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GRINDING IT OUT: The Making of McDonalds Mr. Kroc sold paper cups for Lily Tulip Cup company for seventeen years at $ 35. 00 a week and played piano part time to support his wife and children in the early twenties. He was born in Oak Park, Chicago Ill. His father Louis Kroc left school in the eight grade to work for Western Union and steadily but slowly worked his way op the company ladder.
His nick name was Danny Daydreamer he like to just sit and think so his mother started calling him Danny Daydreamer even in to High School when he would come home all excited about a scheme hed thought up. He was and has always been a hard worker to him he enjoyed work as much as he did playing baseball (his favorite pastime). While working at his uncle Edmmds Sweets drug store soda fountain in Oak Park-he learned that you can influence people with a smile and enthusiasm and sell them a sundae even if what they had originally came in for was a cup of coffee. He went into the music store business with a couple of his friends that went bust in just a few short months.
He sold coffee beans and novelties door-to-door at the beginning of WWI and was confident he could make his was in the world and didnt return to high school after his sophomore your. He joined the Red Cross as an ambulance diver so he could he in the action. And went though training in Connecticut with a fellow everyone thought was a stranger duck because he didnt chase girls on the weekends he stayed in camp and drew pictures-his mane was Walt Disney. The Armistice was signed before he could get over seas and went back to Chicago where his parents talked him into going back to school. But it only lasted one semester. He said he wanted to by out selling and playing the piano for money, and thats what he did.
In 1919 everyone making $ 25. 00 to $ 35. 00 per week was doing good and at times he was making more per week than his father. He met his first wife Ethel while he was working in a band at Paw-Paw lake, Michigan; (They were married in 1922). He worked several dozen nowhere jobs. Then landed a job with Chicago's financial district as a broad maker on the New York Curb, which is now called the American Stock Exchange. His job was to read the ticker tape and translate the symbols into prices that posted on a blackboard for the scrutiny of those that frequented his companies office. He teamed up at Harry Sosnik a regular pianist at WGES in Oak Park.
They became known as The Piano Twins. He was promoted to staff pianist after Harry Sosnik left to play with The Z Country orchestra. One of his tasks at the station was to hire talent. He hired a couple guys named Sam and Harry who went on to develop a very successful comedy act called Amos and Andy.
His daughter Marilyn was born in October of 1924. In 1925 he bought his first car a Ford Model T on as the calls it Bohemian charge card-cash He took a five month leave of absence from Lily Cup, he and Ethel stared their future and headed for Florida down the Old Dixie Highway in their Model T. He gat a job selling real estate for W. F.
Morning and Son. When the real estate business went bust he was able to get a job with the Willard Rubmson orchestra in a nightclub called The Silent Night. When the revenue agents busted the club for prohibition law violations. His wife was not happy about his three hours in jail. They moved back to Chicago; Ethel and his daughter by train and he drove the Model T back. In 1930 he helped Walgreen Drug Company to create a take out section to their existing soda fountain, using his Lily Cups with lids.
This helped Walgreen and him boost their sale. Walgreens signed a contract making him the sole supplier for all existing and new Walgreens. In Battle Creek Michigan he had a customer named Ralph Sullivan who with reduced butter fat, had invented a drink. It was made by taking regular milk, add a stabilizer, sugar, cornstarch, and a bit of vanilla flavoring and freezing it. The result-ice milk. He would then put four ounces of milk in a metal container drop in four scoops of the Ice Milk, and put the concoction onto a spindle mixer.
The result was a much more viscous drink and since it had a lot less fat it was easier for people to digest. People didnt go around burping and such for hours afterward. He worked a deal with Earl Prince and Walter Fredenbager of Prince Castle ice cream to create the same thing in their parlors and call it One-in-a-Million. Earl Prince invented a machine to mix there shakes he called it the Multmixer, at first it had six spindles but they were reduced to five. He and Earl Prince decided to go into business together.
They got funding from the Lily Cup Co. and signed a deal where by Ray Kroc relinquished 63 % of his new Prince Castle Sales Co. to them. He sold Multmixer's after WWII to such places as Taste Freeze and Dairy Queen and such and to a fellow named Willard Marriott who had just opened a drive in called A&W Root Beer.
He also sold his Multmixer to bars and such. In 1930 at they age of 52 he was still selling the Multmixer when he was introduced to the McDonald brothers Dick and Mac. He liked their operation so muck that he signed an agreement with the brothers that gave him the right to franchise their operation in the U. S.
and the rest is history. Under his direction the Mcdonald Corp has created Hamburger U. , where the new operators go to learn how to run the stores, Ronald McDonald and Ronald Houses. By the end of 1976 they had 4, 177 stores in the U. S. and 21 in foreign countries. With sales exceeding three billion dollars.
Mr. Kroc worked for the Corporation until his death in 1984 at the age of 82. He was granted an Honorary PHD in Humana Letters in 1977 from Dartmouth College. In the December 1983 issue of Esquire magazine saluted Mr.
Kroc as one of fifty people who had made the greatest contribution to the American way of life. They ranked him with psychologist Abraham Maslow, theologian Reinhold Neibuhr, and civil right leader Martin Luther King Jr. in the category of visionaries. Author Tom Robbins in a piece for Esquire said of Mr.
Kroc Columbus discovered America, Jefferson invented it, and Ray Kroc Big Macd it. Bibliography: Grinding It Out: The Making Of MCDonalds Printed: 1977
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