|The United States
was engaged in war material manufacturing prior to the Japanese
attack on December 7, 1941. Notable companies manufacturing in this
county were National Powder Company and the National Munitions Company,
both located in Eldred, and engaged in production for the British.
Pennsylvania’s biggest single war assignment from the Federal Government
was the production of arms and ammunition. A War Production Board
report on major war supply and facility contracts allotted by Federal
Agencies between June 1940 and December 1943 totaled $3,314,732,000
for ordnance, including guns, mounts, fire control equipment, ammunition
and explosives in Pennsylvania.
The total of war supply contracts and facility projects in McKean
County was listed at $21,566,000. An additional $900,000,000 in
contracts to make shells, guns and other materials were given to
Western Pennsylvania war plants in the first seven months of 1944.
National recognition of war production facilities started in August
1942 with the presentation of the Army-Navy E Award. Several McKean
County war production facilities earned this award and a few earned
additional stars for maintaining excellence in war production.
The criteria that the recommended plant had to meet to receive this
award consisted of the following determining factors; 1. Excellence
in quality and quantity, 2. Overcoming production obstacles, 3.
Low rate of absenteeism, 4. Avoidance of work stoppages, 5. Maintenance
of fair labor standards, 6. Training of additional labor forces,
7. Effective management, 8. Record on accidents, health, sanitation
and plant protection, 9. Utilization of sub-contracting facilities,
10. Cooperation between management and labor as it affected production
and 11. Conservation of critical and strategic materials. Only 4,283
war plants across the nation, less than five percent of all war
production, received the award.
The following McKean County war production
facilities earned the Army-Navy E Award:
Bradford Motor Works
Melvin L. Smith Laboratories
W. R. Case & Sons Cutlery