1922: Traffic Manager Marie Melchior

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From a 1922 issue of The American Magazine:

A Fleet of 150 Trucks With a Girl at the Helm

Miss Marie Melchior is traffic manager of a big fleet of motor trucks, certainly an unusual role for a woman. But consider the further fact that Miss Melchior is eighteen years old. Yet she directs the operation of one hundred and fifty motor trucks.

The company for which Miss Melchior works hauls most of the materials for the big construction projects in St. Paul and Minneapolis, and for many highway improvements in other parts of Minnesota. It is the biggest company of its kind west of Chicago. Every day trucks of the company are scattered over a large section of the state.

Miss Melchior must see that each contractor gets all the material he needs for the day. If she errs a bit in judgment, construction work may be halted and men thrown out of work. Contractors may lose thousands of dollars. Upon the things she does, depends the work of perhaps two thousand laborers.

She must meet emergencies, too. An order may come in for a dozen trucks. She must assemble them. Perhaps she takes a truck or two off of one job. Maybe she has to organize a night crew. But the point is — she gets the trucks, and she gets them on time. In all her work, there never has been a time when a concrete mixer had to stop for lack of material.

Said the president of the company for which Miss Melchior works:

“If you believe it isn’t a job to keep a hundred and fifty trucks placed and working, you have another guess coming.

“Once, I recall, we had fifty-five trucks thrown out of work without notice. In an hour and a half she had them all placed at other work. She can do this because she keeps in touch with all construction work in the state.

“Often trucks come in needing repair. She decides what trucks are to go to the shop. She knows more about motors than ninety per cent of the mechanics.”

To Miss Melchior, there seems nothing unusual in her accomplishment.

“They tell me I am all work,” she said; “but I don’t believe it.

“Work is so much fun,” she laughed.

Original page image, click to enlarge:

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