Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Women of War

Presenting a salute to the WOW's (Woman Ordanance Workers), of the United States, representing the American women who worked in war factories during World War II, many of whom worked in the manufacturing plants that produced munitions and materiel. These women sometimes took entirely new jobs and many took the jobs of the men, that had gone to join the army.

These color photos from World War II capture an era generally seen only in black and white. Photographers working for the U.S. government's Office of War Information (OWI) made 100's of photographs that depicted life in the United States, at the time. These are some of them:

This girl in a glass house is putting finishing touches on the bombardier nose section of a B-17F navy bomber, Long Beach, Calif. She's one of many capable women workers in the Douglas Aircraft Company plant. Better known as the "Flying Fortress," the B-17F is a later model of the B-17 which distinguished itself in action in the South Pacific, over Germany and elsewhere. It is a long range, high altitude heavy bomber, with a crew of seven to nine men, and with armament sufficient to defend itself on daylight missions. (Photographer: Alfred T. Palmer - October 1942 - Library of Congress)

Painting the American insignia on airplane wings is a job that Mrs. Irma Lee McElroy, a former office worker, does with precision and patriotic zeal. Mrs. McElroy is a civil service employee at the Naval Air Base, Corpus Christi, Texas. Her husband is a flight instructor. (Photographer Howard R. Hollem - August 1942 - Library of Congress)

Woman working on an airplane motor at North American Aviation, Inc., plant in California. (Photographer: Alfred T. Palmer - June 1942 - Library of Congress)

Riveter at work on Consolidated bomber, Consolidated Aircraft Corp., Fort Worth, Texas. (Photographer Howard R. Hollem - October 1942 - Library of Congress) *** See the link for Rosie the Riveter below.

A young woman employee of North American Aviation, Incorporated, working over the landing gear mechanism of a P-51 fighter plane, Inglewood, California. (Photographer: Alfred T. Palmer - October 1942 - Library of Congress)

Operating a hand drill at North American Aviation, Inc., a woman is working in the control surface department assembling a section of the leading edge for the horizontal stabilizer of a plane, Inglewood, California. (Photographer: Alfred T. Palmer - October 1942 - Library of Congress)

Drilling a wing bulkhead for a transport plane at the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation plant, Fort Worth, Texas. (Photographer Howard R. Hollem - October 1942 - Library of Congress)

LINK: Library of Congress
***LINK: Rosie the Riveter on Wikipedia


Major Pepperidge said...

Those are some awesome photos, and look, there's Rosie the Riveter (4th pic)!!

Dave said...

This is a wonderful collection of color photos. No doubt they were posed, but I also have no doubt that these women took their work very seriously when the cameras weren't there. Thanks for all the great Memorial Weekend posts, Richard!

Viewliner Ltd. said...

Thanks for the comments guys. All are appreciated.

Mårten said...

wonderful photos , the captures are so perfect, and clean colors too, I wonder what camera that was used.
I'm a great fan of this site and the tour of a less well-known America, keep up te good work!