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The National in the world war : April 6, 1917-November 11, 1918 online

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April 6, 1917 November 11, 1918

''Let us have faith that right makes might; and
in that faith let us, to the end, dare to do our
duty as we understand it."


To the National men who died on the field of battle;

To those who gave up their lives in camp, or in war service of any kind;

To the National women who went overseas as nurses;

To our soldiers, sailors, aviators and doctors;

To all of our Red Cross workers;

To the men and women of the Chemical Warfare Service;

To those who helped develop and produce the X-Ray and Vacuum Tubes;

To all who contributed, by research or special investigation, what they

could towards the winning of the war;
To all who worked and gave money for War Relief;
To those who became "godparents" to French war-orphans and soldiers;
To those who made or sent special "comforts" for soldiers;
To our war gardeners;
To those who "bought bonds till it hurt," those who bought their quota

of War Savings Stamps, and those who gave time and energy to

the conducting of these campaigns;

To those who helped ferret out spies, sabotists, slackers .and alien sympa-
To those who used their legal or accounting talents in war service;

To those who co-operated with the Fuel, Food and Railroad Administra-

To all of those who responded so splendidly and unreservedly when called
upon for War Service of any kind,


Copyright, 1920,


General Electric Company
(First Edition June, 1920)





The Army Forces 21

The Naval Forces 105

The Air Forces 1 24

Our Army and Red Cross Nurses 137

Roll of Honor 1 47


The Story of the Chemical Warfare Service 167

Chemical Warfare Service Problems and Methods 185

Activities of Glass Technology Department 227

The Story of the X-Ray Tubes and Vacuum Tubes 229

War Activities of Nela Research Laboratory 259

War Work of the Engineering Department 279

War Work of the Chemical Laboratory ; 296

War Work of the Standardizing Department 297



War Study Clubs 301

The Sock League 307

Red Cross Centers within National 311

Nela Fund 323



The Liberty Loans 340

War Savings Stamps 348

The Red Cross and Y. M. C. A. Campaigns 350-352

War Chests 353

Nela Fund 358

"Children of the Frontier" 359

Miscellaneous and Summary 364



War Gardens at the National Properties 367

Miscellaneous Forms of War Service 370

INDEX.. .381


" The shouting and the tumult cease
The captains and the kings depart."


The World War has passed into history.

While it lasted, and particularly during 1917 and 1918,
when America was an active participant, it was the one
subject uppermost in the minds of a hundred million Amer-
icans. The vast industrial army of this country became a
part of the war machine, and the incandescent lamp industry,
until the war was won, subordinated the making of lamps to
the performance of its share as a unit in the industrial army.

In order to provide a permanent record of the part
played by the National Lamp Works of General Electric
Company, this volume has been compiled.

Every effort has been made to insure accuracy in the
text, and yet it may be that, owing to the wide scope of the
subject-matter, an occasional error in name or date or an
occasional omission in giving credit where credit is due, will
be found to exist. If such is the case, the errata have crept
in despite the most painstaking efforts to detect and eliminate
them. Some of our war-heroes have been exceedingly reticent,
or diffident, about telling their stories for publication.

The record of war service along technical and develop-
mental lines, contained in the following pages such as the
National's contribution to the development of the gas mask-
would have been impossible without the extensive labora-
tories and capacious industrial organization centered at
Nela Park. There were, of course, thousands of large, well-
organized enterprises throughout the country, rendering quick
and specialized aid in America's emergency. What the National
did, was typical of such organizations, in general. If the
National excelled in any one respect, it was, perhaps, in having
taught its people to co-operate and harmonize their efforts.

No better statement of the value of this "pull-together"
spirit can be given than is contained in the following para-


graph from one of the war-letters issued by the Administration
Department at Nela to all Departments and Divisions:

"The allies will win this war, but how soon they will
win will depend upon the amount of effort which is put into
winning and that, in turn, depends upon the effort of each
one of us. We are likely to think of the small amount which
each one can accomplish and forget the great force which
results from combined effort."

May the same spirit of co-operation for the common
good, which animated America in the world-struggle, be
found in her homes and her industries forever!




The story of the part played l>y

employees of the National Lamp Works

who were directly associated with the

Military or Naval establishments of

the United States or her allies

during the Work! War.

