Saving half a million dollars for the government would be considered noteworthy under any conditions. Saving this sum, and at the same time obtaining production in quantities that could not be secured from any known source is more remarkable under existing war conditions. I will endeavor to relate, as briefly and clearly as possible, how both these results have been accomplished during the present war.
More than a year before the declaration of war, the Portsmouth navy yard was designated as the manufacturing and supply yard for nearly all navy standard electrical wiring and lighting appliances. Previous to that time these appliances had been obtained from two or three sources, at prices which now seem exorbitant. With the beginning of the war, demands on the Portsmouth yard became so great that no hope could be held out of filling orders in any reasonable time. The capacity of the plant at Portsmouth, and that of all other manufacturers who were familiar with the work, was far from sufficient to meet the vastly increasing needs of the naval service.