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On Munitions: Skilled Work

HARTRICK, Archibald Standish (1864 - 1950)

On Munitions: Skilled Work - A. S. Hartrick
On Munitions: Skilled Work - A. S. Hartrick
On Munitions: Skilled Work

Date: 1917

Media: lithograph on paper

Acquired: 1919; Presented by Ministry of Information

Accession Number: NWM A 13209

Collection: The Great War: Britain's Efforts and Ideals

In response to a shortage of ammunition, many local industries were converted for the production of armaments.  In Wales, The Briton Ferry Engineering Works were the first to begin production of shells in south Wales.  The biggest munitions factory in south Wales was at Pembrey, Carmarthenshire.  In north Wales government controlled factories were established at Caernarfon, Porthmadog and Wrexham.  Due to a shortage of men, many factories employed women on the workforce. 

These prints record the vital contribution made by women as part of the war effort. When more men were required for fighting in 1915, there was a call to women to 'do their bit'. In taking on jobs in areas traditionally reserved for men the female workforce raised levels of production both in factories and fields. Although much of the work was both arduous and dangerous, the war allowed many women an unprecedented degree of freedom, and an opportunity to demonstrate their abilities in previously male-dominated spheres. Hartrick was sent to make studies on the spot, and many of the compositions seem deliberately posed - as propaganda images they give no indication of the hardships and hazards that women faced on a daily basis.

The artist and illustrator Hartrick was born in India and brought up in Scotland. He first studied medicine, before attending the Slade School in London, and art schools in Paris, exhibiting in the 1887 Paris Salon. In 1909 he became a founding member of the Senefelder Club. He also turned to teaching the method, writing an instruction book on Lithography As A Fine Art in 1932. 

This work forms part of the portfolio The Great War: Britain's Efforts and Ideals, a series of 66 lithographic prints commissioned by the Ministry of Information in 1917. The series provide a broad and fascinating representation of Britain’s war objectives, military activities and effort on the Home Front.
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