Monday, March 5, 2012

Swift and Company Banking Department

MARCH  4  1901

Dave Thompson scan

The Swift meat-packing company revolutionized the meat business.  Gustavus Swift developed refrigerated rail cars, and processes for fully utilizing the by-products of dressed meat production.  Upon Gustavus Swift's death in 1903, his firm was valued at more than $125 million.  Clearly, the business was large enough to have a "banking department".  I don't know what this department did but would like to know.  If a reader can provide any information, please write to


Gustavus Swift

Swift's daughter Annie May Swift died while she was a student at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.  Her father established Northwestern's School of Oratory in her memory which would become the School of Speach.  I am a graduate of Northwestern, and spent 100s of hours in the basement of Annie May Swift Hall at the controls of WNUR, the student run radio station at Northwestern.

Annie May Swift Hall at Northwestern University
Home of WNUR 89.3 FM

During my years at Northwestern I never associated Swift meats with Annie May Swift Hall.  My research for this site and this stamp made this association for me.  Soon after I left Northwestern I joined the Peace Corps, and spent two years in Liberia helping to run a radio station near the Guinea border in the town of Voinjama.  Many years later I am still in Africa, though now far across the continent in Kenya.  So Mr. Swift's  donation to Northwestern was in part responsible for where I live today.  Thank you Mr. Swift.

No comments:

Post a Comment