Trenton Industries Ltd.

Building the MK. XIX Twin Mount for 4inch Naval Guns


Trenton Industries Limited was established as a subsidiary of the Nova Scotia Steel and Coal Company during the Second World War.

There was an immediate demand for machine shops and heavy equipment and they were quickly installed. They were financed through the Federal Treasury in Ottawa.

Trenton Industries wartime job was the assembly of Twin Mount High Angle manually operated 4” guns for the Royal Navy, which covered a wide variety of machining and fitting operations which had to be carried out to the customary precision limits required for this class of equipment. This presented more than usual difficulties at the plant of Trenton Industries Ltd. as there was no work of this particular type carried on normally in the locality. It was necessary therefore to form the main body of workers from practically unskilled labour and to train them as rapidly as possible into highly skilled operators. So in the spring of 1941 the first men were registered at the Nova Scotia Technical College. Lincoln Rose states: "The training school had been set up in the planning mill of the woodshop of the Car Works. The men were trained on very old lathes, shapers and other machines and were instructed in the use of files, cold chisels and other tools in the machinist trade. Considerable class room instruction was carried out also. The Gun Shop at this time was just being built and none of the machinery was in operation as there were no bases or floors in the shop."

James MacKenzie states: “The machines in the gun mounting shop were mounted on thick bases, that is the larger ones, and the top of these were flush were the finished concrete floor, except for the motor generators for the planers which were projected up about a foot. The smaller machines were just set on the floor and bolted to it. The planer miller, the largest machine had a base like a small basement. It was hollow in the center – the only base like that.”


War Emergency Training Programme