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Those infamous Social Security cards have another Lockport tie

There's always more to the story.

We got another example of that on Tuesday, the day The Buffalo News posted an article about the most misused Social Security number in history.

The number belonged to Hilda Schrader Whitcher, who worked at the former E.H. Ferree leather maker in Lockport.

Starting in 1938, more than 40,000 people began using Whitcher's number after a company official used it on fake Social Security cards included in wallets sold at Woolworths and other stores. The misuse continued well into the 1970s.

How 40,000 people used a Lockport woman's Social Security number

After seeing the article online, Charles "Dick" Showalter called The News to say he was a former owner of the company that printed the fake cards.

The fake card printed by the Sanford Gooding Co. of Lockport.

Showalter, now 90, and his late brother, Arthur, bought the Sanford Gooding Co. in Lockport in 1955 from Gooding himself. Arthur was Gooding's son-in-law.

Gooding had kept some of the fake cards that caused such a stir two decades earlier, Showalter said, and talked to the brothers about the run-of-the-mill printing job that turned into a national brouhaha.

"He said, 'Hell, I didn't realize what I was doing,' " recalled Showalter, who lives in Pinehurst, N.C.

The Showalters sold the company, now Gooding Co., in 1990. It's operated in Lockport since 1876 and today is a major producer of microfolders, those folded-up instructions that come with medical and consumer products.

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