servicedepartment1zoomActually, I should call this posting The Curious Case of the Enhanced Photo. It was very odd to find this photo with all the objects outlined in pencil, done by hand, very precise, and very uniform.

And why, I wondered? It was all a big mystery until one recent day Ms. Laura Burtt of Saginaw, Michigan, sent in some papers she had accumulated related to the Gearhart Knitting Machine Company. There it was, on page 1 of a 1924 edition of the Home Earnings magazine! The photo was there, accompanied by a story about the Service Department and Mr. O.W. Bennett. Many thanks to Ms. Burtt for her help in clearing up this mystery. The photo had been enhanced in order to sharpen its appearance for publication in the Home Earnings magazine.

I’ve included a zoom-in of the photo so you can see the pencil outlines. Also notice the shiny new Gearhart Knitting Machine in the left background, ready for use in order to assist in the many tips that originated from this office.

I think this story was written by two people. I don’t know who wrote the first half of the story, but the second half was written by Joseph Gearhart himself. In the second half of the story, the term Home Earner changed to Home Knitter, and the word anxious was used instead of the correct word eager. This is Joseph’s wording. He was 77 years old, but no doubt maintained control of the company in some way even though he had long ago handed over operations and planning to his sons Emory and John. The fact that no one dared correct the wording would indicate that someone of great authority had a hand in this. Here is the entire story from the Home Earnings Magazine: