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 Post subject: Re: Where Baldwin Diesels Were Built - 1944
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:19 pm 
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There's nothing odd about not disclosing the location at all, given the timeframe, and I bet it was intentional.
Remember, the US was still cresting a wave of paranoia, the Germans had landed more than one team of spies in the US with the intention to cause all kinds of mayhem. And while the threat of German air attack was pretty much waned by this timeframe, nobody was rulling it out and I doubt anyone would want to spotlight the location of a place where - just maybe- The Luftwaffe might want to visit if they ever got an ultra-long-range bomber over the pond, as they'd been claiming they would do.
The idea of a potential strategic target not being named would be fully expected in 1944.

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 Post subject: Re: Where Baldwin Diesels Were Built - 1944
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:32 pm 

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As a writer and editor, I'm amused by one major failure in that article


As one cranky editor to another: You mean spare the rod and spoil the child?

(To their credit they do show the correct part in the picture, and do refer to rotating the rod instead of the drill when describing the detail operation...)

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 Post subject: Re: Where Baldwin Diesels Were Built - 1944
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:38 pm 

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Location: San Francisco
Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
As a writer and editor, I'm amused by one major failure in that article.

Did anyone else catch it? (Hint: It's not a typo or grammatical error.)


It may not be an error at all, simply an omission of irrelevant information. The "Where" of the article's title is clearly in reference to the newly-built facility, not is location. Since this is a piece of advertising, and not journalism, I don't see why they'd have any interest in naming Eddystone, PA since it does nothing to add to the perceived value of their product.

Nowadays, they'd want to make hay out of how their new facility was creating good American jobs in the heartland; and presumably in the correct congressional districts.

To get me cranky, you could put the punctuation outside of the "quote marks," write redundant and repetitive sentences, or disagree with me about the serial comma.

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Last edited by Randolph R. Ruiz on Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Where Baldwin Diesels Were Built - 1944
PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:40 pm 

Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 12:58 pm
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Location: Chicago USA
NH0401 wrote:
Later production was consolidated with the Hamilton Engine facility in Hamilton, Ohio.


How long did Baldwin-design engine production continue after the cessation of locomotive production? Or Hamilton-design for that matter?

Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Where Baldwin Diesels Were Built - 1944
PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:25 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:51 pm
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Location: Southern California
p51 wrote:
Note all the cars in the parking lot, at the height of gas rationing. It only goes to show that people in some industries qualified for more gas stamps.
My father was a Lutheran minister in Los Angeles during WWII and I recall being told that he received extra gas rationing coupons. It enabled them (mom and dad) to make some extra (fun) trips to the mountain resorts and to Tijuana, Mexico. Besides, of course, calling on the shut-in and hospitalized members of his congregation.

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 Post subject: Re: Where Baldwin Diesels Were Built - 1944
PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:59 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 3:25 am
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Many years ago I took a course in technical writing. One of the few concepts that "stuck" was "consider your target public". Who are you writing for? Railfans who may know that Baldwin was in Eddystone, or machinists who may have heard of Baldwin but were unsure of where the plant was? In our modern "high tech" era, one of the great complaints is about user manuals and computer programs that even a Harvard graduate can't figure out. Whoever wrote the material forgot to "have the janitor try it". If something is intended to be sold to the general public, a step that seems obvious to the folks who wrote the program because they worked on it for weeks or months, may be totally confusing to the person who just opened the box. And this can fit into railway preservation, for example, answering a question about streetcar controllers has to be in language that someone without an E.E. degree from MIT can grasp.

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 Post subject: Re: Where Baldwin Diesels Were Built - 1944
PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 9:55 am 
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Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
This can be a lesson in why you might want to recruit a trained writer, or former journalist if available, to write or review press releases or the like for your organization.
I completely agree. I have to write a history of the Whitcomb locomotive by this Spring for our museum and hope to have at least a couple of people proof read it that have your background.

I don't have a writing background but even I can see so many mistakes in our local newspaper. I just had to re-write a column (economics) because it was too long (800 words now cut down to 630) and above an 8th grade reading level. But most of the "lofty" language was from quotes. What reading level do you consider appropriate for a Whitcomb (or any railroad) history for general consumption?

Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Where Baldwin Diesels Were Built - 1944
PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:33 am 
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p51 wrote:
There's nothing odd about not disclosing the location at all, given the timeframe, and I bet it was intentional.
No, I don't see that at all. Large plants and products as big as a locomotive engine could never be hidden. The Germans knew this and resorted to underground factories for things like the V-2. Other factories such as the Fockwulf 190 were bombed and as a result the Germans just spread the production out over many different locations.

