From 1914 to 1918 the world was plunged into the First World War, influencing almost every aspect of the lives of Canadians. The war effort became of the highest importance and many local factories stopped producing consumer goods to focus instead on munitions and war supplies. There was little time to focus on innovation.
In North America the 1920s became the decade of the motor. More and more people, especially farmers, were investing in motorized vehicles and Canada quickly became a major exporter of vehicle parts. Waterloo Region contributed to this through innovations such as the Wil-tel low oil warning light on vehicle dashboards and a new rubber producing process that increased the life of tires by five years.