3M constantly improved its machinery and technology to develop, produce, and sell its products. Nonetheless, it was dependent on its people to get the job done. Some of these jobs no longer exist or have been completely automated.

Mineral Department Stockman

Emil Anderson transferred various types of abrasive mineral from large bins to smaller storage bags. He then labeled the bags by type of mineral and grit size. Accuracy during the process was crucial to making uniform abrasives.


John Rosner worked on the No. 1 Maker, the machinery for making large rolls of tape and abrasives. The material had to be wound uniformly as part of the quality control process.


Jeannette Olson worked in the abrasives converting, ream cutting department. Large machines cut the abrasives, but Jeannette and her colleagues took the sheets in piles of 50 from a conveyor belt and jiggled them so they could be placed in packing sleeves. This job was also part of the quality control process.

Kardex Clerk

Ruth Perkovic recorded and maintained inventory files in this card system so that the amount and types of 3M products could be tracked in company warehouses. The system helped to control production, stocking, and customer orders.

Tabulating Machine Operator

Scott Thiele used an IBM tabulating machine in the customer analysis department. Customer data for each sales territory was entered into punch cards which were run through the tabulating machine. The resultant reports provided statistical information for various company departments and operations.



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