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Old News Stories
Companies Reverting to Peacetime Manufacturing, 1945

From The Chatsworth Times
Sept. 6, 1945

Local Plants Played Big Part in War Effort

Chatsworth's four war plants which, by means of sub-contracting, played a vital role in the allied victory, are reconverting to peace-time operation with little lay-off of labor and definite plans for expansion.

Among the items manufactured here by home labor were bomb plugs, torpedo parts, airplane parts, signal corps equipment, barracks bags, insect nets and crates for army and navy equipment and supplies. Native talc went to war as an ingredient in DDT, camouflage paints, rubber, roofing, metal worker's treads and other items.

V-J day brought a cancellation of more than $100,000 worth of contracts for Chatsworth Manufacturing Company, Wilbur Jackson's machine shop which grew almost overnight to the county's busiest and biggest war plant, operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and employing 75 persons, largely Murray county men and women. The company began reconverting to civilian products several months ago with the manufacture of tire pumps. Workers in the plant had designed a new type lawn and garden sprinkler, a barrel pump, radiator and gasoline tank caps, which are already in production. Thus reconversion for the plant is being effected without much difficulty. About 20 employees were laid off, most of whom were women who inspected the government products. Mr. Jackson said he expected to reemploy this number and more in a short while. He also has plans for a new building for the plant.

The Fort Mountain Lumber Company, a subsidiary of Moraine Box company of Dayton, Ohio, had been engaged in only war work since 1942, making boxes and crates for the armed forces. Before the war the factory made crates for electrical refrigerators. Shortly before V-J day the plant had started again in civilian contracts, according to W. D. Petty, office manger. This work has been sufficient to continue operations without a lay-off of labor. The factory now employs about 65 persons.

Only slight changes have been necessary at Chatsworth Lumber company, according to W. A. Meyer, manager. The company had only one order cancelled, and now is supplying lumber into civilian channels rather than to the armed forces. It employs about 30 men at the present and is in need of additional labor which the management expects to become available soon.

R. P. Hufstetler, manger of Cohutta Talc company, said that his company was still operating full time, using about 50 employees. "We expect an increase in production, if anything," Mr. Hufstetler said. "We have had no cancellations yet, and see no change in our business."

The Southern Talc company which has been 95 percent engaged in war work, also expects an increase in demand for talc, Mrs. Mary Holman, bookkeeper, said this week. The company has continued full-time operation and gives work to approximately 55 persons.

Crown Chenille company has finished its last barracks bag and is slowly stepping up production on chenille products, according to Jack Lumiere, manager. Since materials have not yet been released, the company cannot recall discharged employees but hopes to be able to return to full peace-time production in about 30 day. Crown Chenille's peak employment figure is about 130. At the present it can provide employment for only 30 percent of that number.

Both McCarty Chenille company and Southern Mattress company, neither of which had war contracts, are planning increased production as soon as materials are released.

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