INSPIRING WW2 photographs capture a vivid snapshot of women working in steelworks, shipbuilding and railways at the height of the conflict.
The never before seen pictures show how invaluable the female workforce was to the United States’ war effort.
Women hard at work in the shipyard in 1942 – many took on the jobs of men who were fighting for their country[/caption]
A Mechanical Helper on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad[/caption]
Millions of women picked up the jobs their partners, brothers, sons and fathers had left behind to fight for their country.
Many of the photos show industrious women employed as shipbuilders, railroad staff, and steel workers.
Another remarkable shot shows a female labourer wearing a plastic bra, designed to help prevent chest injuries in the workplace.
The photographs, from the Records of the Women’s Bureau in the US National Archives, show women for the first time on a mass scale and from every social and economic background performing jobs that have been traditionally considered as “men’s work”.
Many of the photos show industrious women employed as shipbuilders, railroad staff, and steel workers[/caption]
As the United States sent millions of men to war, the country’s mills, factories and workshop needed replacement workers[/caption]
Women Welders pose for a snap in Mississippi[/caption]
Female steelworkers in Indiana. wear gas masks as they clean blast furnaces[/caption]
Women Employed at Savannah Quartermaster depot in Savannah, Georgia around 1943[/caption]
Worker at Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, Burbank, California[/caption]
As the United States sent millions of men to war, the country’s mills, factories and workshop needed replacement workers.
Women, who traditionally had only been employed in “gender suitable” roles such as admin, were suddenly expected to fill the roles left vacant by men.
World War II changed both the type of work women did and the volume at which they did it.
Five million American women entered the workforce between 1940-1945.
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In particular, World War II led many women to take jobs in defence plants and factories around the country.
These jobs provided unprecedented opportunities to move into occupations previously thought of as exclusive to men, especially the aircraft industry, where a majority of workers were women by 1943.
Despite doing the same jobs as their male counterparts, women rarely received the same level of financial compensation.
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A woman models a plastic bra designed to prevent chest injuries in the workplace[/caption]
Exercise given by an army therapist to a soldier[/caption]
Women prepare to take over maintenance responsibilities for aircraft. By 1943, a huge percentage of aircraft crew were female[/caption]