Meeting the Dead Line (1935)

Meeting the Dead Line. (1935, February 7). The Lodi News, p. 3. Lodi, California.

[In this anecdote, the term ‘dead line’ is specific to time in an industrial enterprise. Acknowledges also use of the term in journalism.]

[Introduction]

“The same habit is enforced in the newspaper business in ‘meeting the deadline.’ … An editorial on ‘The Lesson of the Deadline,’ written by Lester R. Colby in _The Informant_ brings out the moral of this adage …”
[The writer: …]
“I had called to interview one of America’s great generals of industry. He was a big, genial, friendly man — chief of a fifty-million-dollar manufacturing group with thousands of salesmen in the army he commanded.”
[The business man: …]
“I learned, early in those days, to respect the Dead Line. I learned that at a certain moment each day all my work had to be done. At that unchangeable fraction of time the Job must be over. It could not be missed.”
“At a certain minute the copy had to be in. At a certain minute the type had to be set, the proof ready, the forms locked up. At a certain minute the presses had to start. Trains never waited. The papers had to go out.”
“When I got into business life I found that few men understood the meaning of the Dead Line. It was not a thing in their consciousness. They did not finish. Tasks piled up. Correspondence and mass of details were left over to the next day. Tomorrow was always a good day, or the next.”
“Without my sense of the Dead Line, I often think, I might have been just another private in the ranks.”
“… the Dead Line. Make it your whip, your spur, your goal; make it a part of your daily conduct and find a place for it somewhere along with your religion. Never forget the Dead Line.”
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