04 October 2007

The Flea Problem At Xerox

Dr. John Dessauer was the Vice President of Research and Engineering at Xerox Corporation in Rochester, New York. One of his requirements, when the new Engineering building in Webster was being designed, is that it have a fire-proof vault for storing all the engineering drawings. He felt that they were the most important product of R & D and were irreplaceable. So the new facility included a drawing storage vault with a carbon dioxide extinguishing system behind a fire-proof, self-closing door.

Unfortunately, there was a problem associated with the vault.

One day in 1960, not too long after we had moved in, Rita W. and Anna G., two of the Reproduction Area’s clerks, came to Bob J., the Chief Draftsman, to complain that they were being bitten by fleas. Yes, fleas in the vault! Bob wasn’t sure about that, so he asked them to show him a flea. And the next day they did - a dead one of course. And so the vault was fumigated and the flea problem was solved for good.

(As a footnote, the extinguishing system never had to be used.)

1 comment:

Ronabear41 said...

I've never heard of a business having problems with fleas before.