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Simmons second century

A story of people


old-fashioned 54" x 75" mattress
was simply too small for modern
super-sized Americans. Our
Supersize sales grew and grew-
and grew. Until Simmons took the
lead in promoting the comforts and
joys of bigger beds, the industry had
never known such lively
obselescence.
Today, we are in the vanguard of
still newer influences in the mattress
field. Fashion, for one. There is a
growing consumer insistence on a
harmony of color and character
throughout the house, including the
bedroom. People want features that
accommodate TV watching in bed.
Today's forthright younger
generation openly favors mattress
characteristics that encourage the
libido. In every way, Simmons is
preparing to take full advantage of
these new demands. After all, the
first order of business for Simmons
management must remain the
enhancement of our competitive
position in the mattress industry.
Beautyrest must remain the
magnificent staking point of value
that it has always been in its field!
a story of
people
The familiar picture of our first nine
employees is a stereotype of its era.
In it, we perceive the way of life and
the attitudes that flourished in
America of a century ago. One of
these attitudes was "concern."
Today, it would be called
"paternalism," but in those early
years, it was only natural.
i he original nine.
Kenosha, Wisconsin was a small,
mid-western town. The Civil
War had ended only
a few years earlier. The "boss"-
any boss-was inevitably a kind of
father, and Zalmon Simmons
filled the role to the hilt.
Our first fifty years were spent in
the Kenosha atmosphere. It was the
atmosphere of the Simmons baseball
team called The Owls. How, people
wondered, did Mr. Simmons
manage to persuade so many
professional baseball players to
work in his bed factory? It was the
atmosphere of Simmons Park, the
Simmons Library, and other
monuments to that attitude of
concern.
Paternalism passed but the
company's concern toward its
employees remained. Because
Simmons was early in its recognition
of the place of labor unions, we
avoided the worst bitterness of the
1930's. To be sure, we have had
strikes. But over a period of forty
years, a solid mutual respect has
been built up between the company
and the several important Unions
that represent Simmons employees.
Today, our payroll is nearly two
and a half times what it was in 1946
-reflecting both the growth of
individual earnings and the growth


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