Fridley page 24

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Word From Washington That Plant Will Be Twice As Large As Originally Announced
Production Lines Will Be Two Miles Long; Sixteen of Them 500 Feet Apart Will Be Built

            The production capacity of the Weldon Spring TNT plant has been ordered doubled by War Department officials, R. Newton McDowell announced last night after taking high officials of the War Department, Fraser-Brace Engineer Company, Inc., of New York, the contractors, and the Atlas Powder Company of Wilmington, Del., which operate the plant, on an inspection tour of the 2,000 acre site.
            McDowell said the plant will be doubled in size over the original plans to provide a daily output of 400,000 pounds or 200 tons of TNT and DNT daily. The original production schedule called for 100 tons a day.
            Sixteen production lines, each two miles long, will be built in the center of the area and will be about 500 feet apart, according to the new announcement. Enlargement of the plant will not affect the area but will mean a material increase in the force. The original announcement was that between 8,000 and 10,000 men would be employed at the plant.
            Those in the inspection party were F. W. Maynard and W. T. Penniman, vice-president of the Atlas Powder Company, J. C. Allen, an assistant Chief Engineer, Mr. Erickson, another high Atlas official; Major Brace and Mr. Fraser of the Fraser-Brace Company, Mr. Woodward, and Mr. Englander, chief engineer and general superintendent of the Fraser-Brace Company and Capt. C. R. Dutton of the War Department.
            Capt. Dutton will move to St. Charles to make his home as he will remain here during the construction and operation of the plant. Mr. Englander will also move his family.
            Plans are being made to turn the almost completed Miller grade school into an office for the construction  company. This afternoon Capt. Dutton, McDowell, members of the Howell School Board and representatives of the State Department of Education met at Howell and discussed immediate plans to take care of the 175 students of the Francis Howell High School which is in the plan area.
            Three airplanes will leave Philadelphia Saturday to begin an aerial survey of the 20,000 acre site. Crews of engineers are now enroute here to begin the ground survey. Construction of a railroad spur from the M. K. & T. into the area will begin soon. The spur will run about as far as the junction known as Toonerville.
            McDowell announced that since the awarding of the contract for construction the options have been coming in fast and at the present time more than half of the 20,000 acres have been secured. None of the families have moved yet but the exodus is expected to begin the early part of next week after the definite site in the area for the production plant is designated.