I believe it safe to say that most of us love a good story. Stories can entertain, as well as inform, enlighten and, in some cases, motivate people to an action.
Knowing the power of a good story, I have decided to embark on a mission: the telling of the great story of Cleveland, Ohio from 1875-1929.
Cleveland was considered by many to be the wealthiest city in the world – home to John D. Rockefeller and the grand Euclid Avenue, “Millionaires Row.”
If our reader knows Cleveland only through nationally-used, uncomplimentary stereotypes, our story will be particularly enlightening and fascinating.
Most important to our story is the examination of what led to this great success, and our answer will be found in the not so obvious: the grand families of Cleveland and the philosophies they held, which together made Cleveland the heart of the Industrial Revolution.
Many families made Cleveland’s heyday happen.
One of the most prominent of the time was the White family of White Sewing Machine fame and who eventually built the vast White Motors Empire, rival to Henry Ford. (Talk show host Jay Leno owns a White Steamer as part of his vast auto collection).
I chose the White family for a reason: they embodied characteristics that are universal in achieving success. Their philosophy and their work ethic, if duplicated, remain keys to success, regardless of where we are in history.
The Whites loved Cleveland and worked hard to make it the great city of their time. The story of the White family is one of those gems we sometimes find in the past – a gem because the reader will find contemporary application in many of the things the Whites did and believed in. They were an example of what made America great.
Our story, I believe, will unlock keys to success and, hopefully, move our reader to look at Cleveland, Ohio in a somewhat different light.
We invite our readers to respond and share with us their reactions as our story unfolds over time.
Consistent throughout our tale will be a common thread that ran throughout America during this period, Individuals of great talent going into business and creating thousands of manufacturing jobs that made Cleveland the center of the industrial revolution.
It was a time when risks were taken and job creators took personal responsibility for their actions, when customer was king and quality was sacred. How refreshing!
Could it be the Whites and their contemporaries knew something we have worked hard to forget? We will let our reader be the judge.