Elgin Executive Retires After 53 Years
When young Percy Stringer of Strawberry Point, Iowa, started as errand boy in the gilding department fifty-three years ago, he never dreamed that he was destined to someday direct all of Elgin's manufacturing operations. The fact that he did achieve this goal hears eloquent testimony to his courage, faith and integrity. At the time he joined Elgin, the world was awakening to the second era of industrial development. This was an exciting world for young Stringer, then 13 years old; a world full of opportunities to grow with his first job. To round out his meager education, received from the grammar school in Strawberry Point, he took correspondence courses at night in mathematics and mechanics.
At Elgin, in 1903, there was a new jobmaster of the automatics. Always fascinated by machinery of any type, Percy Stringer was amazed at the efficiency of the remarkable new automatics machine. Therefore, he plunged with renewed interest into the complicated science of watchmaking. In 1910, he was appointed assistant foreman of the screw department. His native mechanical ability made a significant and lasting impression on his superiors.
In 1912, he was made foreman of the spring department. In July of 1915, he became head of the speedmeter division and the following year returned to his former post in the spring department.
After thirty-three years of conscientious service, in almost every department of the company, Stringer· was appointed director of manufacturing on June 1, 1926. 1933 turned out to be his banner year, since it marked the attainment of his lifelong goal. On January 1, 1933, he became general superintendent of the Elgin National Watch Company and two months later was made assistant secretary and treasurer of the company. In 1938, he was made vice-president in charge of manufacturing.