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.