Oldest living Ford retiree: $5 a day in 1938

  • Blog Post by: $author
  • December 16, 2011 - 5:33 AM

By Curt Brown

The plant closing has prompted plenty of lamenting the loss of high-paying jobs. Marx Danelius remembers an era before $28-dollar-an-hour gigs on the assembly line with great benefits.

"When I started in 1938, we earned $5 a day and then they bumped it up to $6 a day," Danelius said this week at his Minneapolis home.

At 99, he's believed to be the oldest living Ford retiree in Minnesota.  He recalls the boss pointing to men 6-foot and taller and 180 pounds and sending them to work in the body shop.

"He said he wanted big guys who would work hard and it was hard work, indeed," said Danelius, who spent 51 years at the plant, most in quality control. He spent a stint making armored vehicles during World War II. 

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