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THE country is full of noted men who have achieved great success and who have done something worth while, without college train ing. Many people say of a young man, “T oo bad he couldn’t go to col lege.” Perhaps so. But I have in mind a representa tive group of big men who managed to “get there” without anything at all like a college education. All the “luck” these men—and all the other successful men, for that matter possessed was in having enough common sense to realize that they couldn’t sit still and wait for success to come to them. They were men who did not believe in wishing for fish, but in fishing for. fish. What they did can be, and is re peated right along with each genera tion. About forty years ago young “Al” Smith lived in Cleveland. His father died and it? was necessary for him to go to work and help his mother. He decided to do something that he liked, and that was railroading, so he hus tled out and got a job. as a messenger boy in the office of the purchasing agent of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad at $4.50 a week. Thirty-four years later he was made president of the New York Central, the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern <md the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chica go & St. Louis railroads! But the most important moment in bis life was not when he was made president of these roads in 1913; it was away back in 1879 when he said to a friend who told him that he was foolish-to go into the railroad busi ness, as it took pull to get anywhere: “You can get just ( as far with push, and I’m going to push.” He began studying the railroad business, from the day he started to run errands for the purchasing agent. Better than that, he began studying at home. He discovered that his boss knew more than he did, knew bigger words, knew more about interest and discount and many other things, so he got books and began to study a little while each evening. He discovered that he wasn’t get ting anywhere as a messenger boy in one department so he got transferred to the construction department. Here were hew things to learn, both on the job and at home, so he got more books and studied about build ing materials and took up higher mathematics. He got nine dollars a week in the construction department of the road. As he studied it occurred to him that railroading started out in the country by making a road bed and putting down sleepers and spiking rails to them. He wanted to, begin at the be ginning, so he got transferred to the section gang at eight dollars a week. A number of his acquaintances told him he was a fool to do that, to work with pieje and shovel, five times as hard as he worked in the office, and for a dollar less. None of those who told him he was a fool ever got with in shouting distance of the presidency . of a railroad. His mother approved (mothers have a wonderful intui tion), and so he went ahead. He studied civil engineering at home and watched the men putting down new tracks and was soon boss of a section gang. Some of the railroad officials be gan to watch him. Any boy who would give up a dollar a week—and a dollar in those days was about five times as “big” as today—and work with a pick all day was worth watching. They knew he was either a fool or an unusually clever boy. After that he had no trouble in being transferred to all branches of l ailroad work, so that within ten years he had a better general knowledge of railroading than half the railroad presidents in the country. LutheV Burbarjk was born in Lan caster, Mass. He had always wanted to be a horticulturist, but he couldn’t afford a college education, and so he went at it another way; he went to work in a plow factory to earn suf ficient money to enable him to study and experiment. Burbank was a very young man when he invented certain machinery to do with plow manufacture, got it patented and then resigned from his job. “I’ll take you into the firm and give you twenty-five times the income you are making now,” he 'was told. “The income from my patent will enable me to do what I want to do; I only worked here through neces sity,” he declared, so lie walked out of the old Ames plow shop and home to his mother at their little cottage. Young Burbank went to California with his mother because the soil and climate were better for his experi ments. He has since amazed the world. His potato experiments alone have added, it is estimated, nearly twenty billion dollars to the agricul tural productiveness of this country. Then he made the pitless plum, the mammoth sugar prune which added to the prosperity of California. He perfected the spineless cactus so that it became a splendid stock food, he made white blackberries and did so many things that he is rightly known as a horticultural wizard. As a mat- ter of fact he mingled horticulture and science and he was able to do this through home study and experiment ing despite his inability to go to col lege. Thcre is quite a'difference between railroading and developing prize po tatoes, but it only serves to prove that, after all, it isn’t what one but lion' he goes about it that spells suc cess or failure. If he had not studied at home lie might be still working in a plow factory. * Did you ever hear an old-fashioned phonograph, one of the first kind , that came -on the. market? It sounded something like this. “X-ghx-x-xghrx-Maghxry hazzzad a lizztle lxxxamb!” OUR MOTTO—“IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO