EP3345: Crime Photographer: The Handkerchief

Stats Cotsworth

The owner of a bar is murdered and $20,000 stolen. A loud handkerchief found at the scene of the crime points to a disgruntled employee.

Original Air Date: September 5, 1946

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  2 comments for “EP3345: Crime Photographer: The Handkerchief”

  1. Denise
    January 14, 2021 at 1:29 am

    The question at the end about how realistic a bar having $20,000 on hand in 1946 to cash checks intrigued me.

    I still have no idea if any one bar would have cashed that much since by my calculations it would have meant cashing at least 260 checks; however, after a bit of local history investigation, there were definitely factories where that would have been a small fraction of the weekly payroll.

    In 1946, there were two major automotive/aerospace manufacturing companies in my town plus multiple other large manufacturing concerns. The largest factory had approximately 26,000 employees. At that company the manufacturing employees averaged $1.18 an hour for normal hours… those on the late shift would have made more… and worked on average 48 hours per week.

    So, that hypothetical $20,000 a week payroll in this radio program was trivial compared to what some factories had at that time. Keep in mind that WWII and the post war period was a boom period for some US manufacturing… all those large manufacturing concerns in my town at least are long gone.

  2. Denise
    January 14, 2021 at 3:52 am

    Correction… looks like the national wage stabilization board approved an increase up to $1.36 an hour for “average straight time pay” in Jan 1946 for the production workers at the company I was using as a bench mark.

    On a side note, looking into this made me appreciate more those public service announcements in the Man Called X episodes urging people to turn in scrap metal. There were multiple “temporary layoffs” of thousands of employees just in this one factory in 1946 due to the steel shortage and unions were warning they thought they were heading into a new Great Depression. So strange in hindsight.

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