Bio-Culture English
A Chance Meeting Leads to 120 Years of Sweet Success
등록일 : 2017-06-26 23:45 | 최종 승인 : 2017-06-26 23:45
Anne Taylors

[리서치페이퍼=Anne Taylors 기자]

Global medical technology company based in Bergen County, NJ has an interesting history.  In 1897 two traveling salesmen met through a random act of kindness inside a Texas railroad station.  Farleigh Dickinson and Max Becton formed a partnership after the chance encounter that grew Becton Dickinson into a successful company that's been around almost 120 years.

During the 1890's Dickinson a then paper salesman was having trouble getting clients in New York City.  Frustrated and weary he decided the area was oversaturated with his counterparts so he decided to take his 75 cent stipend he made for a week's work at Baker Paper Company and head across the street to Penn Station where he bought a ticket for as far as the 75 cents would take him.  Asbury Park is where is ended up.  After the long ride and happened upon a brand new store that subsequently became a major client of his.  When he arrived back at his company in New York Dickinson was thought of as a Genius.

This incident proved to be a way of handling certain situations following the September 1897 start of Becton Dickinson.

Richard Kushner the company's default historian said: "He (Dickinson) exhibited a willingness to step outside of the box and consider solutions that may not have been imagined by others." Kushner also said "To a certain extent, that same frame of mind was exhibited in the early years of the company.  He was not daunted by the prospect of a startup company."

The origin of the company speaks volumes about its founders.

One morning in a Texarkana, TX train station Dickinson was trying to read his newspaper but was having trouble dealing with the morning light shining through the window.  Becton noticed this and politely stood up to adjust the blinds, Dickinson kindly thanks him and invited Becton for breakfast.

The two shortly realized they had some common ground both being traveling salesmen, although of different products.  Becton sold small medical supplies for a company in Massachusetts, where he is already a partner.  The two men discovered they had the same birthdate; however, Becton was two years younger and were also both from the eastern part of North Carolina.

The late Heinz F.Mackensen, a history professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University in his history of the company's first 80 years wrote: "When they met, each man had individually succeeded in making the transition from youth in the unpromising poverty-stricken post-war South to incipient business careers in the booming industrialized North." He also wrote, "But it is significant that their rise to considerable success in that ruthless competitive world began only after they had formed their partnership."

Kushnier said of Dickinson "He was not daunted by a startup company.

Becton Dickinson will celebrate its 120 year anniversary this year.  The firm has definitely grown a great deal since its inception.  Their first desk was two empty barrels with some wooden boards draped over them in the third-floor office at the Vesey Street building in lower Manhattan.  The company only had 20 employees at that time.  Nowadays the firm has 40,000 workers with 50 offices all over the globe.

A big part of the firm's early history can be seen at the Franklin Lakes headquarters. 

There you will find the early glass syringes which the company manufactured in East Rutherford.  This allowed them the ability not to rely on having to import the less efficient and much more expensive syringes from Europe.  Also on display are some of the leather doctor's bags the company used to make as well as saddle bags too.  These were popular back when doctor's still made house calls.  Although the firm has stopped making the bags a few of them have become family heirlooms.  Vintage photos can be seen from early on when the company was a focal point of the southern Bergen County community.  The pictures show the company's basketball and baseball teams, as well as a program flyer from a January 1934 winter dance that showcased the Duke Collins Radio Orchestra.

If you go down the hall you can see a huge clock that takes up the whole wall where it rests.  According to Kushnier it is the exact same clock that for decades was on one of the two towers at Becton Dickinson's first plant in East Rutherford, NJ.At the Franklin offices, you will find another original clock near the parking garage, while a third has been installed at East Rutherford's Becton Regional High School.

120 years after that fateful day when Max Becton decided to help a stranger be able to read a newspaper each of the three clocks still tell the correct time and work like a charm.

[리서치페이퍼=Anne Taylors 기자]
Today's Top 5