The American economist, John Kenneth Galbraith was assigned the task of interrogating one of the highest prized Nazi prisoners of WW II - Albert Speer (he was the head of the Ministry of Economics and Production). The Russians and Allies were in a race against each other to capture Nazis for the intelligence they held and most of the Nazis preferred the safety of the Allies as opposed to the Soviets.

The U.S. military was very interested in knowing how effective their bombing campaign had been in destroying Nazi war production and Galbraith had been assigned as part of this team to gather the facts. What Galbraith discovered didn't make him any friends with the Army Air Corps.

"In 1940, the first full year of war, the average monthly production of Panzer vehicles was 136; in 1941, it was 316; in 1942, 516. In 1943, after the bombing began in earnest, average monthly production was 1005, and in 1944, it was 1583. Peak monthly production was not reached until December 1944, and it was only slightly down in early 1945. For aircraft (as I shall later tell) and other weaponry the figures were similar.

Very soon George Ball's investigations of the attacks on the cities would produce some equally disturbing conclusions. Thus, for example, on three summer nights at the end of July and the beginning of August 1943, the RAF came in from the North Sea and destroyed the center of Hamburg and adjacent Harburg. A terrible firestrom sweeping air and people into the maelstrom caused thousands of casualties. Destroyed also were restaurants, cabarets, specialty shops, department stores, banks and other civillian enterprises. The factories and shipyards away from the center escaped. Before the holocaust, these had been short of labor. Now waiters, bank clerks, shopkeepers and entertainers forcibly unemployed by the bombers flocked to the war plants to find work and also to get the ration cards that the Nazis thoughtfully distributed to workers there. The bombers had eased the labor shortage. . .

In the last week in February 1944, every known airframe plant in Germany was attacked, 3,636 tons of bombs were dropped. Losses of the attacking American bombers, although they were under escort, were heavy. In January, before the attacks, 2077 combat aircraft - fighters and bombers - were produced by the Germans. In March, the month after the attacks, production was up to 2243. By September 1944, when the peak was reached, production was nearly twice what it was before the raids. . . The Germans managed to retrieve by proceeding with great energy to get the machinery, mostly undamaged, out from under the rubble, and they then got it going again in neighboring schools, halls, churches or wherever space was available."

John Kenneth Galbraith
A Life in Our Times; Memoirs, 1981
p. 205-215

Machine tools are extremely tough and it would take a pretty close hit to destroy a lathe or a mill.

Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Where Baldwin Diesels Were Built - 1944
PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:27 am 

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All undoubtedly true, but not germane to the discussion, because none of this was known in 1944. We believed our bombers were decimating German war production, therefore we should certainly not make it any easier for the Germans to find our plants. Hindsight is always 20-20.

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 Post subject: Re: Where Baldwin Diesels Were Built - 1944
PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:33 am 

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filmteknik wrote:
NH0401 wrote:
Later production was consolidated with the Hamilton Engine facility in Hamilton, Ohio.


How long did Baldwin-design engine production continue after the cessation of locomotive production? Or Hamilton-design for that matter?

Steve


I don't know. An inquiry to the BLH forum on railroad.net will get you the information you seek.

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: Where Baldwin Diesels Were Built - 1944
PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:47 pm 
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Dennis Storzek wrote:
All undoubtedly true, but not germane to the discussion, because none of this was known in 1944. We believed our bombers were decimating German war production, therefore we should certainly not make it any easier for the Germans to find our plants. Hindsight is always 20-20.

I doubt it had any effect on attempts to hide the location of plants. Everyone knew where Eddystone was and locals knew what new construction was being put up.

The government knew that it was impossible to hide these huge plants so they simply directed where to build them according to other determining factors such as transportation costs and electricity availability and no attempt to "hide" the location was made. In fact, advertisements for labor needed specifying the location, were public knowledge. They had to be. The prospective workers had to know where they might have to move to. Some government-owned plants such as the Green River Arsenal were constructed in the Midwest (IIllinois) and away from the coast due to the fear of possible bomber attacks but "hiding" an arsenal is impossible. They are just too big.

“Just before World War II, the West Coast region produced only 28 per cent of the 2,200,000 tons of finished steel which it consumed. Three years after the war, it produced 56 per cent of its finished steel consumption....

During World War II, the need arose for a greatly increased supply of steel plates and special forms of structural steel for the construction of ships on the Pacific Coast where the largest volume of merchant ships was being built, To meet the emergency demand, the government decided to build a large, integrated steel mill in Utah and called upon the engineering and operating experience of U.S. Steel to construct and operate it. The site chosen was Geneva, near Salt Lake City. There, U.S. Steel constructed and operated for the government, without charge or fee, the largest steel mill west of the Mississippi.”

