Sunday, February 15, 2009

Obituary: Stanley Allyn - Class of 1909

Stanley C. Allyn of National Cash Register Dies

Led in Postwar Expansion of Industry Overseas
Board Chairman as Concern Moved Into New Fields


Stanley Charles Allyn, who retired at the end of 1961 as chairman of the board of the National Cash register Company, died Saturday night in Greenwich (Conn.) Hospital at the age of 1979. He lived in Dayton, Ohio and also had a home in Greenwich.

Mr. Allyn was president of the concern from 1940 to 1957, when he became chairman of the board. He was credited with a key role in diversifying the company into accounting, bookkeeping, adding machines and the computer field.

He also also led in expanding overseas operations from under $20-million annual sales in 1940 to 20 times that in 1961.

Mr. Allyn, who was often described as "Mr. Energy Unlimited," was a model of the traveling capitalist who flew about the world, spreading American ideas and ideals. Until his retirement, the ruddy, white-haired businessman averaged five trips abroad each year, traveling 100,000 miles.

Found Travel Essential
"You can't learn about world conditions sitting on the banks of the Miami River in Dayton," he once said.

"We're not going to compete with foreign producers just by yelling for tariffs," he added. "It's going to take hard work. If we get fat and lazy, we'll wind up a second-rate nation."

He believed in adapting his products to foreign tastes. N.C.R.'s bookkeeping machines for the Middle East, for instance, made entries from right to left as the Arabs do. He believed also in hiring natives of each country to run his business and in extending to them many of the fringe benefits the American workers enjoy. To help teach United States customs and business practices, he invited thousands of foreign businessmen to the company's seminars in Dayton.

Not content with operating a world-wide business, he took on a variety of public services that would have taxed the abilities of several men.

Headed Charity Agencies
He served a president of the Community Chests and Councils of America in 1950. Later, he was on an American advisory committee fro the economic rehabilitation of the Scottish Highlands and serves as a trustee of the Institute of International Education. In 1955 he was campaign chairman for the National Red Cross.

In 1956 Mr. Allyn headed the United States delegation to the UNESCO Conference at New Delhi, where he declared: "The basic conflict in the world is not socialism versus capitalism. It is the conflict of freedom versus the lack of freedom."

In the same year, he was admitted to the French Legion of Honor "for promoting the economic welfare of France." In 1957 he was name to the United National Commission for UNESCO and representing the United States at the United Nationals Economic Committee for Europe in Geneva.

Wanted Ideas Pushed
In 1958, addressing the National Foreign trade Convention here, Mr. Allyn said:

"It is something of a paradox that while American products are universally popular, by no means the same thing can be said of American ideas. Perhaps we should examine the methods we are using to sell freedom to the rest of the world. That is the most important sale we have to make."

Mr. Allyn was trained by John H. Patterson, N.C.R.'s founder, an eccentric genius sometimes credited with being the father of modern salesmanship

Mr. Allyn, who was born July 20, 1891, in Madison, Wis., had just graduated from the University of Wisconsin when he went to Dayton to attend a wedding. He visited the plant of the National Cash Register Company and became so impressed that he applied at once for a position.

He started clerking as $20 a week and his duties soon brought him into contact with Mr. Patterson. Mr. Allyn had been an usually brisk walker. Peering out of his office, Mr. Patterson notice this purposeful stride and remarked to an associate:

"That young man has the most efficient walk I have even seen. Let's keep our eye on him."

Mr. Allyn transferred to the sales department. He became Mr. Patterson's protégé and was sent on selling trips to New York and abroad. He became controller in 1917, a director in 1918, treasurer in 1926 and executive vice president and general manager in 1931.

Bearing with Mr. Patteson was somewhat unnerving for his executives. He like everyone to be on the job at 6:30 A.M. He insisted the executives wear vests and join him in his food fads. he heard that Bulgarians lived long because they ate garlic.

"One day," Mr. Allyn recalled, "we were all ordered to eat garlic. Bowls of garlic buds were placed around the office and every meal taken with Mr. Patterson reeked of the stuff."

Eye on Civilian Needs
After he became president of the concern, Mr. Allyn obtained large Government contracts. During the war he took N.C.R. into defense work but made sur it would be ready for the boom after the war.

When the Nazis surrendered, Mr. Allyn set up a factory in Augsburg, and another in Dundee, Scotland. Some years later, he established a plant in Oiso, Japan and put up others in Sweden, France and Brazil.

Mr. Allyn had served as a director of the First National City Bank of New York, the Armco Steel Corporation, Mead Corporation and Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company.

He received the Presidential Certificate of Merit and the Navy Award for distinguished public service. He held honorary degrees from four universities.

Surviving are his widow, the former Patricia Turnbull; three children by a former mariage, Charles Stanley Allyn of Dayton, the Rev. Compton Allyn, an Episcopal minister of Cincinnati, and Mrs. Thomas E. Sunderland of Scottsdale, Ariz.; a brother two sisters, and five grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 2 P.M. Wednesday at Christ Episcopal Church in Dayton.

Originally published in The New York Times on November 2, 1970. The transcription is faithful to the print version and therefore contains some typographical errors.

Note: Stanley Allyn's class year is based on information n the 1909 Tychoberahn, where he is pictured among the graduating seniors. He is also listed as the senior class president for the fall term.