What is being created in these images is chain for use as anchor cables on war period merchant ships. James Pritchard in A Bridge of Ships: Canadian Shipbuilding During the Second World War (2011) points out that a Canadian crown plant called Wartime Merchant Shipping, Ltd. was set up on Granville Island. The crown corp purchased a chain creation process called “Electro-Weld” from Pacific Chain and Manufacturing Company (Portland, OR) to supply 144 sets of anchor-chain cable. The process at Granville Island was the same as that employed at the American company’s Seattle plant:
- Steel bar stock was cut, heated, and formed into chain. Photo A shows the steel being formed into chain.
- The support was welded into each link (whether by hand or machine isn’t clear; perhaps it was begun by one process and finished by the other). See Photo B.
- The completed length of chain was stretched out for inspection and testing (and some welding was done at this point, presumably to fix missed areas). See Photo C.
- Completed chain was heat-treated for strength in an oven (steps 3 and 4 may have been reversed). See Photo D.
If you are interested, this video shows a present-day, more automated chain-production process.