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Explosive Licenses

Federal Explosives Act Records, 1942-1945

Description: The Federal Explosives Act passes into law on December 26, 1941. It falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines. Through applications and licenses, the bill seeks to manage and to account for the handling of explosives in the United States during wartime and states of national emergency.

Five classes of licenses are developed: Manufacturer’s; Vendor’s; Purchaser’s; Foreman’s; and Analyst’s, Educator’s, Inventor’s and Investigator’s. Applicants have to be 21 years old (except in certain cases for Purchaser’s licenses), to have a good reputation, and cannot be of Japanese or German nationality. Licenses are valid for one year.

On the county level, licensing agents are appointed to handle Vendor’s, Purchaser’s, and Foreman’s applications and licenses. For York County, those agents are David P. King and Roy O. McLaughlin.

Our holdings are mainly comprised of David P. King’s records. Those entries associated with Roy O. McLaughlin are almost solely contained in the indexes.

Monthly Reports

Name/Company, Application Number, License Number, License Class, Address, Occupation, Date


Individuals provide personal information such as name, address, phone number, and status of citizenship. Businesses give basic company information and also the addresses and nationalities of officers, directors, and controlling stockholders. Both individuals and businesses need to account for why they need explosives and what will happen to the product once it is acquired.


Name/Company, Application Number, License Number, License Class, Licensing Agent, Date

Miscellaneous Records
Legislation, regulations, instructions, correspondences, blank forms


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