MEND” Stillwater, Minnesota, Thursday, November 3, 1921. THEY “GOT THERE” WITHOUT COLLEGE By J. IV. Chamberlain in Dearborn Independent That is about as near to it as the alphabet can describe it. But there was a squeaking, rasping, gritting sound with every word and every note. Do you think that, without any technical education, without any course in mechanics, electricity, the science of sound, vibration and other equally puzzling things, you could take one of those old phonographs and “remove the squeal ?” Eldridge R. Johnson did it, in a little shanty in Camden, N. J., with tools he purchased with borrowed money and with only a common school education. Today Eldridge Reeves Johnson is practically all there is to the great Victor Talking Ma chine Company whose plant covers in ground and floor space about twenty acres and does a $50,000,000 business annually. From the public schools as a boy he got a job in a machine shop. One day, with a chum, he made a trip to Coney Island and heard a phonograph for th£ first time. It squeaked and gritted out such tunes as “In the Gloaming,” “sweet Violets,” and “White Wings.” Johnson became in terested, so much so that he got a job in a phonograph shop and began to study the mechanism. He made a slight improvement in the motor and tried to interest the owners of the factory, but they went out of business. Johnson went West to work, but couldn’t get the phonograph improve ment out of his head so he came back. In a little shanty in Camden, with his chum, he started a repair shop and began inventing things. It was a good week when they each got as much as ten dollars out of the shop. But Johnson continued to study the phonograph. He got old ones and took them apart and in all his spare moments he studied. He found that he had to read many books, to study electricity, sound waves and all sorts of technical and scientific things to enable him thoroughly to understand the principle of the thing. Doing odd mechanical repairing jobs took .much of his time. Days and days he worked twenty out of the twenty-four hours. One day he called in his friend and asked him to listen. He started up the phonograph and his friend stared in astonishment. The squeak was gone! About that time they had saved up nearly a thousand dollars from a big job repairing ballot boxes. Johnson sent his friend to England on this money to sell English rights. He wanted the money to start business here. His friend, was successful. Eng lish capitalists were eager to buy rights when they heard the squeakless phon ograph which made it more than a toy. / Meanwhile Johnson continued ex perimenting. He started a factory. Today he is the inventor and owner of the Victor talking machine, da- , :y v «?sOTvi Sonii ! S AL Vol. XXXV: No. 14 stead of paying some woman a dollar to sing twelve songs ffito his talking machine he pays thousands down and royalties amounting to from ten to fifty and more thousand a year for some great opera star to sing one song in his Victor recording room. The late Frank W. Wool worth had a job as clerk in a country gen eral store near Watertown, N. Y. Accumulating for years was a lot of so-called “junk,” articles that would not sell. The lad got the owner to let him pile it up on one end of the counter and put up a sign, "Any thing Here For Five Cents." It wasn’t long before the stuff was sold. What had seemed a dead loss was turned into small profit. People came back for more bargains, but few things were made to sell for five cents. Woolworth, who had gone from a country school into the store, studied the situation, got every manufac-* turer’s catalog he could find out about; he spent in one week three dol lars in postage sending for catalogs and other informative matter. Be fore long he knew what he could sell for five and ten cents. He so inter ested his employer that he loaned him some money. The boy went to Utica and rented a tiny store and put up a mammoth sign, the first five and ten cent store sign on record. When he died he had more millions than he knew about, he put eight mil lions into the . tallest building in the world, he lefy 800 stores in this coun try and 60 in England. His line was retailing. He wanted to know something and so he began studying. AJI the colleges* in the world would not have given him the information he needed. He continued to study for years, planning new things to sell and getting concerns to make them. Presidents Washington, Jackson, Van Buren, W. H. Harrison, Taylor, Fillmore, Lincoln, Johnson, Grant, Cleveland and McKinlfcy attained the highest honors possible in this coun try, without the aid of a college edu cation. Nearly forty of our United States Senators had only a commpn school education. Other noted suc cesses who could not go to college but who continued to study after leaving the dittle red school house include Peter Cooper who went to school one year; Richard P. Dana; John Erics son ; the first August Belmont; Ed win Booth; the first James Gordon v Bennett; Frank Leslie; James John Wesley and Fletcher Harper, foun ders of Harper Brothers; Horace Greeley; Henry Watterson; Frank A. Munscy; General Miles; Joseph Cannon and a great many others. One of the toughest of woods is that of the so<alled Osage orange, which, however, is not an orange at al!„ but belongs to the nettle family. Some idea of its strength may be had from a report made not long ago by the forest service, which shows that a block 30 inches long and two inches by two inches in cross section, when bent, breaks under a stress of 13,666 pounds.— Ex.