NOTE: The numbers cited in parentheses, e.g. 1:5, refer the researcher to the Series#:Folder# in which that name/topic will be found.
George C. Eichhorn worked for the City of Greensboro as a purchasing agent in the 1920s-1930s and became the city’s first director of traffic safety before embarking on a long career with Vick Chemical Company. This collection consists primarily of printed materials from his time with the city, including traffic reports and Greensboro’s first police handbook. While it is small, it provides insight into Eichhorn’s many roles and accomplishments within the City of Greensboro.
Arrangement: This collection is organized into five series and arranged within series by subject, title, or document type. The series are: City of Greensboro, ca. 1932-1937; Correspondence, 1937, 1976; Miscellaneous, ca. 1923-1937; Photographs, ca. 1940s; and Printed Materials, ca. 1928-1966.
Provenance: The bulk of this collection was donated by C. Richard Eichhorn in December 1993 and assigned the accession number 1993.110.1. His daughter, Deborah Eichhorn White, donated some biographical information, two letters, and the photographs in August 2021, and they were assigned the accession number 2021.21.1.
Processing: This collection was organized by Archivist Elise Allison in January 2017, and the finding aid was prepared by volunteer Elizabeth Moore in March 2017. The addition was incorporated and the finding aid was updated by Elise Allison in November 2021.
Born in Norfolk, Virginia, George Carl Eichhorn (1901-1983) moved to Greensboro in 1912. He worked for three years for Southern Railway, where he oversaw loss, damage, and overcharge claims, and then with the radio division of Independent Wireless Company in the Merchant Marines.
In 1924, Eichhorn joined the City of Greensboro as an auditor and quickly advanced as a purchasing agent. He became the City Clerk and Treasurer in 1931, and was appointed Greensboro’s first director of traffic safety three years later. During this time, Eichhorn prepared several traffic reports, suggested ways to improve traffic safety in Greensboro, installed the first traffic light, and wrote the city’s first police officers’ manual.
Eichhorn left the City of Greensboro in 1937 to join Vick Chemical Company as a purchasing agent. His accomplishments at Vick included helping Brazil become the largest producer of menthol. In 1951, he was appointed president and general manager of the Vick Manufacturing Division of Richardson-Merrill Inc., and he became the Corporate Vice President for Manufacturing shortly before his retirement in 1966.
George Eichhorn married Hermene Warlick (1906-2001) in 1926 and had two children, Charles Richard (1927-2004) and Mary Louise (1929-1978). He was a member of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church and was involved in numerous civic organizations, serving as president of the Greensboro Rotary Club and the United Arts Council, director of the United Fund, and treasurer of the Greensboro Chamber Music Society. After his retirement, Eichhorn served the Smith Richardson Foundation in various capacities, including as a trustee, until his death in 1983.
Biographical Sources: The biographical information was gathered from materials in the collection, Ancestry.com, an article about Eichhorn’s retirement in Greensboro Vick (May 1966), and Eichhorn’s obituary (Greensboro Daily News, November 2, 1983). See the folder at the front of the collection for additional biographical information about George Eichhorn, his wife Hermene, and their daughter, Mary Louise Eichhorn Simons.
SCOPE & CONTENT NOTE
The types of materials in this collection include correspondence, photographs, and printed materials, particularly newspaper clippings, periodicals, and reports written by George C. Eichhorn. Most items pertain to his work for the City of Greensboro during the 1930s, with some information on his transfer and contributions to Vick Chemical Company. Researchers interested in the early history of purchasing, policing, or traffic safety in Greensboro, as well as those interested in Vick Chemical Company, may find this collection useful.
1. City of Greensboro. 6 folders (9 items). ca. 1932-1937.
This series contains materials relating to Eichhorn’s work for the City of Greensboro during the 1930s. The photo shows Eichhorn with a group of unidentified city officials (1:2), while a report he wrote discusses the development of centralized purchasing in the city and outlines the responsibilities of the purchasing agent (1:4). The 1937 police handbook not only describes the duties of police officers but also provides legal definitions as well as information on and the locations of main streets in Greensboro (1:3). Traffic reports, which Eichhorn wrote while serving as the first director of traffic safety, provide statistics for traffic accidents and injuries, describe existing signs and signals, and advocate for better traffic education initiatives (1:5-6).
2. Correspondence. 3 folders (3 items). 1937, 1976.
The first letter in this series was sent by Earl J. Reeder, Secretary of the Street and Highway Traffic Section of the National Safety Council, to Eichhorn in response to Eichhorn’s earlier letter announcing his move to Vick Chemical Company (2:1). The other two letters are from Richardson Preyer and Smith Richardson Jr., and they offer congratulations to George and Hermene Eichhorn on their 50th wedding anniversary in 1976 (2:2-3).
3. Miscellaneous. 2 folders (5 items). ca. 1923-1937.
The report entitled “Practical Plans for a Safety Campaign,” written by Eichhorn, outlines the ways in which municipalities can maintain a traffic safety campaign, including collecting data about traffic incidents and teaching children about vehicular safety (3:1). Also included in this series are two radio operator licenses, Eichhorn’s radio operator’s record, and a course packet on radio abstracting (3:2).
4. Photographs. 1 folder (3 items). ca. 1940s.
The photographs consist of a portrait of George C. Eichhorn taken by Manning Studio in November 1941, as well as two undated copies showing Hermene Eichhorn alone and with her husband.
5. Printed Materials. 6 folders. (31 items). ca. 1928-1966.
This series contains a variety of printed materials, including a page from the Greensboro Daily News with air raid instructions (December 14, 1941; 5:2) and an issue of Time (May 7, 1945; 5:5). Southern City (p. 7; 4:4) and North Carolina Municipal News (p. 3; 5:3) include brief profiles of Eichhorn during his time as purchasing agent for the City of Greensboro. The newspaper clippings (5:2) provide details on his work for the city, as well as some information about his accomplishments with Vick Chemical Company. An issue of Vicks Family News (May 1944; 5:6) tells about Eichhorn’s election as Vice President of Vick of North Carolina and his appointment as leader of the Purchasing-Plants-Production Division. The school newspaper entitled “Irving Echoes” was edited by Eichhorn’s son, C.R. Eichhorn (1930s; 5:1).
|1||1||City of Greensboro||-- Photograph (n.d.)|
|2||-- Police Manual (1937)|
|3||-- Purchasing (1930s)|
|4||City of Greensboro||-- Traffic Reports (1932-1934)|
|5||-- Traffic Reports (1936)|
|2||1||Correspondence||-- National Safety Council (1937)|
|-- Preyer, Richardson (1976)|
|-- Richardson, Smith Jr. (1976)|
|3||1||Miscellaneous||-- Literary -- "Practical Plans for a Safety Campaign" (n.d.)|
|2||-- Radio Operators (ca. 1923-1937)|
|4||1||Photographs||-- Eichhorn, George C. and Hermene (ca. 1940s)|
|5||1||Printed Materials||-- "Irving Echoes" (Irving Park School, n.d.)|
|2||-- Newspaper Clippings (1928-1966)|
|3||-- North Carolina Municipal News (1937)|
|4||Printed Materials||-- Southern City (June 1931)|
|5||-- Time (May 7, 1945)|
|6||-- Vicks Family News (1938, 1944)|