Formation of the Ferguson Dial Company in Monroe, Louisiana
When Louis Buck Ferguson began selling his patented dial to the railroad industry, he ordered small batches from the O’Hara Dial Company in Waltham, Massachusetts 1The Monroe News-Star, February 4, 1911 – Article mentions Ferguson originally ordered his dials from Waltham, Massachusetts. Due to the small size of each purchase order, Ferguson was required to sell each dial for $4.00, approximately $100 in today’s economy.
In 1911, once Mr. Ferguson concluded that his limited market tests had been successful, he organized the Ferguson Dial Company to scale the production of his patented dial. As demand for the dial continued to increase, the Ferguson Dial Company contracted with a dial manufacturing operation in Switzerland to produce the dial in larger volumes, purchasing batches of 100 at a time.
With this new arrangement, the price of the Ferguson Dial was decreased from $4.00 to $2.50, fueling the sustained demand.
In April 1911, shares of The Ferguson Dial Company were offered for purchase for $1.00 per share in a large two-page advertisement published in The Monroe News-Star. The advertisement included illustrations of the dial, patent dates, various testimonials praising the success of the dial, and a list of current stockholders.