“A strong leader knows that if he develops his associates he will be even stronger.”
James F. Lincoln (1883 to 1965)
Lincoln was head of the Lincoln Electric Co. from 1914 until his death.
An inventor, Lincoln received 20 patents; his engineering enabled him to make the technological improvements necessary to make arc welding a dependable and commercially viable process of joining metals.
Lincoln, as president of the world’s largest producer of welding equipment, pioneered the incentive wage system. Lincoln’s “Incentive System” rewarded workers according to their productive capacity and made the company the lowest cost producer in its field.
During World War II, Lincoln Electric Co.’s incentive bonus payments from government war contracts raised the suspicions of government officials; in May 1942, the company was investigated by the House Naval Affairs Committee, and in 1943 the Price Adjustment Board ordered Lincoln to return $3.25 million, which it claimed was excessive profits. Lincoln fought the charge and defended the incentive payments. The Treasury Department later charged the company with tax evasion; Lincoln was acquitted of all charges, however.