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Dennison, Henry Sturgis (04 March 1877–29 February 1952), manufacturer and social reformer, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Henry B. Dennison, a manufacturer, and Emma J. Stanley. Educated at Roxbury Latin School and Harvard University, Dennison joined his family’s paper products company after his graduation from Harvard in 1899 and quickly demonstrated the combination of business ability and social activism that would make him one of the best-known executives of the twentieth century. As works manager after 1906 and as president after 1917, Dennison contributed substantially to the growth of Dennison Manufacturing. Under his stewardship the company embraced systematic organization and modern management and became a leading manufacturer of jewelers’ boxes, crepe paper, tags, and labels. Most of all, it became a private social laboratory where Dennison applied his theories of industrial and social reform....

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Ginter, Lewis (04 April 1824–02 October 1897), tobacco merchant, was born in New York City, the son of John Ginter, a grocer, and Elizabeth (maiden name unknown). His father died when Lewis was an infant, and his mother died a few years later; his older sister Jane raised him. Ginter received little formal education, but through self-education he acquired a love of art and music, became an accomplished pianist, and attained fluency in French and German....

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Reynolds, Richard Joshua, Sr. (20 July 1850–29 July 1918), tobacco manufacturer and philanthropist, was born at “Rock Spring,” the family estate near Critz, Patrick County, Virginia, the son of Hardin William Reynolds, a farmer and tobacco merchant, and Nancy Jane Cox. In addition to his other activities, his father engaged in both banking and chewing tobacco production; as one of the largest slaveholders in the state, his family was socially prominent and financially secure. As a boy Richard attended local country schools and worked on his father’s farm. He also worked intermittently in his father’s plug tobacco factory, gaining valuable practical experience that he would later put to good use....

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Reynolds, William Neal (22 March 1863–10 September 1951), tobacco manufacturer and philanthropist, was born at “Rock Creek,” the family estate near Critz, in Patrick County, Virginia, the son of Hardin William Reynolds, a farmer and tobacco merchant, and Nancy Jane Cox. After receiving his early education in local schools, he entered King College in Bristol, Tennessee, in 1882. Reynolds attended King for only a few months before transferring to Trinity College in Durham, North Carolina, following the death of his father. The transfer placed Reynolds closer to Winston (later Winston-Salem), North Carolina, where older brother ...