Ford Long Beach Assembly Plant Social Affairs and Social Boundaries
The Company offered numerous opportunities for a social mix in the post-war years. Among these were an open house for the employees when the new model came out each year, a Christmas Party, a family day, and a constant flow of recreational events. Golf, fishing trips, baseball, basketball, and more were organized for competition with other plants or on their own. Long-time employees were recognized with little parties and given the gold watch or service pins.
Blacks participated along with whites, and the old Ford policy of equality at the work place and at its functions held. When Henry Ford II visited the plant in 1947, he had his picture taken with a black, frame slide riveter William Devers. Devers got into a lot of pictures. He and his eight children were photographed on family day, and his little girl was pictured on the hood of a new car on new model day, Wesley Mosley, another black riveter, was awarded $393 in 1955 for his plant improvement suggestion, and photographed. Solden Johnson was photographed with his musical group. Spanish surnames were hard to find, but they began appearing in the mid 1950s.
The social limits were pretty obvious, and reflected greater America. Of the many pictures published in the company paper, none were of a black person in a supervisory role. Women only worked in the offices, and when a woman became a supervisor in the Payroll Department it made the front page. Salaried and supervisory personnel socialized separately, the annual Supervisors Dinner being a rather grand affair held at a local hotel. Their Christmas dance was an exclusive as well.