The father who adopted and raised me spent his career in the Far East before World War II . He described his 1915 hiring and training by the Standard Oil Co. of New York..
“An opportunity to work in the Orient presented itself. It was December 24, 1915; I had been told to report to 26 Broadway, New York, offices of the Standard Oil Company of New York, to enter a training class for service in the Orient. A group of forty-five men had been selected from three hundred applicants. Most were recent college graduates from different parts of the country. Many held degrees in engineering – civil, electrical and mechanical. Supposedly these fields were crowded with little future. The opportunity to go to China at a salary of $2,000 a year, and sell kerosene oil for a period of three years, followed by a home leave of three months, seemed very attractive. The fact that we reported on the day before Christmas was of little concern; the chance to go to the Far East was not to be overlooked.
… Each Monday, we noticed that some of the men were missing. At the end of the training period, eighteen out of the original forty-five remained. Two were assigned to Java, [Indonesia] and the other sixteen to Shanghai, China. We considered ourselves lucky.”
I was a small child when late in those expatriate years, we joined Dad in Shanghai, Manila, and Honolulu.