The Parting of General Pershing and Marshal Foch

American Doughboy Band Playing Yankee Airs in Pans

Theodore Roosevelt Chas. K. Hughes Adjutant Gen. Sherrill
Rear Admiral Usher General Hovle Admiral Gleaves

New York Bids Godspeed to the yist Regiment



A complete history of the World War would have to
do justice to the mightiest and most appalling efforts ever
made by man in the organized destruction of life and property;
it should also describe fully the unprecedented efforts at
war-relief made by nurses, surgeons, and supporting organ-
izations. No man, were he to live a million years, could write
down every detail of heroism. We have here attempted merely
to rough-sketch the part which the men and women of the
National Lamp Works played in the gigantic struggle.

Our personal conceptions of the war vary. To some of
us it took on a sordid aspect, for we personally participated
in battles and skirmishes and were eyewitnesses of much
that was revolting and brutal. To other of us, it was merely
a period of conscientious endeavor, for we were far from the
scenes of death and devastation. Yet even we were a part
of the vast war-machine that made a victorious culmination
possible, and to every one of us it was a time fluctuating
with moments of intense anxiety, outbursting waves of pa-
triotism and solemn obligation to duty.

The National's obligation was large, and in no finer
way is the richness of her contribution manifested than in
the fact that from her doors five hundred and ninety-seven
men and women went out to offer themselves in the armed
forces of trie land, sea and air; in the service of the American
Red Cross and in miscellaneous civilian branches of govern-
ment war service.

According to our best information, four hundred and
sixty-six National men were directly associated with the
military establishment of the United States, while eight
enlisted in the armies of our allies. The Navy and Naval
Reserves drew eighty-three, the "devil-dog" Marines enlisted
seven, while twenty-eight showed their preference for the
"ethereal regions" by serving the air forces. To help
fill the need which their country had for relief workers, five
women enlisted in the ranks of the American Red Cross, all

14 'I'n E N PHI \\OKI ,i) \\'M<

of them serving overseas. Mention should he made here, also,
of those who enlisted in technical units of the army, doing
experimental research and production work, such as was done
in the Chemical Warfare Service (Development Division).
The accomplishments of these men, together with a complete
account of the various facilities placed at their disposal by
the National organization, are separately treated in Part II,
pages 167 to 227.

At home, too, was radiated the spirit of service, for those
employees to whom was denied the privilege of serving directly
in the military establishment, gave themselves readily and
unselfishly to auxiliary work. The story of the relief work
is told in Part III, pages 301 to 336 of this volume, while the
National's activities in Liberty Loan drives and other fund-
raising campaigns are related in Part IV, pages 339 to 364.

Figures are sometimes more interesting than words.
It is pleasing to note that of the five hundred and ninety-
seven National men and women in the service, fully 43%
were .detailed to overseas. The branches of the National
which reported the largest number of men going overseas
were the Ohio Division, Warren, Ohio, and the Engineering
Department, Nela Park. Twenty-three men from Ohio
Division sent in reports for this book, of whom fourteen,
or 57%, had served overseas, one being in the American
Army of Occupation. The Engineering Department, with
thirty-three men reporting, had sixteen, or 48%, who had
either been overseas or were stationed in foreign waters.
Other divisions or departments which had several men
across were the Niles Glass Works with twelve, the Lamp
Equipment Division with eight and the Operating De-
partment with eleven. Upon the signing of the armistice,
twelve National boys marched with the Allied Armies of
Occupation into Germany.

Twenty National To the weary soldier the sound of taps

Lads Make the means the close of a day well spent and

Supreme Sacrifice the approach of a promising tomorrow.

But for twenty National men in service,

taps marked the approach of their last day on earth. Seven
of these lads made the supreme sacrifice on the field of battle,
three died from the effect of wounds, two met accidental death,
while eight died from natural causes in the camp hospitals


in this country or abroad. The National organization feels
a solemn pride in the twenty gold stars in its service flag, for
they were men who served their employers dependably in
everyday life and their country faithfully in time of war. The
list of those who gave their all while in the service follows. The
service records of these men can be found by turning to the
pages indicated.

