Girls at work; cutting, machining, polishing, testing millions of bullets

Unit Australian Government agencies
Place Oceania: Australia, Victoria
Accession Number ART23069
Collection type Art
Measurement sheet: 37.8 x 30.7 cm
Object type Drawing
Physical description carbon pencil on paper
Maker Curtis, R Emerson
Place made Australia: Victoria, Melbourne, Footscray
Date made 1940
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Item copyright: AWM Licensed copyright


Women were employed exclusively in the small arms section of the large Commonwealth Small Arms Factory in Footscray. Emerson Curtis captured this impression from the elevated vantage of a chair on top of a table much to the amusement of the women. He described the scene as '... a congested place with rows and rows of girls seated at small machines. Beside them and above them wheels spun and belts slapped and the noise and the tangle of machines and swiftly moving hands made the very atmosphere quiver with industry. Boxes of tracer bullets and gleaming catridges were rolled out every few minutes and taken away to be washed, tested and packed.'