Canadian 37 Pattern Large Pack

We seem to have looked at a number of different variations of the 1908/1937 pattern large pack this last year, with Australian and RAF examples being covered. We are looking at the Canadian version today and this is visually very similar to the examples we have looked at before, but in the slightly yellowish shade of webbing often seen on Canadian made webbing and very well constructed:

Turning to the rear is the usual set of buckles and tabs to fasten the L-Straps to the pack:

Interestingly, if we move the buckles to one side we can see the pencil markings used at the factory to ensure the buckles were sewn on in the correct place:

The pack itself was manufactured by Zephyr Loom and Textile and their initials are stamped inside together with the date and the Canadian Army acceptance mark:

Zephyr Loom and Textiles was one of the largest Canadian manufacturers of webbing products, having an extensive factory in Guelph, Ontario. Zephyr Loom and Textile had been founded in 1936 and used the Old Drill Hall on Farquar Street as a factory before the war, however by 1943 the factory had grown significantly and had a number of sub-sections; a warping and weaving plant, two sewing plants and a dedicated weaving plant. The factory produced its fifty millionth item of webbing equipment, a pack, in October of 1943. The factory’s newsletter reported, “Web equipment we have manufactured is now doing yeoman service in all corners of the world and recently the fifty millionth article, a packsack, was completed at Plant 4…To manufacture fifty million articles from web for the armed services has been an outstanding event and marks the passing of one of the most important milestones in the history of our company, which three and a half years ago started in a humble way on huge war contracts with only forty employees.” The factory had a number of different leisure clubs for its workers, ran regular charity drives and had a plant doctor who not only oversaw the general health of the workers, but also organised a regular blood drive. Numbers employed by the company varied, in 1943 they employed 947 employees, of whom 80% were women and they reached a peak staffing of 1200 staff later in the war.

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