Deposit N121 - J L Knight papers

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J L Knight papers


  • 1903 - 1986 (Creation)

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1.7 m

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Name of creator

(1912 - 1988)

Biographical history

John Langford (Jack) Knight was born on 25 August 1912 at Cressy, Victoria. Knight completed a Masters Degree in Chemistry at the University of Melbourne in 1933. In August 1933 he became a chemist with Nobel (Australasia) Pty Ltd at Deer Park, Victoria. In October 1936 he joined the Department of Defence at the Explosives Factory, Maribyrnong, where he was placed in charge of propellant production. In October 1941 Knight was transferred to the directorate of explosives supply, Department of Munitions. He travelled to North America as part of an explosives mission from November 1941 to May 1942. He was Assistant Manager of a new explosives factory in Mulwala, New South Wales from 1942 to 1945. After the war he returned to Central Administration as assistant to the Consultant on Explosives, Arthur E Leighton. In 1947 he also served as secretary and executive officer of the Explosives Committee. In 1949-1951 he was explosives and chemical engineering representative for the Department of Supply and Development in Britain. Knight was an assistant-manager of the Maribyrnong factory in 1952-1954; manager of the Explosives Factory, Albion, in 1954-1956; and chief chemical engineer in the explosives branch in 1957-1958. Joining the Department of Supply in 1958 he was controller, explosives supply (later explosives and ammunition supply) until 1967, and deputy-controller of munitions supply, in Canberra, in 1967-1976. He was chairman of the Operational Safety Committee in 1958-1976. After his retirement in 1976 Knight became a consultant and undertook research on the history of explosives in Australia. He died at Blackburn, Victoria on 22 January 1988.

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Scope and content

Research papers on the munitions industry in Australia, 1897–1985, and for Knight's unpublished history of the industry, Explosives in Australia; professional papers of J L Knight including addresses, reports, notes and notebooks, correspondence, maps, photographs, printed material, Quadripartite Ammunition Conference papers, 1968-1984; material relating to the proposed arsenal at Tuggeranong, ACT; and papers of A E Leighton, 1903 -1956.


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Dates of creation revision deletion

Entered from deposit description on 22 September 2011




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