When the U.S. entered World War II in 1941, thousands of companies quickly shifted their operations to manufacture supplies for the military; among them was Wood-Mosaic Co. Inc., a now-defunct hardwood flooring manufacturer based in Louisville, Ky.
While companies such as General Motors began producing airplane engines, guns and tanks at an unprecedented pace, Wood-Mosaic, founded in 1883, converted its mill to manufacture gunstocks and veneers for aircrafts.
In Library of Congress images dated June 1942, workers can be seen cutting, stacking and drying gunstocks, as well as making plywood panels via hydraulic pressure in the flooring mill.
By the end of the war, Wood-Mosaic would be among a relatively small number of companies to have earned the Army-Navy “E” Award, a special recognition to encourage speedy production from companies aiding the war effort, according to The Encyclopedia of Louisville. Wood-Mosaic was awarded eight of them.
The company closed in 1985.
View more vintage photos of the mill in the Library of Congress online archives here.