INDUSTRY: Automatic Factories

At its sprawling plant in Bridgeport, Conn, last week. Columbia Records Inc. made phonograph records in two surprisingly different ways. On the third floor, 250 men in grimy work clothes labored amid the ear-shattering hammer of hydraulic presses and the stench of burned rubber. On the floor below, four neatly dressed men stood by 16 softly purring machines. The four seemingly did nothing but watch the machines work. Yet in an eight-hour shift, each turned out about five times as many records as the sweating men on the floor above.

The new Columbia record line is the latest "automated" production...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!