National Archives at Atlanta

RG 156 - Office of Chief of Ordnance, Historical Files - Gadsden Ordnance Plant

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Historical Files, 1941-1942

National Archives Identifier 7062808
This series consists of a narrative history of the Gadsden Ordnance Plant in Gadsden, Alabama. Records in this series concern subjects related to contracts, production, employment, security, transportation, utilities, forge and machine shop procedures, and administrative actions. Also included in this series are orders, memoranda, and photographs. The photographs depict personnel and equipment.


Box 1

Folder 1: History of Gadsden Ordnance Plant Chapters 1-9, 1940-1942

▪ Forging and machining of shell H.E. 105mm M1

- Later the government added heat treatment for all shells

▪ Two prime contracts—subcontracts for 20% of the work

▪ List of costs, structures, organization chart

▪ Plant Protection

▪ Success in developing a lightweight forging

▪ Charts of production, employment, and costs

▪ Aerial photograph of Gadsden Shell Plant

▪ Labor and public relations

▪ Motor Vehicle Department


Folder 2: History of Gadsden Ordnance Plant Chapters 10-16, 1940-1942

▪ Railroad Transportation

- Photograph (figure 11)-present bulkhead of train shipments

▪ Utilities

▪ Forge Shop Procedure

- 9 photographs (figures 12-19) showing the procedure step by step: loading rail cars, loading slugs into a gas fed refractory furnace, shaping of slugs, machine and operators, corner rolling operation, mechanical stop and press operator, forging marked with a letter code machine and operator, soaking pit

▪ Machine Shop Procedure

- 26 photographs showing the procedure step by step: horizontal centering machines, tool drawings, down acting presses, heat treating furnaces, quench tank, cooling tower, bore, face, and chamfer the nose, finish turn, facing the base and removing the boss two tools, finishing, drilling machine, knurling and stamping machine, inspection process, various stages of production and finished product

▪ Scrap procedures and charts of scrap tonnage

▪ Souvenir Program of the Dedication Ceremonies of the Gadsden Ordnance Plant (October 9, 1941)

▪ Army and Navy “E” award to Lansdowne Steel and Iron Company

▪ Contract with Lansdowne Steel and Iron Company and Gadsden Ordnance District


Folder 3: Orders and Memoranda, 1941-1942

▪ Letters with Lansdowne about contract, tool requirements, and all areas of production

▪ Post Regulations

▪ Transportation problems

▪ Labor supply problem

▪ Control of scrap, salvage, and excess property

▪ Keep discussion of work to a minimum, especially with outsiders

▪ Telephone and mail service concerns