Douglas A. Fisher, Office of Assistant to Chairman, United States Steel Corporation
Steel Serves the Nation, 1901-1951, The Fifty Year Story of United States Steel, 1951
p. 43-44

The building of the Utah plant was the subject of national magazines including its location.

"At the end of World War II ownership of aluminum-producing facilities in the United States presented a vastly different picture from that which existed before the war. The Government emerged in the immediate postwar period as the largest owner of such facilities. it had $672,000,000 invested in 50 wholly-owned aluminum plants for either aluminum production or aluminum fabrication as compared to Alcoa's net investment of $474,000,000, a portion of which was borrowed money. Not all of the Government investment was useful for peacetime production...

It will be recalled that the Government program for building aluminum-producing plants was divided into two phases. The first phase included the building of plants which were located with an eye to their possible peacetime use. The second phase provided for the construction of aluminum producers in large industrial centers where the use of high-cost electrical energy made these particular plants definitely war-emergency projects."

Charles C. Carr
Alcoa, An American Enterprise, 1951
p. 260-261

Hitler sent Nazi saboteurs to America via U-boats to destroy aluminum plants. They knew where they were, just couldn't get to them.

I'm quite confident that the author committed an oversight. He did mention the location of the other building but forgot to mention where the main production plant was built.

Steve

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Last edited by machinehead61 on Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Where Baldwin Diesels Were Built - 1944
PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:19 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 5:31 pm
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I believe no one made a mistake forgetting to list the location or even purposely left it out for security reasons, but more simply this was just an employee magazine, so was it necessary to state the obvious?

You would think just about every employee would have some idea where different products (ie, diesel engines) were built within a organization back then.

Tim W.


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 Post subject: Re: Where Baldwin Diesels Were Built - 1944
PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:38 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
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Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Although off topic, I thought some readers might be interested in some of the aspects of rationing in the WW II era:

http://www.ameshistory.org/exhibits/eve ... ioning.htm

http://www.nationalww2museum.org/learn/ ... books.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7D8sRGzeqag

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toV97t9Z3OY

My mother, who would be in her early teens in the WW II era, told me about gasoline rationing, the lack of sugar for treats, and the use of leg makeup and a line drawn up the back to simulate the seam that women's stockings had then.

Another person, a neighbor, recalled that the real reason for rationing gasoline in WW II was to conserve the rubber supply. One of the first things the Japanese seized after Pearl Harbor were all the rubber plantations in the Pacific. As we were still using natural rubber in tires then, and it would take two years to build the plants that could produce synthetic rubber from oil even under wartime expediency, we went to gas rationing and a national 35 mph speed limit. His comment was that you could still get plenty of gas, but you couldn't "get a tire for love nor money."


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 Post subject: Re: Where Baldwin Diesels Were Built - 1944
PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:40 pm 
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YeOldeEnjine wrote:
. . . but more simply this was just an employee magazine, so was it necessary to state the obvious?

Baldwin published its trade magazines for distribution to both employees and customers. They are full of advertisements for Baldwin and their subsidiaries' products, services and capabilities.

Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Where Baldwin Diesels Were Built - 1944
PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:51 pm 
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J3a-614 wrote:
One of the first things the Japanese seized after Pearl Harbor were all the rubber plantations in the Pacific. As we were still using natural rubber in tires then, and it would take two years to build the plants that could produce synthetic rubber from oil even under wartime expediency, we went to gas rationing and a national 35 mph speed limit. His comment was that you could still get plenty of gas, but you couldn't "get a tire for love nor money."
That agrees with everything I've read. I've debated the WW II economy elsewhere with regards to the rationing point.


“Over the great range of manufactured producers' and consumers' goods, both in World War II and in the recent [Korean War] period, price control has been administered with relatively little public fuss and controversy. There has been relatively few complaints of maldistribution of supplies or of black markets. This, by common observation, is the part of the economy where market imperfection is characteristic.

The great problems of price control have been encountered in food and clothing, the part of the economy which, with important exceptions, most closely approaches pure competition.

At least two-thirds of the energies of the Office of Price Administration were devoted to these products, and a considerably larger fraction of its failures were in this area. The efforts to hold meat prices, before and after an effective rationing system was in effect, provided an almost classic display of the frustrations of price fixing qua price-fixing in the market of many sellers and buyers."

