Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Looking Back Over 100 Years

A Glenn L. Martin historian uncovers his connection to the past 
by Roger M.

I’ve been an avid historian of the Glenn L. Martin Company since the early 1980s, but I never realized my own link to the company, which came by chance many years after I was hired. My grandfather, Lawrence Mason, worked for the company beginning in 1920 while the business was still in Cleveland. When Martin moved to Baltimore in 1928, my grandfather moved with them, along with about 1,000 employees. (My father was the firstborn of five and two years old at the time. Thus, my very existence is indirectly linked to Glenn L. Martin.) My grandfather worked in shipping, the experimental department and as a welder. He even worked on Martin’s Stutz Bearcat. He retired in the late 1950s and eventually passed away in 1974. After my grandmother died, my father and I went to her house to help clean things out. There I discovered piles of old photos during Granddad’s years at Martin, many dating back to the 1920s. He also kept all of his merit pins, badges and ID cards. I was amazed. My father gave me everything and I have since turned over these artifacts to the Glenn L. Martin Museum, except for one item – a photo taken in 1945 of Granddad receiving his 25-year pin from Glenn Martin. The photo was signed by Martin and reads, “To Larry Mason – In appreciation of 25 years of cordial relationship.” I keep the photo at my desk, next to my own 25-year service pin.

Photo: My granddad, Larry Mason, is in the center. Harry Rowland, Vice President, is to the left and Glenn L. Martin is to the right.