Unlocking North Vancouver History

A Riveted Community: North Vancouver’s Wartime Shipbuilding

Time Recording Clock

Time-clock technology had been used since the late 1800s to manage large work forces in factories. As the shipyards expanded during World War II, construction methods changed to assembly-line work. To keep track of its many shift-workers, Burrard Dry Dock had numerous rows of time clocks installed at the yard entrance. Each clock was capable of recording the comings and goings of 150 employees, since the wheel had space for 150 employee numbers. Workers moved through numbered gates to reach the appropriate time clocks. To use them, a worker would move the end of the lever to the hole in the wheel by his employee number. He would then press on the lever until a bell sounded. This meant that the time had been recorded on the paper tape inside the contraption.

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Time clocks identical to this one were used at Burrard Dry Dock and North Van Ship Repairs to manage their sizable work forces.

At Burrard Dry Dock’s south yard, the time clocks were located in the time-clock office, where the male workers entered and left the site.

There were three eight-hour shifts daily when the yard was at the height of its productive capacity during 1942 and 1943.

This particular International Business Machines clock was used at M. & B. King Lumber Company of North Vancouver.

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