John Kenneth Galbraith
Money, Whence it Came, Where it Went, 1975
p.246


“Corporate power made comprehensive price control necessary in World War II but it also contributed signally and unexpectedly to its success.

That was because it proved relatively simple to fix prices in industries where there was market power. And such industries – those of the large corporations – being common to a large part of the economy, the task of controlling prices was, in the aggregate, much simplified.

Specifically in markets of many sellers and buyers – those where there is no market power – there is no mechanism by which, if there is a shortage at the going price, the supply that is available can be distributed equitably among the claimant buyers. Some buyers get all they want: some get nothing. In these circumstances the incentive to pay something to the seller to avoid total deprivation is very strong. And the temptation to the seller to accept is not weak. And the number of buyers and sellers being great, the chances of detection are small. Also, since in the small enterprise records are meager or nonexistent and employees few and often reliable, the illegal transaction leaves few tracks, does not risk exposure by a telephone call to the government from a patriotic, righteous and indignant employee. In the competitive market of small sellers and buyers, controls are very difficult to enforce.

With the large corporation everything is vastly easier. There is, first, the effect of excess capacity. The small competitive firm operates, in effect, at capacity. The large corporation, in contrast, usually operates with some excess capacity. This was notably the case in 1941 and 1942; where in agriculture the effect of the diminished demand in the preceding Depression years had been on prices, in corporate industry, as repeatedly noted, it had been mush more on output. Accordingly, when the prices of the large corporation were fixed, it could continue to expand output and could therefore continue for a substantial period to supply all of its customers. The shortage and resulting temptation to non-compliance did not soon develop. And with the expanding output went expanding profits which removed the justification (though not the pleas) for higher prices.

Even when capacity operations were reached, controls on the large firm were easier to administer than on the small, competitive enterprise. The large firm knew its customers; it could distribute scarce supplies more or less equitably between them or it could be ordered to do so. The number of firms to be watched for violations was small. Each had elaborate records which simplified the search for illegal transactions. Employees or unions volunteered information on corporate hanky-panky. Along with all else there was the wholesome vulnerability of the large firm to adverse publicity. There is sympathy for the small lawbreaker in economic matters, much more rarely for the large.”

John Kenneth Galbraith
Money, Whence it Came, Where it Went, 1975
p.244 - 246

The traditional method for making tin plate has been to dip a sheet of steel in molten tin, This is known as the hot-dip method. Since the United States is dependent on foreign sources of tin, the known reserves of which are limited, the Corporation many years ago began to concern itself with the problem of tin conservation. It launched itself upon the formidable task of developing a process whereby tin could be deposited on steel sheets electrolytically, with a more economical use of tin. After the successful operation of an experimental pilot plant, U.S. Steel in 1937 installed the first commercial electrolytic tinning line in America, at Gary, Indiana. The anticipated savings in tin were fully borne out. The new process was found to use 60 percent less tin than the hot-dip method. An electrolytic tinning line is a complicated apparatus about 200 feet long and costs millions of dollars.

A GODSEND TO THE COUNTRY

The electrolytic tin plating process proved to be a godsend to this country in World War II. The rapid conquest of the Malay States and the Dutch East Indies by the Japanese cut off 92 percent of our tin supply. The situation became serious. Our armed forces and those of our allies required very large quantities of canned foods. The limited stock pile of tin in America was not enough for both military and civilian needs, and the Army and Navy naturally had first claim on the existing reserves. So critical was the situation in 1942 that the Government planned to send all canned goods exclusively to our armed forces and to allied armies through Lend-Lease. The home front would have had little or no foods preserved in tin cans but for U.S. Steel's foresight and labors of research, which were responsible for the successful commercial application of the new process.

In the emergency, U.S. Steel suggested to the Government that more electrolytic tinning lines be built as rapidly as possible and offered to share its knowledge about the new process with other tin plate manufacturers. U.S. Steel built nine new electrolytic lines and other companies also installed them, making a total of 27 electrolytic tin plating units in this country during the war.

It has been estimated that U.S. Steel's electrolytic process saved sufficient tin in four years, form 1942 to 1945, to produce more than four and a half billion cans for packing food. That enabled the Government to spare tin for civilians, and that is why the home front, although strictly rationed, was able to buy any foods preserved in tin cans.

Douglas A. Fisher, Office of Assistant to Chairman, United States Steel Corporation
Steel Serves the Nation, 1901-1951, The Fifty Year Story of United States Steel, 1951
p. 146-147

Steve

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"Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it"

Edmund Burke (1729-1797)


Last edited by machinehead61 on Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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