March 7th, we celebrate 60 years in business, serving client companies and candidates in the Fox Valley area and greater metropolitan Chicago! To honor this landmark anniversary in our business success, we’re featuring a decade by decade review of those 60 years, starting with 1957 to 1967.
Our founder, Ruby Frank
During World War II, Ruby Frank started working for National Container Co in Chicago, a manufacturer of corrugated cardboard. She started as Executive Secretary to the owner and moved into the position of Office Manager responsible for payroll and personnel functions. After about 9 years, she quit work to move out to the suburbs and start a family.
1957 and American culture
Ruby founded Frank’s Employment in March of 1957. Compared to today, 1957 was a different time. In 1957… life was good, we didn’t have a lot of worries, other than the Cold War and the ever-present threat of global nuclear annihilation.
- Americans were happy. They had steady paychecks, intact families and (often) 2 cars in a new garage.
- The cost of a first class stamp was 3 cents.
- “Leave It to Beaver” premiered on CBS, ushering in an era of television shows that depict ideal Americana.
- 3 British guitar players ~ Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison ~ got together for the first time to form a band.
- President Dwight Eisenhower ordered troops into Little Rock, Ark, to enforce a federal court order for school desegregation.
- An influenza pandemic swept the nation. The Asian flu sickened 25-30% of the American population and killed about 80,000 people.
- The Soviets launched Sputnik, the first orbiting satellite, catching the US off guard, shifting the balance of power and igniting the space race.
- General Foods introduced an orange powder that when mixed with water turned into a vitamin-rich drink. They called it Tang and it was made famous when Gemini astronauts drank it in space.
- The Ford Motor Company, behind millions of dollars in advertising created the most notorious marketing flop in transportation history… by introducing the Edsel.
- In that same year, Wham-O Manufacturing introduced a plastic saucer-shaped disc called the “Frisbee.”
- Dr. Seuss, wrote “The Cat In the Hat,” which changed how many kids learned to read.
- In a lab at Columbia University, the first laser beam was invented.
- The Food & Drug Administration approved use of “the Pill”, finally giving women control of their contraception.
The outlook for business
In the late 50’s, women were dutifully hurrying their kids to school, running Cub Scout meetings, cleaning house and cooking hamburgers for dinner. But when Ruby was looking to start a business, she found the women that were focused solely on home and family often seemed depressed and frustrated. At that time, some thought it odd if a woman didn’t magically achieve fulfillment waxing the kitchen floor.
Ruby started working with these women who wanted to get out of the house for a few hours a day and got them jobs with local companies. They learned office skills or improved upon what they had learned in college. They brought home extra money for the family, maybe helping put their kids through college. And their husbands were surprised to discover that their wives were suddenly more interesting to talk with after they had spent the day out in the workplace.
That’s when Frank’s Employment was born. Ruby started the business out of her home while raising two young boys. After her boys started school, she opened an office on the 2nd floor of the Colson Building, more recently known as the Vertical Drop building, on the corner of Rts 64 and 31.