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Dawson Black: Retail Merchant   By:

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[Illustration: "Betty was a real comfort" (See page 110)]



Author of "The Business Career of Peter Flint"


[Illustration: SPE LABOR LEVIS]


Copyright, 1918, by THE PAGE COMPANY

All rights reserved

First Impression, July, 1918 Second Impression, July, 1918 Third Impression, October, 1919

I am glad to confess that whatever I do is done because I want to justify the faith in my ability and the loving encouragement which has so loyally been given to me. For this reason, I dedicate this to the one who has inspired me to do my best My Wife.


A boy, just graduated from high school, was looking over some of his father's business books and magazines. The more he read, the more disappointed he became, until finally he blurted,

"Say, dad, I don't want to be a business man!"

"Why not?" asked his father, with a tolerant smile.

"Aw, there's no fun in business."

"Get that foolish idea out of your head, son. There's nothing I know of that is quite so much fun as you call it as business. Where did you get your ideas of business?"

"From them books," said son, emphatically, if ungrammatically. "All they talk about is efficiency, getting results, checking people up, and things of that kind."

Just ask yourself, Friend Reader, if your business reading has not given you an idea that business should be more or less a cold blooded proposition, and our business life something apart from our home and social relationships.

Unfortunately, many books, excellent in their presentation of principles, ignore the human side, as it were, of business. I believe nay, I am sure that the influence of our home life is an important factor in the development of our business career. Our loves, our dislikes, our jealousies, our unfortunate, yet often lovable, unreasonablenesses are reflected in our business life. Our impetuous business decisions are often made through the subconscious influence of some dear one at home.

Our ambitions. Are you, Friend Reader, so cold blooded that you can say your ambition is a selfish one? Honestly now, wasn't it that you want to win something (whatever it may be)? Didn't you want to "make good" just to please some little woman?

When you faltered and weakened in your struggle for success, wasn't it she who gave you the necessary loving sympathy and encouragement to keep everlastingly at it? And wasn't your ambition encouraged a little bit by the delight you knew its attainment would give to that sweet little woman, who thinks "her boy" is just all right? Didn't you want to "make good" so as to please your mother and your father?

I don't care if you are a big, six foot, bull necked husky who smokes black cigars and swears, you have to admit the truth of this assertion so far as you are concerned.

Sounds like moralizing, doesn't it? And yet it's God's own truth!

It was convictions such as these which caused me to write "Dawson Black." I wanted to give the world a book which would not be a learned and technical treatise on retail merchandising, but would give a picture of business life as it really is not as the world mis sees it.

I have tried to make "Dawson Black" a human being, not an automaton to go through a series of jerky motions to illustrate principles. I wanted him to do some things wrong and suffer for it, and some things right, and perhaps still suffer a little; but I wanted to make his business life REAL . I wanted the reader to say to himself, "By Jove! I did just that same fool thing myself!"

And, underneath all this, I wanted to present a few of the principles of retail merchandising. I wanted to show that the result of the correct application of principle was sure, and that a principle of retail merchandising is applicable to every kind of retail store be it the little corner Italian fruit stand, or be it the largest department store in the country; be it hardware, drygoods, drugs, shoes, plumbing, or what not... Continue reading book >>

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