Very cool piece of American and Match History!
There are several feature articles about the effect that World War II has had on the factory’s work force. It stated that one of the plant’s first employees when the Hudson factory opened in 1930; Sergeant Anthony Cordato was killed in action during the Battle of the Marshall Islands.
The Hudson Plant Manager David Darwe wrote an article “SUMMING UP AND LOOKING FORWARD”. In this piece, Mr Darwe described the effect that the war was having on the East Coast of America “…the war with it’s terrible implications probably made a deeper impression in the East, particularly in the early stages, than the rest of the country”. He went on to mention the frequent black outs and air raid drills and a fair number of his factory crews were active as air wardens or at air observation posts during their leisure time. Mr. Darwe was pleased with Universal’s contribution to the war effort with production of propaganda match books shipped off to the Army and the Navy, as well as 43 men who left the plant to enter the various branches of the Armed Forces with the sad news that one employee was “never to return to join us at Hudson again”
My favorite portion of Mr. Darwe’s article was his mention of the “girls” that stepped in where the men left off. “The opinions of many in the beginning as to whether the enlistment of the girls would turn out to be a success were discouraging (to put it mildly), however, it certainly is now evident that the girls are doing a swell job and everybody seems to consider their work as quite natural, whether they appear in overalls or in more conventional dress.” Even after issuing that “compliment” he couldn’t help but mention that ” Fortunately most of our key men have remained with us in this trying period, a fact, we believe, that is worthy of emphasis.”
It’s worth noting that Universal Match Corp. operated five separate match production plants during this period -“The Golden Age of match book Advertising”
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