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...it is believed that a valuable peace-time industry will be built upon the wartime development of optical munitions

Canberra Times, 24 February 1941, p.2.

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A new industry had been created, but could it be sustained?

As the end of the war approached, a government committee was established to examine the future of the wartime industries. Members of the OMP submitted a report recommending the continuation of research in optical glass and the support of the fledgling optical industry. Unfortunately it was decided that the economic opportunities for such an industry were too limited, and it was allowed to wither.

Some remnants remained. The MSL filled an order for five hundred microscopes, supplied to Australian universities. In Hobart, Waterworth continued to manufacture lenses, prisms and some instruments, and Francis Lord established his own successful optical company in Sydney.

More generally, the success of the OMP helped demonstrate the practical value of science to government and the military.

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Published by the Australian Science Archives Project on ASAPWeb, 30 April 1997
Comments or corrections to: Bright Sparcs (bsparcs@asap.unimelb.edu.au)
Prepared by: Denise Sutherland and Elissa Tenkate
Updated by: Elissa Tenkate
Date modified: 19 February 1998

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