Musak on the Pier

In 1934 the workers on Isbrandtsen-Moller ‘s Pier 30 near the Hamilton Avenue ferry house were part of an experiment. The Musak Corporation of Manhattan, dispenser of music for, cocktail and dinner patrons, cigar workers, chocolate dippers, dressmakers and insurance company file clerks added longshoremen to their list. The Brooklyn Eagle reported that: “the longshoremen on Pier 30 are now juggling cargo while swing, Schubert and Strauss fill the ozone of Red Hook.”

The stevedore who hires the longshoremen on Pier 30, Jules Sottnek, “could not say whether the men work harder with or without music.”

Jules Sottnek, has an interesting waterstory in his own right.
Anti-antisemitism forced him to flee his homeland of Latvia in 1911. He successfully established a new life in Brooklyn, founding the Jules S. Sottnek Stevedoring Ship Company in 1922.


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