Image Operating lend-lease machines, 1940s

TLF ID M008806

This is a black-and-white photograph showing two men and a woman working on various industrial machines during World War II. The photograph is in the collection of the US Library of Congress and its caption reads: 'Melbourne, Australia. Beaufort torpedo bomber turret sub-assembly plant. Workmen operating an automatic tool machine. Ninety-five per cent of the machinery in this plant was imported under the lend lease program'.




Educational details

Educational value
  • This photograph is a useful primary source for studies of modern history in years 11-12 and for a World War II depth study in year 10 history. The depth study calls for an examination of significant events in the course of the war, the consequences of the war on the Australian home front and its significance for Australia's international relationships. The background and context of this resource are relevant for all three aspects.
  • Lend-lease was an aid program through which the USA provided its allies with the equipment and services they needed in the war against Germany, Italy and Japan. Its introduction in March 1941 at a time when the USA was not yet a combatant was one of the most significant events of the war. Australia was not only a recipient of lend-lease aid but also a provider of aid to the US military under a reciprocal program known as reverse lend-lease.
  • World War II galvanised Australia's industrial production and, as seen here, women were needed to work in the factories. Manufacture of the Beaufort reconnaissance-strike bomber from 1941 to 1944 was the biggest single industrial program Australia had undertaken up to that time. A workforce of 23,800 people was required to produce the aircraft and it has been estimated that between 33 and 44 per cent were women.
  • Lend-lease imports to Australia were concentrated in those areas of defence supplies where Australia was most deficient. These included industrial equipment and metals. As well as the 95 per cent of all machinery referred to in the caption, almost all the metal and most of the hand tools used in the Fishermans Bend factory were supplied under lend-lease. By the end of the war, Australia had received lend-lease industrial equipment and metals worth $218.7 million.
Learning area
  • History
  • Studies of society and environment

Other details

Contributors
  • Contributor
  • Name: The Library of Congress
  • Organization: The Library of Congress
  • Description: content provider
  • Address: UNITED STATES
  • URL: http://www.loc.gov/
  • Publisher
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organization: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Description: Publisher
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
  • URL: http://www.esa.edu.au/
  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • URL: www.esa.edu.au
Access profile
  • Generic
Learning Resource Type
  • Image
Rights
  • © Commonwealth of Australia, 2011, except where indicated otherwise. You may copy, communicate and modify this material for non-commercial educational purposes provided you retain all acknowledgements associated with the material.