December 1, 2018

Cracotan Paper Stock Men of New York (Part 10)

1930s Paper Stock—The photograph above shows a typical paper stock truck of the 1930s. Many of these vehicles continued in service until after WWII.
1934
Reprinted from the December 2018 Craco Society Bulletin
The 1930s saw a decade of consolidation of Cracotan business owners in the paper stock. During this period two generations were able to work together in these family owned businesses to solidify the gains that were made earlier.
The first generation that had arrived at the turn of the century was joined by their sons in running the businesses. The younger generation business practices that were learned in schools augmented the practical experience their fathers had from years in business. This second generation would carry the businesses forward for the next several decades.
With the arrival of the Great Depression there was an increased emphasis on conserving and reusing goods as part of the frugality mindset that was prevalent before the consumer culture began to replace it in the1950s. 
For the paper stock industry, this was a boon as manufacturers sought the waste products they recycled. By the end of the decade war broke out in Europe increasing demand and generating higher prices for waste paper. Although the US would not enter the war until the end of 1941 the federal government, in anticipation, set up the Office of Price Administration and Civilian Supply. Among the actions the agency took was to control and stabilize prices for waste paper. Working in conjunction with dealers they established a price based on the “New York Market” that buyers agreed to use in purchasing the bailed paper. Prices were established at $11-$16 per bailed ton depending on the grade of paper. This is equivalent to $192-$275 in today’s dollars and gave the paper stock dealers room to make good profits. 
In addition to the sale of the baled papers, there were also additional sources of income for the businessmen. These included charging for waste removal for some customers that had low grade paper (for example office waste). They were also able to recycle other items found in the waste paper such as bottles, metals, and postage stamps. The Cracotan paper stock men emerged for the Depression in good shape but would face the challenges of WWII shortly. 
Also see:
Cracotan Paper Stock Men of New York (Part 9)
Cracotan Paper Stock Men of New York (Part 8)
Cracotan Paper Stock Men of New York (Part 7)
Cracotan Paper Stock Men of New York (Part 6)
Cracotan Paper Stock Men of New York (Part 5)
Cracotan Paper Stock Men of New York (Part 4)
Cracotan Paper Stock Men of New York (Part 3)
Cracotan Paper Stock Men of New York (Part 2)
Cracotan Paper Stock Men of New York