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Project Title: Glasgow West War Story

Exhibition: Wartime Production: Morris Furniture company and the War Effort

Wartime production in Britain was crucial to the performance of the allied forced during World War II. The normal productions of many factories were suspended as skills and resources were focussed on the war effort. This exhibition explores the work of Glasgow based Morris Furniture Company, who converted their premises and machinery during the war to make rifle and aeroplane parts. Historian Charles Mackay talks about the company’s contribution to the war effort.

Assets in this exhibition:

Morris Furniture Company

H Morris and Co Ltd was founded in 1914. Its original premises were on Milton Street in Glasgow. The company made furniture and fitted out cinemas, hotels and ships including the Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, and Queen Elizabeth II.

During the war all furniture productions were stopped as the factory converted its machines to manufacture rifle parts, aeroplane propellers for the Ministry of Production. Many of the workers in the factory at this point were women who were recruited to fill the space of men who had been called up for service. Although women continued to work at the factory after the war, their numbers did gradually reduce and the last women wartime worker left the company in 1949.

After the war Morris went back to making furniture.


Amunition boxes in production

Exhibition Image One

Description

During World War Two women were employed by Morris furniture company. One of the jobs involved making amunition boxes.

Source

Contributor: Morris Furniture Company
Location: Morris Furniture Company
Original Source: Image from Shavings For Breakfast by Neil Morris, 1987


Letter from the Ministry of Production

Exhibition Image One

Description

During World War II, Morris furniture company adapted their company to aid the war effort by making rifle and aeroplane parts. This letter was written to the company after it was visited by the Ministry of Production.

Source

Date: 1943
Contributor: Ministry of Production


Woman working in Morris furniture company

Exhibition Image One

Description

Woman working in Morris furniture company

Source

Contributor: Morris Furniture Company
Location: Morris Furniture Company
Original Source: Image from Shavings for Breakfast by Neil Morris, 1987


Autoclaves

Exhibition Image One

Description

Men working with autoclaves used for making jettison tanks.

Source

Contributor: Morris Furniture Company
Location: Morris Furniture Company
Original Source: Image from Shavings for Breakfast by Neil Morris, 1987


Helicopter blade in production

Exhibition Image One

Description

During World War Two, Morris furniture company aided the war effort by making aeroplane propellers.

Source

Contributor: Morris Furniture Company
Location: Morris Furniture company
Original Source: Image taken from Shavings for Breakfast by Neil Morris, 1987


Wartime Specification for Plywood

Exhibition Image One

Description

During World War II, Morris Furniture company aided the war effort by making areoplane propellers. Plywood was used in the construction of areoplanes and this specification sets out the standard of plywood that should be used in structurally important areas of the areoplane.

Source

Date: 1939
Contributor: British Standards Institution


Operation schedule

Exhibition Image One

Description

Every production line had a schedule. This is the operation schedule for Rifle no.4 for ends. It gives a list of thenames of the operations in the order in which they should be carried out and the machine and time required to complete each task.

Source

Date: 1943
Contributor: Morris Furniture Company


Rifle Department Provisional Bonus scheme

Exhibition Image One

Description

This document sets out the conditions of the proposed Rifle Department Bonus scheme.

Source

Date: 1943
Contributor: Morris Furniture Company