Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Seventy Years



SHRAPNEL and mustard gas, muddy trenches shared with rats and vermin, odorous dressing stations thronged with tortured bodies, crowded transports going to oblivion at the whim of unseen torpedoes! Glamorous war! America was thrilled and almost pleasantly horrified by the spectacle of Europe ablaze. Newspaper headline type grew bigger and circulations kept pace. Human tides flowed back and forth along the Marne, over ruins of charming Normandy villages, and at impregnable Verdun. Americans, prating about their neutrality, eagerly plotted on maps the changing fortunes along the Western Front and made scholarly appraisals of the military tactics employed.

Business in America was as usual - better than usual. Arms and munitions plants, overwhelmed with orders, were expanded, creating a vigorous demand for chemists and construction engineers. Machine-tool manufacturers and other branches of the metal trades converted their plants into armament factories. Money was flowing into the country, wages were high, and huge profits were being piled up while Europe impoverished itself and destroyed the best of its manhood. To make possible the payment for the vast quantities of material that were being shipped overseas America and its bankers were loaning huge sums to the Allied governments.


[WPI] [Library] [Contents] [Back] [Forward]

Last Modified: Fri Jul 30 11:15:25 EDT 1999