Women Factory Workers of WWII: Introduction

As the world endures the restrictions, consequences and heartbreak caused by the pandemic outbreak of COVID-19, global communities are uniting in herculean efforts to control and hopefully stop, the spread of this deadly virus. Here in the United States, we are witnessing a collective resurgence of the “pulling ourselves up by the bootstraps” ingenuity from a bygone era. Individuals, small businesses, large companies and corporations are working together to produce the emergency equipment, from face masks and hand sanitizers to ventilators and testing equipment, needed so urgently by the frontline warriors in a new kind of conflict.

This coming together of citizens to fight for a common cause is reminiscent of our nation uniting during World War II to defeat another powerful threat against our way of life. Seventy-seven years ago, a 24-year-old artist named J. Howard Miller designed a poster for the Westinghouse Electric Co. to display in its Pennsylvania and Midwest plants for just two weeks. It was one in a series of posters and only 1800 copies were printed. But that image of “Rosie the Riveter” emblazoned with the phrase “We Can Do It!” started a nationwide recruitment of women to join in a united effort to produce the equipment, supplies and resources needed to combat the Axis enemies of our country. 

Next: Women Factory Workers Overview

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