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Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

Andrew HeiskellAndrew Heiskell
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managed to make some temporary contracts to increase our supply of paper, bad paper. Then we made some long term contracts with, I believe it was, St. Regis to give us a lot more good paper. The circulation, of course, was allowed to just bounce up and the subscriptions came in at a fantastic rate on Life, particularly, but also on Time and Fortune.

We suddenly became aware of the fact that our circulation system belonged to the Middle Ages, namely, each subscriber was listed on a small metal plate. All these metal plates were linked together and every week you had to take out the metal plates of those whose subscriptions had expired and put in in the right position the metal plate of the new subscribers. Within a few years, our subscription lists had doubled or tripled and this equipment was absolutely hopeless in terms of doing the trick. At one point, we had, I believe, 3000 employees doing nothing but that in Chicago.


In other words, working in a crisis situation?


Working on this antiquated system.


It's my understanding that circulation fulfillment in and around 1945 was a big problem. It was near chaos. Is that what you're referring to?


That's what I'm talking about. It was impossible to handle that because literally it was a hand operation and you had to add, say, 100,000 a week and take out 20,000 a week, by hand. You can

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