Monday 14 December 2020

Bomb Girls

Finished December 8
Bomb Girls: Trading Aprons for Ammo by Barbara Dickson

I bought this book after listening to a presentation by the author. She's done through research into the facility's history and even had a couple of historical artifacts to pass around during the presentation. 
This is a close look at the GECO facility in Scarborough which produced a variety of ordinance during World War II and became well known for the quality of its output. The facility also had an extremely good safety record, with no fatalities due to the work itself. The only fatality was from a bus accident ferrying workers between the city and plant that happened in the parking lot of the site. 
Besides describing the site, including plans showing the layout, this book looks at the variety of work that happened there, including administrative and support work, and the planning that took place to design the transition from dirty side to clean side and back again, the design of the uniforms that staff wore, the work that was done to help morale and accommodate the other responsibilities of the primarily female workforce, and the history of the two brothers who built and ran the plant.
There are also numerous profiles of workers from both the factory side and the administrative side, which include portions of interviews with them and their families. 
I really enjoyed looking more deeply into this slice of history that Canada can certainly be proud of. Building a complex factory that was producing dangerous goods in record time, and maintaining a largely happy workforce in a safe manner is an accomplishment to be very proud of. 

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