The Bomb Girls Of Smiths Falls Case Study

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The Bomb Girls of Smiths Falls

During World War II Frost & Woods of Smiths Falls won a government contract to produce over 100,00 No. 36 hand grenades per month. For those of you who have no idea who Frost & Woods was, here is a brief synopsis:

For over 116 years they were known as one of the largest manufacturers of durable farm implements in Canada. In fact, the company was considered one of the most technology advanced firms of their time. So, it wasn’t a surprise that during the second world war they were awarded a contract to produce grenades as well as artillery shells and chests to hold ammunition. The factory also made the bolts and bushing for the Lancaster Bombers- and during the war, Frost & Wood was the largest producer of
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There were over 900,000 workers, male and female, in Canada’s factories in WWII when Canada’s population was only around 11 million. Most women took these jobs not only because their husbands were away at war, but because wages in munitions plants averaged more than those for traditional female jobs. On September 10, 1939, when Canada followed Britain and declared war on Germay factories rapidly converted over to wartime industries. Cockshutt and Frost & Wood in Smiths Falls were no exception. The Canadian Government ordered the Cockshutt Plow Company to begin manufacturing equipment for the air force, while Frost & Wood converted to a munitions factory and employed over 1,200 people at the peak of wartime production. These women and men learned how to prime the number 36 grenade that some say looked like a pineapple. The reason the grenade was designed that way was so it would explode into many …show more content…
Accidental explosions could be easily triggered by small incorrect movements or misplacements of material.

Female industrial workers could not keep up with demand as the war progressed. The September 6, 1943, issue of Newsweek reported that 3.2 million new workers were needed for industry—primarily in munitions. Former employees of Frost & Woods remember being able to walk in and pick whatever job they wanted to do. Smiths Falls attracted many young employees to the area and during the war young Annie Barber moved to the area. Working out of the head office as a secretary, Barber remembers working in a room they called "The Blue Room" where the windows were painted over with blue paint because there were no

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