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The optical munitions work undertaken in the Physics Department at the University of Adelaide was headed by Kerr Grant, an original member of the Optical Munitions Panel. The University was given the task of designing and producing spirit level bubbles, which were needed in large quantities.

After a comparatively short time, by amazingly simple methods, bubbles of all types were made in this laboratory. As the method was simple, the bubbles were comparatively cheap, and, at maximum production, the laboratory produced bubbles at a rate of 10,000 per year.(1)

Near the end of the University's war-time work, Kerr Grant asked the South Australian Board of Area Management to help the University establish an annexe to continue the production of bubbles, but this application was refused. As a result, this small industry was discontinued. However, to ensure that the knowledge, methods and techniques developed by the University were not lost, the information was passed on to two industrial firms (one located in Adelaide, the other in Melbourne).

The Physics Laboratory at the University also completed the reconditioning and tropic proofing of over 1,000 binoculars.

(1) J.S. Rogers, The History of the Optical Munitions Panel: July 1940 - December 1946, Australian Archives, Brighton, Melbourne, MP 730/11, Box 3, p. 37.

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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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