Survey of documentation of changes in operations due to wartime conditions at the Thomas Kay woolen Mill, Salem, Oregon During World War I and World War II



This finding aide has been constructed to help assist in the location of documentation related to wartime activities at the Thomas Kay Woolen Mill during World War I and World War II and the Korean War.  Unless otherwise noted these records are from the Thomas Kay Woolen Mill Records Accession (M3 1966-001-0001). Listings below indicate folder number and information found within.


During World War I and World War II the Thomas Kay Woolen Mill was affected by wartime conditions, both in terms of production and working conditions.

Documentation for WWI and Korean War conditions is very limited.

Documentation in the Willamette Heritage Center collections comes mostly from the World War II era (1940-1945).  Because the mill underwent steps to produce blankets used by the military, federal authorities instigated several programs to protect the essential military supply from disruption.  The production was heavily regulated with weekly reports from a federal inspector.  Recommendations about factory safety (especially fire safety and preventative measures to keep flying debris from entering glass windows and anti-sabotage measures like fingerprinting employees, nominating civilian guards, keeping logs on incoming trucks and drivers) were enacted.

The war affected hiring practices, supply of wool and the prices the mill could charge.  Because the mill was creating materials needed for the military, certain employees were exempted from the selective service.

Additionally, the mill also formally supported programs to help the war effort.  Employees could deduct money from their payroll to purchase war savings bonds.  A transportation committee was founded to coordinate carpooling and limit the amount of fuel being used.


O.P.A. – Office of Price Administration

TKWM – Thomas Kay Woolen Mill


WWI Materials

Main Filing Drawer

Folder: Government Contracts

– Corporate resolutions about Government Contracts (1917)

Folder 59.002 Blanket Book July 1914- Feb 1928

Shows records of “Gov. Plainand “No. 7 Army” and “No. 6 T.K. Army” blankets in 1917-1918.

WWII Materials

Main Filing Drawer

Folder: Government Contracts

  • Renegotiated agreement dated 21 January1944
  • Statement by Contractor (3/27/1945)
  • War Contracts Price Adjustment Board “Renegotiation” Pamphlet
  • Executive Summary “Thos. Kay Woolen Mill CO., Salem, Ore. Renegotiation of War Contracts 1940-1941-1942” (dated 8/20/1943)
  • War Production Board Circular
  • Correspondence (re: Reducing Manpower, identification cards, fire protection, fingerprinting, plant guards, list of essential activities, subversive activity, transportation, war Loans).

Folder: Wool Consumption 1941List with Civilian versus Government usage of wool

Folder: National War Labor Board

  • Correspondence OPA.
  • TKWM Quarterly Report for Period July 1 – Sept. 30, 1945
  • War Production Board circulars
  • Instructions for the Use of Form NWLB-10 Application for the approval of a wage salary adjustment and various other forms
  • Wage information

Folder 4.004 – Quartermaster’s Label

Folder 51.001  Personal Indentifcation Cards for staff

Fingerprint and personal information registry for workers at the TKWM

Folder 51.003 US War Savings Bond Applications

Folder 51.005 Manuals and Correspondence

Office of Emergency Management, War Manpower Commission Publications and Circulars:

-Instructions for Preparation of Manning Tables (10/26/1942; 11/25/1942

-Info. concerning Manning Tables

-Instructions for Preparing Replacement Schedule (12/10/1942

Quartermaster Corps Tentative Specifications on Bailing Clothing and Equipage (11/6/1942)

Correspondence with representatives of the Office of Price Administration over prices set for ski clothing (telegrams and letters, 1942-1943)

Conservation Orders (various supplies) (7/4/1942, 3/10/1942

Correspondence with War Production Board

War Department Request for Informal Bids (blank forms)

Office of Price Administration Correspondence about the “rubber situation” (11/12/1942)

OPA Maximum Price Regulation No. 165 – Consumer Service and Temporary Procedural Regulation no. 5 Manual (6/1942)

