Monday, April 8, 2013

Wonderful Photos of Women Workers During WWII on Kodachrome Slides

It’s easy to think of soldiers and nurses, ever-present in WWII films, but all the women who took up rugged jobs assembling planes or operating machinery are harder to recall. Here, an interesting gallery from Library of Congress of fascinating color images were made possible with 35mm Kodachrome slides of the women factory workers during the World War II.

These photographs were taken between 1939 and 1944 by specially-chosen photographers provided by the U.S. government, who have been working for the United States Farm Security Administration (FSA) and later the Office of War Information (OWI). Their excellent pictures show the Greatest Generation at its best, in all its strength, beauty and determination.

Women war workers by Alfred Palmer

Riveter at work on Consolidated bomber, Consolidated Aircraft Corp., Fort Worth, Texas by Howard Hollem

One of the girls of Vilter[Manufacturing Co. filing small gun parts, Milwaukee, Wisc. One brother in Coast Guard, one going to Army. by Howard Hollem

C. & N.W. R.R., Mrs. Dorothy Lucke, employed as a wiper at the roundhouse, Clinton, Iowa by Jack Delano

With careful Douglas training, women do accurate electrical assembly and installation work, Douglas Aircraft Company, Long Beach, Calif. by Alfred Palmer

Assembly and Repairs Dept. mechanic Mary Josephine Farley works on a Wright Whirlwind motor, Naval Air Base, Corpus Christi, Texas by Howard Hollem

Beulah Faith, 20, used to be sales clerk in department store, reaming tools for transport on lathe machine, Consolidated Aircraft Corp., Fort Worth, Texas by Howard Hollem

Woman at work on motor, Douglas Aircraft Company, Long Beach, Calif. by Alfred Palmer

Lucile Mazurek, age 29, ex-housewife, husband going into the service. Working on black-out lamps to be used on the gasoline trailers in the Air Force, Heil and Co., Milwaukee, Wisconsin by Howard Hollem

Mary Louise Stepan, 21, used to be a waitress. She has a brother in the air corps. She is working on transport parts in the hand mill, Consolidated Aircraft Corp., Fort Worth, Texas by Howard Hollem

Operating a hand drill at the North American Aviation, Inc., [a] woman is in the control surface department assembling a section of the leading edge for the horizontal stabilizer of a plane by Alfred Palmer

Switch boxes on the firewalls of B-25 bombers are assembled by women workers at North American [Aviation, Inc.]‘s Inglewood, Calif., plant by Alfred Palmer

Oyida Peaks riveting as part of her NYA training to become a mechanic at the Naval Air Base, in the Assembly and Repair Department, Corpus Christi, Texas by Howard Hollem

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 by Howard Hollem

Women workers employed as wipers in the roundhouse having lunch in their rest room, C. & N.W. R.R., Clinton, Iowa by Jack Delano

Mrs. Cora Ann Bowen (left) works as a cowler at the Naval Air Base; Mrs. Eloise J. Ellis is a senior supervisor in the Assembly and Repairs Department, Corpus Christi, Texas by Howard Hollem

Part of the cowling for one of the motors for a B-25 bomber is assembled in the engine department of North American Aviation, Inc.’s Inglewood, Calif., plant by Alfred Palmer

A noontime rest for a full-fledged assembly worker at the Long Beach, Calif., plant of Douglas Aircraft Company. Nacelle parts for a heavy bomber form the background by Alfred Palmer

Women workers install fixtures and assemblies to a tail fuselage section of a B-17F bomber at the Douglas Aircraft Company, Long Beach, Calif. 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 by Alfred Palmer

A girl riveting machine operator at the Douglas Aircraft Company plant joins sections of wing ribs to reinforce the inner wing assemblies of B-17F heavy bombers, Long Beach, Calif. Better known as the “Flying Fortress,” the B-17F bomber 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 by Alfred Palmer

Woman machinist, Douglas Aircraft Company, Long Beach, Calif. by Alfred Palmer

Drilling on a Liberator Bomber, Consolidated Aircraft Corp., Fort Worth, Texas by Howard Hollem


Electronics technician, Goodyear Aircraft Corp., Akron, Ohio by Alfred Palmer

Lathe operator machining parts for transport planes at the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation plant, Fort Worth, Texas by Howard Hollem

Woman working on an airplane motor at North American Aviation, Inc., plant in Calif. by Alfred Palmer

Girl worker at lunch also absorbing California sunshine, Douglas Aircraft Company, Long Beach, Calif. by Alfred Palmer

Women at work on bomber, Douglas Aircraft Company, Long Beach, Calif. by Alfred Palmer

Working with the electric wiring at Douglas Aircraft Company, Long Beach, Calif. by Alfred Palmer

Operating a hand drill at Vultee-Nashville, woman is working on a “Vengeance” dive bomber, Tennessee by Alfred Palmer

Working in the Assembly and Repair Dept. of the Naval Air Base, Corpus Christi, Texas by Howard Hollem

Operating a hand drill at Vultee-Nashville, woman is working on a “Vengeance” dive bomber, Tennessee by Alfred Palmer

Manufacture of self-sealing gas tanks, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., Akron, Ohio by Alfred Palmer

Women are trained to do precise and vital engine installation detail in Douglas Aircraft Company plants, Long Beach, Calif. by Alfred Palmer

War production worker at the Vilter Manufacturing Company making M5 and M7 guns for the U.S. Army, Milwaukee, Wis. Ex-housewife, age 49, now doing bench work on small gun parts. Son is Second Lieutenant, Son-in-law, Captain in Army by Howard Hollem

C. & N.W. R.R., Mrs. Irene Bracker, mother of two children, employed at the roundhouse as a wiper, Clinton, Iowa by Jack Delano

C. & N.W. R.R., Mrs. Marcella Hart, mother of three children, employed as a wiper at the roundhouse, Clinton, Iowa by Jack Delano

Mrs. Eloise J. Ellis has been appointed by civil service to be senior supervisor in the Assembly and Repairs Department at the Naval Air Base, Corpus Christi, Texas. She buoys up feminine morale in her department by arranging suitable living conditions for out-of-state employees and by helping them with their personal problems by Howard Hollem

Women are trained as engine mechanics in thorough Douglas training methods, Douglas Aircraft Company, Long Beach, Calif. by Alfred Palmer

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 by Alfred Palmer

(Photos courtesy of the Library of Congress, via Photography Blogger)

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