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Perry Point in Cecil County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The War Effort at Home: Perry Point Ammonium Nitrate Plant

Perry Point Village

 
 
The War Effort at Home: Perry Point Ammonium Nitrate Plant Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), October 30, 2021
1. The War Effort at Home: Perry Point Ammonium Nitrate Plant Marker
Inscription.  
In 1918, the United States purchased Perry Point as the proposed site for an ammonium nitrate plant to assist in the war effort. The federal government signed a contract with the Atlas Powder Company on February 1, 1918 to oversee construction and operations of the plant and associated buildings. The proposed plant cost $6 million ($96 million in 2018), and together with housing and entertainment for employees, numbered some 280 buildings.

Ground was broken at Perry Point on March 3, 1918, and the plant began ammonium nitrate production operations on July 5, 1918. 8,000 people worked around the clock to construct this large project in such a short timeframe.

When opened, the Perry Point plant was the largest operational ammonium nitrate plant in the world with a production capacity of 300 tons daily. The plant's capacity was nearly double that of the entire American chemical industry in 1918. The plant operated through the winter of 1918 when production was halted following the declaration of armistice on November 11th.

What is ammonium nitrate?
Ammonium nitrate is a chemical compound
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that was utilized in the production of military explosives, including mines and artillery shells.

Why Perry Point?
Perry Point was chosen for its strategic location along the high speed Pennsylvania Railroad line connecting Philadelphia and Washington, DC, as well as its accessibility to the Chesapeake Bay and Susquehanna River. With the land already cleared for farming, Perry Point was ideal for hasty construction.

 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceRailroads & StreetcarsWar, World I. In addition, it is included in the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) series list. A significant historical date for this entry is February 1, 1918.
 
Location. 39° 33.216′ N, 76° 4.446′ W. Marker is in Perry Point, Maryland, in Cecil County. Marker is at the intersection of 3rd Street and Avenue A, on the left when traveling east on 3rd Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1085 3rd St, Perry Point MD 21902, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A New Town along the Susquehanna (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Building the Company Town (about 700 feet away); Count de Rochambeau’s Troops (approx. 0.3 miles away); Revered Son (approx. 0.3 miles away); Perryville (approx.
The War Effort at Home: Perry Point Ammonium Nitrate Plant Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), October 30, 2021
2. The War Effort at Home: Perry Point Ammonium Nitrate Plant Marker
0.3 miles away); Historic Rodgers Tavern (approx. 0.3 miles away); Rodgers Tavern (approx. 0.3 miles away); Old Post Road - Lower Susquehanna Ferry - Rodgers' Tavern (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Perry Point.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 31, 2021. It was originally submitted on October 31, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 258 times since then and 15 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 31, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Feb. 29, 2024