III. The War Effort -- "...because of your production on that day, the defeat of Japan has been brought closer..." - May 11, 1945 - Letter from the War Department to "the Men and Women of Acklin Stamping Company"


A. Toledo During World War II

When World War II began, Toledo was ready. In June of 1940, nearly a year before the United States entered the war, the Toledo Board of Education began to emphasize vocational programs for high school students in an effort to ensure that Toledo plants would receive defense contracts. Their efforts (and Toledo's already present industrial base) paid off when, during the summer of 1940, Toledo industries began to receive defense contracts. In July 1940 the E.W. Bliss company, parent of the Toledo Machine and Tool Company, announced a $9.5 million dollar contract about the same time Willys-Overland announced a $25 million dollar contract. In all, Toledo received over $900 million dollars in defense orders, enough to put employment figures at the highest they'd been since 1929. Many plants, including Acklin, went to 24 hour, 7 day a week production.

With many men going to war, women began going to work by the thousands. In 1942 the first nursery opened in Toledo in order to meet the demands of mothers working in the factories. These women didn't only work in factories however, in fact they filled a variety of positions from auto-mechanics and bus drivers to freight handlers for the Railway Express Agency.

Rosie the Riveter


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Last Updated: 1/3/12