Ministry of Munitions of War. H.M. Factory, Gretna.
Description of Plant and Process.Dumfries: Printed for HMSO by J. Maxwell & Son, 1918 Stock Code: 79783
First and only edition. The massive factory site, which included the two purpose-built townships of Gretna and Eastriggs, was established as a response to the Shell Crisis of 1915. The plant's product was cordite - a smokeless propellant explosive comprised of a mixture of nitro-glycerine and nitro-cellulose, or gun cotton, and described by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle after a visit to the site as "The Devil's Porridge" - and within a year of commencing production it was turning out 800 tons a week, more than all the other factories in Britain combined. Two thirds of the close 17,000 workers were women. The site was closed at the end of the war, the buildings demolished, eventually being parcelled off into 700 lots and sold off in the 1920s. A remarkably detailed technical account of this vital contribution to victory in World War I, this copy that of Lord Moulton who was Director General of the Explosive Supply Department. Uncommon, just four copies recorded on WorldCat.
Foolscap quarto (338 x 208 mm) Original maroon skiver, title gilt to the front board within panel of swags in blind.
Profusely illustrated with diagrams, plans and sketch-maps, many of them folding, some coloured, and a number of half-tone plates from photographs including extensive panoramas of the works and the cordite ranges.
Rubbed at the extremities, and neatly rebacked, contents clean and sound.
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