March 8, 1941

In the early-to-mid-20th century, “dollar-a-year men” were business and government executives who helped the government mobilize and manage American industry during periods of war. While they received only a dollar in salary from the government, most executives had their salaries paid by their companies. This was to get around laws that required government employees to receive a salary, and not work for free. The joke here is that Eli’s government job only pays $1 a year because that is all it is worth.