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Highlights of the Collection
Plant Safety/Care of Workers
Veronica Foster, an employee of John Inglis Co. Ltd. known as "The Bren Gun Girl", demonstrating the use of a kerchief to protect the hair of female employees from being caught in machinery
Women workers select piped music to play in the central control room of a Montreal factory
Woman factory worker files a machine part while piped music plays on loudspeakers
Workman wearing protective goggles, mask and mitts operating a lead casting wheel at the Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company of Canada Ltd. plant
Female shipyard workers walking down a path returning to work after a 30-minute lunch break in the shipyard cafeteria
Male students eat lunch at a table in the cafeteria of the Central Technical School
Efforts were made to demonstrate a reciprocal relationship between the company and its workers.
For example, the company provided work, pay and in some cases, housing, cafeterias and entertainment for its workers. The Polymer Corporation provided bowling lanes and baseball games for its employees.
Posters warning about the hazards of working with explosive material were reminders of the dangers in the work environment. Other images document the importance of safety and health and first-aid services available to staff are also documented. Numerous photographs of workers wearing appropriate protective gear such as goggles, gloves, or aprons are also visible.
Questionable working conditions are also documented, as in this photograph of an interior scene of an aluminum factory. Fine alumina dust cover these workmen who are working without breathing apparatus. Other images of workers working under physically demanding conditions are evident, for example under adverse weather conditions or when working with molten metals.
Although the worker was provided with elements of safety and comfort, the importance of maintaining high production rates remained to be the bottom line. Photographs demonstrate the push for efficiency through the broadcasting of piped Muzak, "scientifically-designed" to improve productivity and efficiency. The 'war machine' demanded that munitions, ships, tanks and other equipment and supsies be shipped out in a steady stream.
Female maid awakens female munitions worker asleep in bed
Women munitions workers enjoying their half-hour lunch in the Dominion Arsenals Ltd. plant cafeteria
... bowling lanes
Workmen of the Polymer Corporation Limited plant enjoy a game of bowling in the plant bowling alleys
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... baseball games
Women munitions workers play a game of baseball at the John Inglis Co. Bren gun plant
Woman worker reads poster, "DO NOT CONCEAL MISTAKES IT MAY COST YOUR LIFE AND THE LIVES OF OTHERS" at the Cherrier bomb-making plant
... importance of safety and health
Poster announcing the wisdom of wearing protective goggles and clothing while working with hot metal, Aluminum Company of Canada plant
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... first-aid services
Female nurse Cecile Dumas bathes and dresses workman Tom Heard's eye at the Arvida Aluminum Company of Canada plant
... workers wearing appropriate protective gear
Workman wearing protective goggles, mask and clothing, operates a saw to cut the body of a bomb at the Cherrier plant
... aluminum factory
Workmen clean the firing end of a long revolving kiln at an ore plant reducing alumina oxide solution to a fine silvery alumina powder
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... adverse weather conditions
Along the main road of Shipshaw camp, men come off work at noon. Shipshaw Power Development P.Q
... working with molten metals
Workmen tapping molten steel from ladle into ingot forms at Sorel Steel plant
Female munitions worker Françoise Corbeil turns out parts while listening to piped music in a munitions factory
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