American Optical History
Recollections of Former AO Employees

Harding Jenkins -
Recollections of AO Xmas decorations
Obituary - April 28, 2010

Al Watson photo of meeting in mid 1960s - comments below.
The picture of Harding Jenkins (facing us) includes Victor Kniss at Harding's right,
Frank Hurley at extreme right, Ray Stevens leaning over Harding, Don Hoyt to the left with face partially hidden,
and a couple of men who are unidentified

Harding wrote:

I remember back in the late 40s and early 50s when the grinding shop was my "home", the AO decided to have Open House days to encourage us to bring our families into the plant to see where their husbands, wives,fathers,mothers,sons or daughters worked, to see what they did in that huge building.  We were all proud of where we worked and well we should have been the grinding shop, the heart of Lensdale, was the biggest lens surfacing building in the world.  For a number of years, the open house days were at Christmas time so the departments decorated their area.  In the grinding shop the guests walked the main isle from John Toomey's office, through Clayton Spinney"s Meniscus section, through Pete Krehling's Kryptok section, past Moise Reopel's double decked Flat section all the way to Leo Goddu's Toric section. Most sections decorated with crepe paper and all kinds of seasons greetings, each section trying to outdo the others. My wife, then Betty Stoddard in Personnel, used to tell me that job candidates often said "I don't want to work in the rouge".  These open house days showed the visitors that  working in the rouge.was not so bad.  We were proud of our job and where  we worked.

Christmas Decorations - December 1954
(photo above and linked in text by Don Whitney)

Harding also wrote:

 To me AO is people and I have lots of wonderful memories all the way from
1940 to 1972, from the rough glass stores to the  marble staircase. From the days of A.B. Wells to Vic Kniss. That's why I
so much enjoy the cross section of people who come to the twice yearly luncheons.  Those were the days when AO was at
its best and it was all due to a great gang of loyal "Wellsworth" workers!

Harding and Betty at our home with my mother Jan (1954 Don Whitney photo)

Photo of Harding by Don Whitney - 1955

Dec 2001  Photo of Harding Jenkins (left) with friends and former co-workers Chet Slyk and Ray Stevens
at the AO Roms Reunion (held twice a year)

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