Wanda Stauffer, factory worker

09 Aug
My grandmother, Wanda Stauffer who is now 93 years young. During World War Two, she lived in Middleburgh, New York. In the summer of 1945, she applied for a job at a Beechnut factory for gum 50 miles away. This factory was converted by the U.S. government to produce materials for the war effort with mica. Mica is a kind of rock with electrical properties and during the war, was a key component for radio parts like vacuum tubes and condensers and also for radar. Mrs. Stauffer's job was to shift through piles of mica with her fingers and divide them by weight or thickness.

"Many people and I were driven by bus to the Beechnut factory early in the morning. We had scales for weighing the mica but after a couple weeks working there, I could tell just by picking one up and feeling the thickness of it. I made a few friends while I was there but I was not able to keep in touch with them, after the war ended, the factory was refitted back for gum and we went back to our schools or colleges."

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