Employers Kept York County World War I Soldiers in Touch with Home
First issue of ACCO’s Connecting Links
York County Heritage Trust will open a new exhibit on June 14: From Front Porch to Front Lines: York County Goes to War. Through a sampling of objects, clothing, documents and photographs from the YCHT collections, the exhibit will meaningfully chronicle local involvement and contributions in military conflicts from World War I through the Vietnam War.
I’m especially looking forward to learning more about World War I. Many of us, or at least our parents and grandparents, remember World War II. In contrast, World War I sometimes seems so far away, but it was less than 100 years ago, not long in the timeline of history.
As in later wars, local workers were kept in touch with their former colleagues now serving their country through company sponsored publications. American Chain and Cable Company, whose offices were in Connecticut, had large plants in York. York ACCO employees and servicemen were well represented in the journal, Connecting Links, put out to keep the home front employees connected with the men now serving “over there.”
ACCO president W. B. Lashar introduced the monthly publication of the first issue of Connecting Links in June 1918 as follows:
You boys in the Service would be mightily cheered were you to see the universally hearty approval of the suggestion that messages be exchanged with you through the periodical publishing of “Connecting Links,” which makes its initial bow.
It is primarily the intention of “Connecting Links” to effectively provide a bond of good cheer and sympathy between the boys who have enlisted and those members of the American Chain Company family at home, who pledge themselves to do their utmost for the boys in uniforms.
We are justly proud of the boys who have elected to serve in the Army and Navy, and they in turn will feel a splendid satisfaction from the royal support of the boys and girls at home who have subscribed liberally for Liberty Bonds and War Savings Stamps, and given most generously to the Red Cross, Y.M.C.A. and Knights of Columbus.
As the greater part of our product is being used for winning the war, or furnished for ships to carry troops and equipment abroad, let all at home do their utmost to provide the material promptly and of superior workmanship, and then we will have a clear conscience with which to answer our boys upon their return when we are challenged with “I offered my life–what did you do?”
Adam Arndt wrote back to his former ACCO coworkers after being wounded in the Battle at the Marne.
Another letter from an ACCO soldier.
ACCO newsletter carries on in peacetime.
Click the links below for some of my previous World War I posts.
Gettysburg’s Army training camp too close for York mayor.
A wounded soldier.
Road of Remembrance memorial.
Click here for a World War II newsletter.