Woodbury Bag Loading Plant Employee ID Badge

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Artifacts
Date Posted: 4/4/2016

This employee identification badge belonged to a female worker with employee number 9897 at the MacArthur Brothers Bag Loading Plant in Woodbury, New Jersey, in 1918. The plant was built and operated by the MacArthur Brothers Company. The contracting company, established in 1826, also built Camp Merritt for the United States during World War I. The plant produced smokeless propellant for shells used in World War I, and 4,000 of the 6,500 workers at the plant were women who weighed the powder and sewed the silk bags closed. The women traveled from nearby cities and towns to support the war effort, and lived at the complex in dormitories. The Woodbury plant produced over 1.3 million charges during its operation from June to November of 1918. The expansion of the scale of industry often meant that managers did not know every employee by sight, which created the need for employee identification in large plants, and concerns about espionage heightened this need during wartime.