PRODUCTION: Girdler Writes a Book

In March 1902, a young Lehigh graduate was working in London as sales engineer for the Buffalo Forge Co. His name: Tom Mercer Girdler. His paycheck: $12.50 a week. One day, from Pittsburgh's Oliver Iron & Steel Co., came the offer of another job with a salary of $1,000 a year. Homesick Tom Girdler snapped it up, caught the next ship back to the U.S. "That," he confesses in his just-published autobiography (Boot Straps, written in collaboration with Boyden Sparkes; Scribner; $3), "is how I happened to get into the steel business."

Now Tom...

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!