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In 1919, when George Lathem and his son, Louie Sr., began selling time clocks, factories were one of the few markets for time recorders and night watchman patrol clocks. The Lathems traveled by train throughout the Southeast, getting off at whistle stops and looking for the telltale smokestacks of a potential new customer. The expansion of the time recorder market began with the passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1938, requiring accurate time records. Increasing wage scales further added to this growing market. Following World War II, the Lathems resigned their sales relationship with another manufacturer and began selling war surplus machines while developing their first Lathem product. At about the same time, Harrison Hooper came to work for the Lathems. He was the engineering power at Lathem in the early years and helped develop Lathems first time recorder. In 1947, Louie P. Lathem, Jr., joined the firm. It was the same year that Lathem Time developed its first time recorder - the Series 76 Lathem Watchman Clock, named for the companys former address, 76 Spring Street. Over the next 10 years, Lathem began building a network of independent office supply and machine dealers that today stretches worldwide. Lathem Time Corporation has grown to become one of the industrys leading suppliers of small business time and attendance products and boasts one of the largest dealer networks in the country. In the 1980s, management was ceded to the next generation of the Lathem and Hooper families with the death of Harrison Hooper and the retirement of Louie Lathem. Bill Lathem became the chief executive officer and Ann Hooper became the chief financial officer. The company is now proud to qualify as a woman-owned business with the majority of ownership falling to the daughters, granddaughters, and great granddaughters of the founders.