OPA Procedural Regulation No. 1 – Procedure of the Issuance, Protest and Amendment of Maximum Price Regulations

Memo: Explaining of Amendment No. 16 to the tire rationing regulations (6/19/1942)

Folder 51.007 Office of Price Administration Documents

  • Statement of the Considerations involved in the issuance of maximum price regulation No. 106 – Domestic Shorn Wool
  • Division of Priorities, Office of Production Management

Folder 51.008 Publications

Correspondence from 9th Corps Area Quartermaster regarding safety recommendations related to fire, screening windows, truck logs and id badges (4/14/1942)

Conservation Orders and Amendments on Curtailing the Use of Wool

Civilian Guard Agreements

Affidavit of Occupational Classification (Industrial) Selective Service, blank forms

IRS Circular on Collection of Income Tax at Source on Wages (1943)

War Production Board Instructions and Preference Rating Certificates (4/17/1942

Stamping US on Blankets Instructions and Illustration

Preference Rating Order P-100

51.009 Bond Drive Ledger Sheets (1944)

It appears the mill allowed workers to deduct monies from their payroll withholdings with which to purchase war bonds for the war effort.  This ledger shows cash and payroll contributions of a variety of employees

51.010 U.S. War Bonds-Payroll Deductions Blank Forms

51.011 Quality Reports

Correspondence between War Department Philadelphia Quartermaster Depot and Thomas Kay Woolen Mill, discussing quality of blankets received by depot.  Includes following form reports and documents with TKWM and inspector Charles H. MacTague

-Report of Inspection Sample


-Laboratory Inspection Reports

-Inspector’s weekly report on Factory Inspection

-Swatch of fabric

-Notice of Shipment

-US Maritime Commission Procurement Section Inquiry and Quotation Information Sheet

-US Navy Purchasing Office Request for Tender Forms


-Inspector’s Initial Reports

-Letter about Personnel Security re: investigation of employees (Headquarters Northern Security District of the Ninth Service Command)

-War Production Board Correspondence (Civilian fabric)

Box 51 – Loose

OPA Form No 731.17 – Passenger Car Sharing Information – Plant Transportation Committee Information Card

Folder 58.001-Blanket Book Nov. 28 – Sept 1942

Ledger of blanket production, including army and civilian production rates

Folder 58.002-Blanket Room Inventory June 1932 – Dec 1942

Contains notation of U.S. Army Pieces


Folder 58.003-Army Blanket Reports 1942-1944

Single sheet gives date, style, width of cloth, weight of cloth, number o perfects, rejects, shorts and remnants.

Folder 58.004-Army Blanket Reports Jan 1940- Dec 1941

Single sheet gives date, style, width of cloth, weight of cloth, number o perfects, rejects, shorts and remnants.

Folder 58.005-Army Blanket Reports Feb 1941- April 1942

Contains tag for C.H. MacTague, Inspector with contract information and ledger Giving dates, piece numbers, styles, woven yards, width, number of blankets in the pieces, actuals and remnants.

Folder 58.006-Army Blanket Reports May 1942 – Feb 1943

ledger Giving dates, piece numbers, styles, woven yards, width, number of blankets in the pieces, actuals and remnants.

Folder 58.007-Account Book Blankets Sent to Shipping room 1940-1941

Appears to be inventory of blankets. Mentions U.S. Army Blankets


Folder 58.008-War Production Board Pamphlet (April 1943

General Storage Specifications for Critical and Strategic Materials

Folder 59.001-Blanket Book Jan 1942-Dec 1945

Ledger of blanket production, including army and civilian production rates


Korean War Documentation

Folder 59.003 Invoices

Bill of lading instructions from the NY Quartermasters Procurement Agency with a form date of January 1950. Also some invoices listing Thomas Kay Woolen Mill with Wool Blankets being provided to NYQMPA


View Selected Documents

Blanket Stamping Instructions.  M3 1966-001-0001, Folder 51.008

M3 1966-001-0001, Box 51, loose