William VanDervoort's far sightedness
and his ability to visualize the approaching events which preceded America's
entrance into World War 1, lead the R&V Co. to be of such great use
to the US government in the crisis.
R&V Ordnance Co. became a great plant in the manufacture of shells
and guns for the British, and upon the completion of these big contracts
the ordnance plant was closed, the doors locked, but the machinery kept
Eighteen months later America entered the war and R&V has a factory
which stood ready to produce ordnance. R&V's leadership in this field
was testified by many men in public life and by government officials.
The R&V-Wagner Ordnance Co. was (a partnership with the Wagner Electric
Co. of St. Louis, Missouri) and produced almost a million shells from
1916 until 1918. They only did the machining, no packing or loading. They
also exclusively manufactured 4-inch and 1-pounder naval guns and 3"
naval dock mounts.
Also during this period the Root & VanDervoort Engineering Co., was
operating exclusively on 8" shells, special shell manufacturing lathes,
tractor and farm motors - all war essentials. This work comprised 80%
of the companies total output. The shell manufacturing lathes were sold
to other companies assisting with ordnance.
After the war they moved car production to the ordnance plant. It was
later sold to Yellow Cab which became a part of General Motors. GM closed
it in 1929 and it burned in the early 40's.
William VanDervoort was a member of the "Munition Standards Board"
and also the "National War Labor Conference Board". During the
war period he gave all his time as a member of these important bodies.
William VanDervoort was particularly zealous in creating an intimate feeling
between employer and employees, his attitude towards his workmen won him
respect and admiration from near and far. This was also R&V's key
to successful plant output from all its divisions.
on this at: USS
Peary Memorial and (USS
Darwin Harbour in the Northern Territory
of Australia is the resting place for the U.S. destroyer, USS Peary, sunk
on 19th February 1942 by Japan's Pearl Harbour veterans. This 4 inch gun
was salvaged from the Peary in the 1950's by diver Carl Atkinson (dec.).
It was restored by the RAN (Royal Australian Navy) for the Northern Territory's
1992 War Service Memorial Year and now points towards the Peary's grave.
There is an inscription on the gun barrel
cast there by the Root & VanDervoort Engineering Co.,
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