1. John Stewart Allen, from wounds, October i2th, 1918.
Returned Lamp Inspection Department. See page 25.

2. Enoch Edward Brooks, pneumonia, April 3rd, 1918,
Camp Merritt, New Jersey. Niles Glass Division. Page 73.

3. George Charles Clancy, in action, October 9th, 1918.
Euclid Glass Division. Page 76.

4. Robert Temple Coughlin, accidental, October I7th, 1917,
Camp Sheridan. Cleveland Wire Division. Page 76.

5. James Wilbur Doll, pneumonia, November loth, 1918,
in France. Loudon Glass Division. Page 63.

6. Jesse Sales Gardner, bronchial pneumonia, October 7th,
1918. Ohio Division. Page 58.

7. Clarence Hammell, in action, September 26th, 1918.
Oakland Mazda Lamp Division. Page 60.

8. Edward Franklin Hartman, influenza, October I2th,
1918, at Belmont Road Military Hospital, Liverpool,
England. St. Louis Mazda Lamp Division. Page 94.

9. Datzel Frederick Hitchcock, accidental, December 7th,
1918, at sea. Engineering Department. Page 112.

10. Joseph Raymond Ingram, pneumonia, October 2nd,
1918. Camp Sherman. Loudon Glass Division. Page 100.

11. Francis Lee Judd, in French Hospital, December i7th,
1918. Oakland Mazda Lamp Division. Page 60.

12. Frank Joseph Kearney, in action, September i2th, 1918.
Niles Glass Division. Page 71. * 4

13. Noble Calvin Lintz, in action, July 2ist, 1918. Detroit
Miniature Lamp Division. Page 75.

14. Michael O'Donnell, in action, date unknown. Operating
Department. Page 21.

15. Leslie Willard Parker, influenza, November 2gth, 1918,
at Cleveland Marine Hospital. Minnesota Mazda Lamp
Division. Page 119.

16. Harry Edward Peffer, in action, July i4th, 1918. Niles
Glass Division. Page 68.


17. James Edward Sullivan, pneumonia, October gth, 1918,
Camp Sherman. Niles Glass Division. Page 62.

1 8. Ray Leland Swartz, in action, September 29th, 1918.
Ohio Division. Page 55.

19. Harmon Edward Whiteman, from wounds, November
8th, 1918. Niles Glass Division. Page 64.

20. William A. Wilcox, pneumonia, December, 1918. Euclid
Glass Division. Page 77.

Another death which occurred among National's service
men was that of Lewis Comiskey of the Ivanhoe-Regent
Works. Although the end came after Mr. Comiskey was
discharged from the army, we feel that since he had been
out of military life such a short time mention should be made
of him at this point. His service record will be found on page 52.

" Though love repine, and reason chafe,

There came a voice without reply,
' ' Tis man's perdition to be safe

When for the truth he ought to die.' "

Battle The story of the National's heroes would not be

Scarred complete without special mention of those who
Veterans were wounded or gassed while exposed to enemy
fire. More detailed information as to the degree
of their injuries can be learned by referring to the pages
indicated. This list would undoubtedly have been much
longer had every man filed a complete record of his service.

1. Harry E. Baldauf, Euclid Glass Division. Page 60.

2. James Burns, Niles Glass Division. Page 73.

3. Joseph Cardinale, Providence Base Works. Page 81.

4. Fred Colcord, Oakland Mazda. Page 93.

5. Leroy C. Doane, Ivanhoe-Regent Works. Page 41.

6. Nicholas V. Duff, Returned Lamp Inspection Depart-
ment. Page 24.

7. Roy H. Evans, Miniature Lamp Sales Department.
Page 23.

8. Carmelo Fotte, Providence Base Works. Page 72.

9. Arthur D. Gibbs, Niles Glass Division. Page 71.
10. Fred S. Gregory, Ohio Division. Page 56.

n. Roger F. Hartman, Puritan Refilled Lamp Division.
Page 86.

12. George B. Hayman, Cleveland Miniature Lamp Divi-
sion. Page 59.


13. William G. Hilling, Cleveland Wire Division. Page 73.

14. Herbert C. Masonbrink, Lamp Equipment Division.
Page 74.

15. Joseph S. Merrick, Loudon Glass Division. Page 69.

1 6. George M. Nibeck, Euclid Glass Division. Page 61.

17. William McLure Rosborough, Shelby Lamp Division.
Page 47.

1 8. William Ross, Credit Department. Page 27.

