prospects for the merchandise of every other Newport manufacturer who makes products designed to appeal to women. Is there any reason why we should not turn these inquiries over to these manufacturers to be followed up by any method that these manufacturers see fit? Thus, under our plan of mutual cooperation, each industry in the town feeds every other industry with prospects.
To me, that is one of the unique features of the Newport plan, overlooked by nearly all communities which think about the mutual dependence of various manufacturers but do nothing about it. We believe that this mutual dependence means a great deal and that so long as you have non-competing industries, each industry can and should contribute to all its fellows.
A third feature of our plan is our idea of boosting Newport, the Sunshine Town. We don’t expect that we can build such prestige for Newport that thousands of people will rush to retail stores and demand products from Newport, New Hampshire, regardless of the merit of those products. We do believe, however, that we can make the name Newport as important as the hallmark on silver.
Let us suppose that a family buys some Pine Tree soap. They like it. They look on the wrapper and see that it is made in Newport. A few days later, the woman of the house goes into a department store and buys some good kitchen ware. The label tells her that it is made in Newport. Gradually, she is gaining the impression that good merchandise comes from Newport. Isn’t it logical to think that the next time she is in the market for blankets and sees a label that says a certain blanket is made in Newport, she will be prejudiced in its favor?
It seems to me that there are several hundred towns and cities in the United States that can study the Newport plan and profit from their study. So far as we are concerned, Newport is through with being proud of the fact that is turns out more of this or that product than any other city in the country. What we are proud of is that we turn out a higher percentage of good merchandise per capita than any other city in the country.
Behind our whole plan is the idea of industry’s obligation to the worker. We believe in good wages and full-time employment. We believe that the prosperity of industry and a community depends upon the prosperity of the worker.—Billy B. Van in Printer’s Ink
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