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A Tribute to Veteran's Day

Updated: Apr 17


Veteran’s Day is an important celebration in the United States, as well as in our small business, Obsidian Manufacturing Industries. Our brand, Arter Precision Grinding Machines, played an important role in industrialization during World War II, and we hold great pride in the accomplishments and contributions made.

The Army-Navy “E” Award, also known as the Army-Navy Production Award, was an award only eligible to factories who were engaged in war production. The award itself was created under the Theodore Roosevelt administration in the early 1900’s and continued until about three months post war.

The criteria for the award was very general; Contractors, Governments factories, as well as privately owned plants were eligible for the award. There were six major factors when it came to winning the award which included a good record keeping (relation in health & safety), training of additional labor forces, maintaining fair labor standards, the avoidance of work stoppages, overcoming of obstacles, and most importantly, the quality & quantity of production.

The nominees for the Army-Navy “E” Award were recommended by Commanding Officers, agencies concerned with production, District procurement officers, and chiefs of supply services. The nominations for the award were the responsibility of the Technical Services of Army Service Forces, the Army Air Forces, the Bureaus of the Navy Department, the Coast Guard or the Marine Corps ( The assigned award board would then decide on the winner of the award by discussing the recommendations provided by the given party.

How does our brand, Arter Precision Grinding Machines, tie into this important award?

After successfully completing his education, William Arter began his career in while still in England at the Lancaster & Yorkshire Railway. He paved a path and learned the railroad industry through and through before moving to Massachusetts for better career opportunities. While working at Heald Machine Company, the vision and potential of the surface grinder set a mission for Arter. He knew that he could produce great machinery himself.

He then worked on his own model and perfected it in 1915, ending in multiple sales and a long-lasting product guarantee. With his great success in multiple patented machines, surface grinders were the highest in demand. In 1924, Arter purchased the Massachusetts company, renaming it Arter Grinding Machine Company.

During the mid-1930’s, though efforts were being made to create new versions of surface grinding and other machinery, the beginning of World War II began causing a great need of war production within the manufacturing field in the United States. All future models being worked on were paused and all efforts were made towards creating the selected surface grinder model A -3 in 12” and 16” sizes only.

Arter’s major efforts in the production of war materials in dire times did not go unrecognized. Arter’s company, Arter Precision Grinding Machines was nominated for the Army-Navy “E” Award. The company held great honor in winning this award shortly after.

During the award ceremony, an Army and Navy officer would usually be present, and the employees specifically involved in war production would gather. The award to the plant would usually be a flag that was proudly flown and the individual employees would receive a pin. During the course of the war, a total of 4,283 plants/companies would receive the award, equally to about 5% of companies involved with war production.

What did these awards look like?

The pennant received by the contributing staff was swallowed tailed, had a white border, and had a capitol E within a yellow wreath of oak and laurel leaves on a vertical divided blue and red background. The Army being represented in the red background and the Navy being represented in the Blue background ( The emblems will have a capitol letter “E” within a wreath of all silver oak and laurel leaves, and horizontal swallowtail wings divided in 5 – red, white, blue, white, and red (

Though the Amy-Navy “E” Award was discontinued three months after the end of World War II, we continue to shine a light on the honor it truly was to receive the award. Arter’s contributions and dedication in producing important war materials necessary during conflicting times in America will never be forgotten.

To conclude, this Veteran’s Day, our team at Obsidian Manufacturing honors and remembers the sacrifices of those who served our country selflessly. We will never forget all of the important contributions that the men and women of this country have made to allow us the freedom that we often take for granted. We genuinely hope you can take the day to reflect and show gratitude towards our veteran's sacrifices.

This blog was originally written by Rebecca Gomez, former Marketing Assistant at Obsidian Manufacturing Industries, Inc.

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