19. T. Harold Sankey, Operating Department. Page 21.

20. Francis J. Savage, Nela Press. Page 27.

21. David Stambler, Puritan Refilled Lamp Division. Page 55.

22. William F. Steinhurst, Loudon Glass Division. Page 69.

23. Frank C. Williams, Youngstown Mazda Lamp Division.
Page 99.

There were among National's service men four on whose
breasts were pinned medals awarded by the .United States
Government, or the governments of our allies, for heroism
on the field of battle or exceptional services rendered in in-
dustry during the Great War. These four include Nicholas V.
Duflf of the Returned Lamp Inspection Department (see
page 24), who was awarded the French Distinguished Service
Medal for bravery in the Argonne drive; David Stambler
of the Puritan Refilled Division (mentioned further on page
55), the Croix de Guerre for meritorious service at Chateau-
Thierry; Horace W. Beck, Jr. of the Columbia Lamp Divi-
sion, whose service record will be found on page 54, the Croix
de Guerre, and Colonel F. M. Dorsey of the Lamp Develop-
ment Laboratory, the Distinguished Service Cross for work
done as Chief of the Development Division of the Chemical
Warfare Service. Besides these men Walter Sturrock of the
Engineering Department, referred to on page 126, was cited
by General Pershing for "exceptionally meritorious and
conspicuous services."

Service In fulfilling their duties "National" men saw service
in Many in many different countries and territories. From
Climes within the borders of their own land they went
to serve in the trenches along the frontiers of
France, in ravished Belgium, along the shores of the Mediter-
ranean and in the hills of sunny Italy. Some traveled among
the foothills of the snow-peaked Alps, others journeyed to


little Serbia or crossed the Pacific to the balmy islands of
Hawaii. Many did duty in the North Sea, while in the Dardan-
elles, too, were National representatives. Six listed themselves
in the Canadian Army and served with the daring which was
characteristic of that splendid body. One served with the
British, while one allied himself with the plucky Serbians
against the common foe.

In going over the data available for this volume it was
found that the National was represented in thirty-six Amer-
ican Army Divisions, and in the American Lafayette Esca-
drille (aviation). Among the overseas combatant divisions
which contained lads from the National Lamp Works were
the ist, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th, joth,
3 ist, 32nd, 33rd, 35th, 37th, 4 2nd, 77th, 78th, 79th, 8ist,
82nd, 84th, 86th, 87th, 88th, 89th, and 9 ist. The overseas
depot divisions, 4ist, 76th and 83rd, were well represented,
as were also the nth, I2th, i4th, i6th, and 2oth divisions,
which were in training in the United States when the armistice
was signed.

Several of the above mentioned overseas combatant divi-
sions were particularly active, the ist taking part in the Mont-
didier-Noyon defensive and the offensives of Aisne-Marne,
St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne; the 2nd Division partici-
pated in the same three offensives and in the defense of Aisne.
The 26th took a prominent part in the three major drives
just mentioned; the 28th Division, besides being instrumental
in the defense of Aisne was active at Aisne-Marne, Oise-Aisne
and Meuse-Argonne, while the 37th Division, which contained
more National men than any other army division, aided
in the offensives of Meuse-Argonne, Ypres-Lys and St. Mihiel.
The deeds of the other divisions are just as worthy of note,
for it cannot be said that the men of any one division were
more capable or more deserving of praise than the lads of
any other. All played the part allotted to them nobly and had
the opportunity presented itself the Yanks who never aimed
a rifle at a Hun would have rendered an account just as
brilliant as did those who were marched to the front lines.

In narrating the experiences of National men we have
deemed it advisable to separate the Army, Navy and Air
Forces. Under each of these headings the National is taken
up by the following sections:



The darkest areas

are those most

often fought over

by the Allies.

10 10 M






by Courtesy of



1. General Offices and Laboratories.

2. Sales Divisions.

3. Manufacturing Divisions.

The purpose of the Military Service Chapter of this vol-
ume has been to describe the war service rendered by men
and women who were in the employ of the National Lamp
Works at the time of entering service. Information was solicited
from these persons only. However, as a few men, who were
not employed by the National organization until after their
return to civilian life, voluntarily contributed the record
of their experiences, we have been glad to interweave their
stories among the rest.

One naturally wishes that every fellow in khaki, blue
or kilts had engaged an expert photographer to accompany
him in the service, so that we might be well supplied with
photos, both personal and landscape. But as Uncle Sam's
Army Rules decreed that all photographic paraphernalia
should be left at home we are consequently made to suffer.
Many men were fortunate enough to secure casual snapshots
of themselves but in some cases these pictures were not clear
enough to be reproduced in an engraving. This will account
for the omission of a few of the prints which our friends were
kind enough to submit for this volume.

