Corporations: Technology's Midwife

At Chicago's Bell & Howell, it sometimes seems, officers' country is open to anyone but out-and-out minors. The founders, Movie Theater Projectionist Donald Bell"and Camera Repairman Albert Howell, were only 38 and 28 when they set up shop in 1907, and youth has been serving the top jobs ever since. In 1917, the reins went to 30-year-old Joseph McNabb, who in turn was followed in 1949 by 29-year-old Charles H. Percy, who seven years ago turned the presidency over to 34-year-old Peter G. Peterson.

Now middle age is setting in, relatively speaking. Last...

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