A lot can happen in 90 years — just look at Wachter. In 1930 Wachter was a small electrical services company with one location in Kansas City, Mo. Flash forward to 2020 and not only is Wachter celebrating a milestone 90th anniversary, but we’re also celebrating growth to 1,500 employees and 14+ offices across the country.
It’s an exciting time to be a part of Wachter because of our accomplishments, growth, and longevity — but it’s equally exciting to consider the company we keep with other well-known businesses, inventions, people, and cultural milestones also ‘born’ in 1930.
Despite the catastrophic stock market crash just a year before and the impending Great Depression, 1930 was a busy year for ingenuity, innovation, and improvement.
Entertainment from 1930:
Editors at History.com note the crucial role that movies played in the 1930s:
By the 1930s, at the height of Hollywood’s Golden Age, the movie industry was one of the largest businesses in the United States. Even in the depths of the Great Depression, movies were a weekly escape for many people who loved trading their struggles for a fictional, often dazzling world, if only for a couple of hours.
MGM released “Fiddlesticks” featuring Flip the Frog, the first cartoon with both color and sound — animated by Kansas City native and original animator of Mickey Mouse, Ub Iwerks.
Paramount Pictures released “Animal Crackers,” the second film from madcap comedians the Marx Brothers.
Universal Studios released the critically-acclaimed war movie “All Quiet on the Western Front.”
As movies with sound became all the rage, Broadway giants like Irving Berlin, The Marx Brothers, and the Gershwins left Broadway for Hollywood. But two Gershwin musicals still opened on Broadway in 1930:
- “Girl Crazy,” including Ethel Merman singing “I Got Rhythm”
- A revised “Strike Up the Band,” a satire in which America declares war on Switzerland
And whether it stemmed from the stage, the screen, or the radio, Some of the top songs of 1930 are still known today, including:
- Happy Days are Here Again
- Puttin’ on the Ritz
- On the Sunny Side of the Street
- Walk Right In
- Georgia On My Mind
- Embraceable You
Many books published in 1930 are still read today, or enjoyed through the movies they’ve inspired, including:
- As I Lay Dying — William Faulkner
- Cimarron — Edna Ferber
- Nancy Drew 01: The Secret of the Old Clock — Carolyn Keene (along with books 2-4 in the series)
- The Maltese Falcon — Dashiell Hammett
- Scarface — Armitage Trail
- Collected Poems — Robert Frost
- Miss Marple, #1: Murder at the Vicarage — Agatha Christie
- The Little Engine that Could — Watty Piper
Famous People Born in 1930
- Actor Clint Eastwood
- Actor Sean Connery
- Actor Steve McQueen
- Actress Carolyn Jones
- Actress Tippi Hedren
- Astronaut Buzz Aldrin
- Astronaut Neil Armstrong
- Author Chinua Achebe
- Businessman Don Tyson
- Businessman Warren Buffett
- Football Coach Don Shula
- Musician Ray Charles
- Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor
- Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner
Inventions from 1930
- Scotch tape — Richard Drew for 3M
- Quick-frozen foods — Clarence Birdseye
- Two different jet engines — Sir Frank Whittle and Dr. Hans von Ohain
- Philadelphia cheesesteak — Pat’s King of Steaks
- Neoprene and Nylon — Dr. Wallace Carothers for Dupont
- The design for tiltrotor aircraft — George Lehberger
- Car radios — for Galvin Manufacturing Corporation (later renamed Motorola)
- Snickers bar — Mars, Inc.
- Fusion-welded boiler drum — Combustion Engineering Inc.
- Bathysphere pressurized submersible — Engineer Otis Barton and ornithologist William Beebe
- Twinkies — Continental Bakeries / Hostess
- Commercially-viable thermistors — Samuel Ruben of Duracell
Companies Founded in 1930
Perhaps the best measure of just how special Wachter’s longevity comes from examining other companies founded in 1930.
- Toymaker Fisher-Price
- Juice CoOp Ocean Spray
- Technology company Texas Instruments
- Hotel chain Westin
- “Colonel” Harlan Sanders’ roadside gas station and restaurant, which later birthed KFC
- Technology company CenturyLink
- Cosmetics manufacturer Neutrogena
- Grocery chains Hy-Vee and Publix
Along with these companies founded in 1930, Wachter is fortunate to be growing and thriving. Much of this longevity can be traced to our founder, William Wachter. His vision, dedication, and integrity continue to live on in Wachter’s ownership, management, and workforce. By staying true to William’s core values, Wachter has a blueprint for continued success and growth for another 90 years and beyond.