00:09:23 - 00:19:12 Air Force
Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines, different specifications, excess packaging, corrugated fiberboard industry; Koning, John, manual, Urbanick, Tom, Box and Crate publication, World War I, World War II, laminated arch building
Could you elaborate a little bit more on the packaging specifications that you did?
Well, you know it's difficult because back in the war years we had three main branches of the service: Air Force, Army, and the Navy and of course the Marines we're an offshoot of the Navy and the Air Force was finally broke away from the Army, but they each would have their own specifications. For some unknown reason I have no---I'm, not into how it generated that way, but I later found, when I was in service towards the end of the war, that the Jeep for example or---Jeeps in the Navy, and the Army, and the Air Force were all the same, but they each carried a different part number in each of the services. Ridiculous! When you stop to think about and, as I recall, some of the people would complain about well look Sears Roebuck, you'd order a part number and they get and ship it to you why can't we do that in the military. I have no idea other than, if you wanted it from the Air Force you'd have to have their number, if you wanted it from the Army you'd get their number, well this is confusing and then supposedly the parts would be interchangeable, whether they were or not, well they must've been interchangeable. But we had that problem out in the islands where I was and so that's the only reason that I know about that I guess because---Our work in, at the Lab, I did not do any of the traveling around base to base, as the fellows out of Washington did. We did quite bit traveling but only, only for specific project or specific problem that needed to be solved.
So, you know it's, memories are funny I, I remember lots of things but---We did develop specifications and test methods, a lot of work was done later on, on the development of new test methods for packaging and of course this was all done with American Society for Testing and Materials and other groups, we weren't off on our own necessarily we were, we were trying to get everybody involved and get as much input as possible before developing a specification. But during the war of course things were supposed to be done and done and we'd, you know overnight lets say. But essentially and there is somewhere there's some publications where some of the military fellows had written bout what they felt the Lab did in the way of improving the amount of material that got overseas because of our ability and knowledge and how to package properly and reduce excess packaging.
Also during this period there were, big interest, a lot of interest in the improvement in the corrugated fiberboard industry. And we had a whole group of fellows that were working in that area, John Koning being one of them. And we also developed a crate manual that I don't know whose got a copy now. I think I have one at home someplace. And then we also helped out the University with they had what, I don't know if they still have it now, there was a group that conducted symposiums or training programs of a week or ten days on the campus and some of those were oriented towards work that we did at the Lab during---in packaging. today I don't know if Tom Urbanik is still here or not, he was the last fellow that I knew in packaging that was still working at the Lab. I don't know, I can't---there may be others, maybe somebody's come on since then, but there's been no, to my knowledge there's been no revival lets say of the packaging group per se. And that's kind of interesting; it was a big priority in World War I if you go back and look at the history of the Lab, and out of that came the,Box and Crate publication, I think its number 171. And then it kind of dwindled down or one or two people left, Tac Carlson who was my first boss was then one of the remaining figures after World War I, and then he saw the division or the group become a division eventually. And as I said the biggest division in the Lab. And then we began to dwindle back again because the military after World War II, the military had [coughs], excuse me, created their own packaging units within, within their sources, they didn't have that at the beginning of the World War II nor at World War I.
But I think they do now and specifically with the, with the development of the packaging, military packaging training school various branches of the service could train people to be capable in that field and they didn't need to rely on the Laboratory. And we, we got drawn into it because of the wood products of course that went into packaging and, but, as I say. When I started, I started out in this building about three or four weeks later I moved down to the laminated arch building, I was there---well I was uptown too but I was out of here, out of this building for a number of years, about '70 maybe 1974, '73, somewhere in there, couple years before retirement. And we were no longer a division, we again became a part of---well then I guess by now instead of being timber mechanics it was engineering mechanics. I forgotten what it was called---and we moved back up here so I both started and retired in this building, but the bulk of my time was spent down on the, alongside the railroad tracks lets say.