Help wanted Watervliet Arsenal

Cleaning out my fathers house and came across a newspaper lining a drawer in a cabinet. Dated Jan. 18, 1967. This was from the Help wanted classified section of the Schenectady Gazette. Schenectady, NY.


Watervliet Arsenal help wanted …$3.15 /hour for machinists…seems insignificant by todays standards.

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I was making 50 cents an hour as a runner on a florist delivery van back then. I’d have had the new Harley if I was making that much money.

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I’d take that job just to get into Watervliet Museum. There must be someone out there who has the photos of how it looked inside.

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$3.15 an hour was $6552 a year. It was probably a going wage and pretty stable, but the machinist would have been working on Department of Defense production for the Viet Nam war and subject to political harassment and instability.

In 1967, my wife and I bought a brand new 1967 Pontiac Firebird, newest & hottest car on the market, for $3700, including all the sales taxes & other charges. We bought it in Syracuse, NY, and we were able to pay cash. We paid $90 a month in rent and another $90 a month for heating oil. I was going to college on the GI Bill, had a part-time job as an instrument tech working on a wind tunnel. My wife had just finished her MBA and was a junior officer in a big bank. Our income for that year was $11,000. Most of that was my wife’s salary, but $3600 of it was the GI Bill. All that was before kids.

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Waterman
I enyoed your letter,yes I do remember those days too however in my case
they were a bit different.I came to Canada in 1956 as an immigrant I worked
here under very good conditions in my trade as a high pressure pipe welder
and steamfitter.However at the end of 1957 things came to an end here for a while due to my Union affiliation with the USA as a plumber and pipefitter
I was offered work in Toledo Ohio to complete the Refinery there for Standart Oil I went I was single than our pay scale at that time was 3,20$
an hour beginnig in 1958.Needless to say at that time i thought I hit the Jack pot those were some of the best month of my live I felt as free as a bird and I never felt come Friday Somebody had filleted me like a deer with
a kitchen knife.As was always the case whenI had the privelege to work
for the Vaterland working 6 and 7 days the week with screw all to show for.
I had the opportunity to repeat this expirience twice more in 1964 the other side of Buffalo and our wage than was about 5,50$ hour and once more in
Minneapolis.At all times I was treated very well and loved working with my
American friends.On the Buffalo Job I trew my shotgun into the trunk and done some Trap shooting there and was really there introduced to the
cartridge collecting witch up to that point i done only little.No Waterman in
spite of it all 3,15$ an hour in 1967 was not that bad.Here in Canada in a
Union agreement of 1965 we achieved the hourly wage of 5.05$ an hour all hell broke lose and we were considert the equals to doctors.Yes my work was often very filthy brutal an dangerous however come Friday it was
worth it and the best was I did not feel somebody had skinned me
Sherryl

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