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1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 10 (x)

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition
1945 Theatre Catalog
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 10
Page 10

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 10

Government and Equipment Industry in War

War Production Board Case History Tells

How an Industry well Served Its Country

Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, we were ofiicially at war with Japan.

Prior to that attack, most of our heavy industry was partially converted to the production of materiel for delivery to friendly foreign nations doing business with this country under the terms of the Lend-Lease Act, and other arrangements or agreements.

That attack made it necessary for the War Production Board in Washington to take immediate steps to convert the remaining productive resources of industry

so that the needed war materiel could.

be made available as quickly as possible to our Armed Forces and our Allies.

Our manufacturers were asked to consult with the Ordnance Department of the United States Army and the Department of Special Devices of the Bureau of Aeronautics of the United States Navy, to assist them in the development of different types of synthetic training devices through the use of the standard types of equipment that each manufactured.

A limited quantity of precision instruments was being manufactured in the plants operated by the Army and Navy, but the need for precision equipment and instruments at that time was so great that the Army and Navy required additional plant capacities for the added production.

Our manufacturers had long been recognized as Americais foremost producers of precision parts and assemblies. The Army and Navy recognized these especially developed production techniques, and the manufacturers were given contracts on a continuing basis for many kinds of precision instruments used in modern warfare. These instruments included secret sub-assemblies for our perfected bombsights, underwater warfare instruments, supersonic echo-depth finders, true-bearing direction finders, and many types of radar apparatus. They likewise were called upon to manufacture different kinds of aircraft sub-assemblies, including those needed for aircraft engines and gunnery equipment.

In addition to military requirements for these items, the Armed Forces needed large quantities of our standard types of projection and sound equipment for the showing of films prepared for visual training in the maneuvers of modern warfare, as well as thorough training in the use of various types of gunnery equipment. The Medical Corps used the equipment for the showing of films especially prepared in the techniques of first-aid and advanced surgery. The morale and entertainment problems were readily solved when the equipment was used for the showing of films for entertainment purposes.

It was, therefore, necessary for the War Production Board to set aside a. por X


tion of our plant facilities for the production of the standard types of projection and sound equipment needed by our Armed Forces. The motion-picturetheatre industry, through the War Activities Committee and theatre-equipment section of the War Production Board, had firmly established itself with the various war agencies in Washington as being vitally necessary to our. national economy, and to the successful prosecution of the war. If the motion-picture theatres in the United States were to continue such cooperation, it was then necessary for plans to be made to insure the continued operation of all theatres.

In the early stage of the war, the production of projection and sound equipment and repair parts for civilian theatres was prohibited by certain War Production Board conservation orders. If the Armed Forces were to receive punctual delivery of the various types of projection and sound equipment they needed, and if the civilian theatres were to be supplied with limited quantities of equipment for urgent replacements, and repair parts for proper maintenance, it would be necessary for the jurisdiction over this total production to be placed in one industry operating divison.

The Armed Forces and the War Production Board deemed it desirable and

For 30 years, Allen G. Smith has been associated with the theatreequipment business, first with the Southern Equipment Company, in Dallas, Texas, and later with the National Theatre Supply. Early in the war, M-r. Smith was appointed an industrial specialist to the War Production Board, subsequently becoming chief of the agencyls the , titre-equipment section. In July, 1.945, his war work over, he left the WP8, returning to his former post as special representative of the NTS and of the subsidiaries of General Precision Equipment Corp oration.


necessary that a limitation order be prepared and issued as an instrument. for such control, and Limitation Order L-325 was subsequently issued. The provisions of this order made it possible for the production of the equipment needed by the Armed forces to be scheduled sufliciently far in advance so that deliveries could be made punctually and completely.

The requirements committees of the War Production Board considered the quantities of the various types of equip ment needed for urgent replacements in civilian theatres and determined the quantities which could be made for such uses without interfering with the manufacture of any kinds of equipment needed by the Armed Forces.

It is a matter of public record that, because of the cooperation established between the motion-picture industry and the War Production Board, the manufacturers and the supply dealers, not a single theatre in the United States was forced to close its doors because of the lack of repair parts or, in emergency circumstances, complete new booth equipment. '

The supply dealer particularly proved to be the cornerstone for the continued operation of all of our theatres. Generally, he carried enough repair parts or accessories to take care of emergency repairs. If a theatre ownerls equipment could not be economically nor practicably repaired, the supply dealer made new equipment available after the War Production Board approved his application for permission to sell the needed equipment. .

In some instances; new equipment may not have been readily available, and in such cases the dealer supplied loan equipment from his own emergency stock.

The manufacturers of equipment now face the tremendous task of producing enough new equipment to meet a pentup demand of four years. It is true that during the war years some equipment was manufactured to make urgent replacements, but the total production of all classes of equipment during the four years of war was less than 50 per cent of that which was produced in 1941 alone.

We now need something like 18,000 projectors and a comparable quantity of sound systems, are lamps, rectiiiers, and motor generator sets to make replacements, and for installation in a large number of new theatre projects. We also need a sizeable quantity of all classes of equipment for export because our manufacturers must protect the foreign

markets which they developed before,

the war. Our manufacturers can produce more equipment now than before the war, because they have acquired new techniques in mass production through their experiences in mass production of

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 10