OWEN B HUNT (“OBIE” HUNT)
Anderson Panola Co TX
Submitted by Dr. Charles D. Wrege
Can any one help us with information
An Employment Record of OWEN B. HUNT (“OBIE”) who worked at western electric from December 12, l922 to July 2, l942 when he died at the Highland Sanitarium, Shreveport, Louisiana (City of Shreveport. Bureau of Vital statistics, Vol. 118, p.9)
In reviewing your survey of the records of the Hawthorn Funeral home in Carthage, Texas, I note that you state: “I have written these as I saw them, spelled them as they were spelled”
You have an entry for:
Hunt Obey (no date of birth) died July 2, 1942, Parents: L.M. Hunt (PCTX) which I assume is Lorenzo M. Hunt Panola County Texas. You record that Mr. Hunt was “married” and buried in Anderson Cemetery and that he was “Crushed by tractor”
Mr. Hunt full name (as I indicated above) was Owen but “Obie” was the name he went by and is derived from “O.B.” since apparently he did not like the name of Owen.
He was born in Carthage: April 4, 1904
Mr. Owen B. (“Obie”) Hunt was a switchboard specialist at the Western Electric Company who in l927, designed a “recording device” to record the output of women operators who assembled telephone relays in an experimental test room called THE RELAY ASSEMBLY TEST ROOM. This room has become famous as the location of the “Hawthorne Effect” which you can easily find on your computer.
In l960, Mr. Charles E. Snow of the Western Electric Company informed me that Mr. Hunt’s “recording device” was originally suggested in March, l927, by Mr. Elmer Kravetsky who worked for the Morkrum Company in Chicago, who manufactured printing telegraph Machines. At the time Elmer Kravetsky was the boyfriend of the sister of Mr. Homer Hibarger of the Western Electric Company. who had proposed the RELAY ASSEMBLY TEST ROOM experiment to Mr. George A. Pennock, Technical Superintendent of the Hawthorne Works, as a way to study methods of increasing the output of telephone relays and also to study ways increase the efficiency of the relay assemblers., as Hawthorne manufactured 5 to 8 MILLION relays a year for local telephone companies all over the United States.
The information in the Hawthorn Funeral Home records that you recorded show that apparently through the association with Elmer Kravetsky, Owen B. Hunt later married Elmer Kravetsky’s sister Myrtle Kravetsky and they had a son, Hugh Allen Hunt in l932.
This is IMPORTANT TO US as it verifies the information provided by Charles E. Snow in l960 and makes it more possible to assume that if Snow was right about Elmer Kravesky in this part of his interview, it is an indication that the rest of his information about the studies at Hawthorne in the 1920’s is probably correct. (Mr. Snow passed away on November 11, 1962 and was very useful in my historical research into the Hawthorne Studies from l957 to l962)
I ask, because Mr. Hunt. was married a second time, ( on November 19, 1941). to Eleanor J. Krolibowski of Chicago. (source: Marriage license 1709590. City of Chicago) Either Mr. Hunt divorced Myrtle or she died, but if she died, this probably happened when Owen was living in Chicago, she probably was buried in the Kravetsky plot in Chicago, not in Carthage