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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Munitions factory during World War 1

The Chilwell munitions filling factory, Britain, WW1
More than 19 million shells were filled with explosives here by 10,000 workers between 1915-1918, during World War 1. The factory filled 50.8% of all British shells during the Great War.
A little less than a year after the above picture was taken, a huge accidental explosion occurred in the mixing section, detonating 8 tons of TNT and destroying a large part of the factory. In all, 134 people were killed and 250 injured, on 1 July 1918.
Rebuilding started immediately, and one month later they *exceeded* pre-explosion production rates.

Four months later on from that, the war ended.
The toxic chemicals used in the explosives turned some women's skin yellow, and their hair green. The many women working there were nicknamed the "Canary Girls".



King George V visits on Dec 15 1916.
I'm not sure why it seemed like a good idea to hang artillery shells precariously from the ceiling...



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