For this week’s Throwback Thursday, and to continue our little Veterans Day remembrance, we take a trip back to August 24th, 1944 for the presentation of the Army-Navy Production ‘E’ Award to the Epstein designed and engineered Indiana Steel Products Manufacturing Facility in Valparaiso, Indiana. Back in ’44 Indiana Steel was the world’s largest manufacturer of permanent magnets which were used as component parts of a wide variety of products manufactured by others, including telephones, television and radio speakers, radar, electronic computers, and many types of ordnance and military equipment. And since World War II was in full-swing in August ’44, this particular plant was called upon both the US Army and Navy to produce more of these precious magnets.
As a recipient of the Army-Navy Production Award Indiana Steel Products was given a special Army-Navy ‘E’ flag to fly above their plant and every member of the Indiana Steel production team, including the architects and engineers of Epstein, was given a lapel pin to wear with honor. The ‘E’ stands for Excellence, specifically for outstanding performance in engineering and communications, and during World War II it was one of the highest military honors bestowed upon the private sector. The Army and Navy, in the program for this award, stated that this honor serves as, ‘tribute to the unbeatable American Spirit which can be satisfied only by achieving today what yesterday seemed impossible.’ High praise indeed!
Here are some photos from the Production Award ceremony.
Lastly, Indiana Steel was one of three Epstein designed and engineering facilities that received this coveted Army-Navy ‘E’ award during the early 40s including The Independent Pneumatic Tool Company in Aurora, Illinois and the Fansteel Metallurgical Corporation in North Chicago, Illinois.