Watson Wesley Kilcup
48 1/2 years with Baker’s (1901-1950)
From Kilcup’s personal account:
“Saturday, November 30, 1902 – I was told to report to Mr. Fuller at office of Walter Baker & Co. Ltd. At 7 AM Monday morning December 2, 1901. Being a boy of 17 years, 4 months old, I felt quite proud of myself, and of course told the boys about my good luck. Reporting Monday morning to Mr. Fuller, who was paymaster, was sent to Mr. Bater, Foreman of one of the molding rooms. At that time there were two molding rooms. These were also called the shaker rooms. Each man would have one machine to run. These machines were about 3 ½ feet long and 2 ½ feet wide and would hold 8 ½-lb or 24 ¼ -lb. molds. And the usual running time would be 9 to 10 minutes. And the molds would be ready to go to cooling room where pans would be put on stone floor to cool. When chocolate was hardened would be picked up by hand and taken to girls’ room to be hand wrapped. The eating chocolate that was made there was very heavy like a paste and could be worked by hand whereas today’s chocolate is made very thin and will run over a large pot. The chocolate made in those days had a very good flavor, made only of a good mixture of the best cocoa beans and pure vanilla beans which would be cut up and ground into a powder, and ¼ - ½ oz of vanilla was plenty to use in a 100 lb. of some of the best chocolate.
“After working 10 days, I received my first pay of $12.00 for 6 days or 58 hours of work. 3 days pay was held back because Wednesday was pay day. Feeling quite big, I took my money home to Mother where I turned over $12.00 each week and was given $1.00 for myself, for money was needed for house. I was in this room for one year and 3 months when I was sent to Shipping Department working at all jobs, loading teams, shopping cases, piling bags of cocoa beans, etc. until I became a regular loader with a helper. I worked at this work for about five years. I was their clerk in shipping office making out loads for teams for Boston and far loads, taking inventory each week of manufactured goods. There moved to outside office taking care of returned goods, selling chocolate, taking visitors around the plant explaining the process from raw cocoa beans to finished goods, answering all questions. Have taken classes around with 26 countries represented. Twice these students came from Harvard with Professor Jones. Did this kind of work until 1919 where new office in Forbes Mill was made for me for receiving parcel post and selling chocolate. And then had a few additions of factory supplies to take over. Was also assistant to paymaster in paying help, bringing money from bank for Mr. Kelly to make up payroll. Was factory inspector of hazards – fire – housekeeping, assisting in Personnel work at night until 9 PM. Was their production assistant also in charge of Personnel work and all inspectors. Had all stock accounts, Shipping safety meetings, etc for about seven years. Was Foreman of Shipping Dept. with 22 men July 193_ – back to office in Traffic Dept – there to Order and Billing Dept. pretty soon where I started from and there OUT."