Manchester

World War One: Manchester's manufacturing role revealed

Factory workers Image copyright MOsi
Image caption The exhibition features artefacts including photographs and documents

A new exhibition has opened at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) in Manchester, looking at how the city's manufacturers supplied munitions during World War One.

In 1915, with the British Army running short of artillery shells, future prime minister David Lloyd George was tasked with increasing production.

The MOSI exhibition features artefacts including photographs and documents.

They illustrate how all levels of society responded to the appeal.

Image caption David Lloyd George was tasked with solving the munitions shortage
Image copyright MOsi
Image caption The Ferranti family converted factory output from domestic goods to shells and fuzes

A selection of original diaries, company archives, sketches and letters written by Oldham factory owner and electrical engineer Sebastian Ziani de Ferranti will be on display.

Image copyright MOsi
Image caption Other manufacturing companies also supported the war effort

He converted his entire factory output from domestic goods to shells and fuzes - a device to detonate an explosive charge.

Image copyright MOsi
Image caption Ferranti factory workers included the owner's daughter, Vera

He wrote letters to his sons Basil and Vincent who were fighting at the front. His daughter Vera worked on the production line in the factory.

Other manufacturing companies also supported the war effort - Mather and Platt worked on sprinkler systems, Thornton Pickard produced aerial reconnaissance cameras, Beyer Peacock switched from locomotive manufacturing to anti-aircraft gun carriages and bomb-throwers for ships.

Image copyright MOsi
Image caption Anti-aircraft gun carriages in the Beyer Peacock workshop

MOSI head of exhibitions Rachel Knight said she hoped to showcase an "insightful, original and personal take on the sensitive and important subject of Britain's first industrial war".

The Innovation Race: Manchester's Makers Join the First World War opens at the Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester, on 28 March

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