Some of the photographs reproduced in this volume were,
as will be noted by the captions, supplied by National Lamp
men and women who were in service, or had relatives "over
there." A majority of the remaining photographs of general
interest are from Underwood and Underwood, New York.

W. Carroll Keenan
William Allsopp
Myron J. Bechhold

Horace M. Hitch
Crawford G. Nixon
George H. Smith

Wilbur M. Johnson
Frank J. Wishon
Cormine Dipietro

Carl C. Walker
John Komick
Herschel R. Gilbert
Roy H. Evans

Bradford Whiting
Charles C. Linerode
John S. Allen
Walter L. Warren

Charles E. Savage
PhiHp Cress
Louis B. Allen
Nicholas V. Duff




The Infantry asserted itself among the General Offices
and Laboratories as the greatest employer of men. Approxi-
mately 19% of those entering service from this section of
the National were in infantry regiments of the Regular or
National Armies. Among these Robert F. Baker of the Engi-
neering Department had a unique experience, for he informs
us that he enlisted three times. We observe, however, that
he was discharged but once. Bob's first duty was along the
Mexican border in 1916, and when war broke out with Germany
he re-enlisted as a private in the i45th Infantry of the 37th
Division, stationed at Camp Sheridan. His overseas partici-
pation consisted of nine months' service, engaged in holding
sectors at Baccarat, St. Mihiel and Avocourt and in the
Meuse-Argonne and the two Ypres-Lys offensives. He was
discharged May 8th, 1919, with the rank of first lieutenant.

The Operating Department was represented in the
Infantry by several men, six of whom were across. Among
them was W. Carroll Keenan, a member of Company C of
the 33 ist Infantry, 83rd Division, which trained at Camp
Sherman. "Cal" was overseas for eight months, stationed
at Le Havre, Montargis, La Suze, Noyon, Chemire, Bourdons,
Le Mans, Brest and several other places. He was discharged
February 8th, 1919, and returned to Nela. Walter R. Mattern
was also with the 33ist Regiment and had a similar service
record, while T. Harold Sankey was drafted October 2nd,
1917, and sent to Camp Sherman. He was assigned to Company
M of the 23rd Infantry and later transferred to Camp Pike,
Arkansas. Sankey arrived in France July 7th and on October
2nd, while participating in the action along the Champagne
Front, between Rheims and Verdun, fell into a shell-hole and
suffered injuries to his back and left knee. Upon discharge from
service, Sankey returned to the Operating Department.

Among those making the supreme sacrifice was Michael
O'Donnell, who was employed by the Operating Department
as a laborer. He was inducted September i8th, 1917, and


assigned to Company K, Jjist Infantry. After training at
Camp Sherman he was sent overseas in December, 1917. We
were unable to learn the details of his death, except that he
died a soldier and a hero on the field of battle.

Brothers Laurence Rossington of the Publicity Department,
From hailing originally from Blighty, couldn't resist

Blighty the call from across the Lake, and on August 26,
1916, joined the 2415! Battalion of the Canadian
Scottish Borderers. He was later transferred to the 48th
Highlanders. Laurence's army training was received at Wind-
sor, Ontario, Canada, and West Sandling and Witley, England.
He also saw service in France but, being sworn to secrecy
by the Canadian Government, he refused to discuss any of
his personal experiences. Rossington upon receiving his dis-
charge July nth, 1919, was employed by the Engineering

Laurence's brother Wallace, of the Large Lamp Sales
Department, who termed himself the "Pocket Hercules"
with his 106 pounds avoirdupois, enlisted May 2ist, 1917,
in the 4th Divisional Signal Company of the Canadian Army
and was transferred to the 2nd Eastern Ontario Infantry
Regiment, and still later to the Royal Canadian Engineers.
Wallace was more talkative than his brother, and told the
following story on himself. Going on sick call one day, he
was asked by the medical officer, who Wallace admits was a
fine veterinary surgeon, what his physical trouble was. Upon
getting this information, the officer exclaimed, "But, my man,

Online LibraryNational Lamp WorksThe National in the world war : April 6, 1917-November 11, 1918 → online text (page 1 of 37)