Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Common Goods: This Woman's Work

In the 1940s more than 6 million women entered the workforce for the first time, and soon it was coming up Rosies everywhere. While most new women workers were employees in non-factory settings, the attention was definitely on those who started riveting, assembling, packing, and operating machines in munitions plants and defense factories all over the country. They were the women who answered the government sponsored patriotic call to duty to pull on the pants in the family and take on jobs previously reserved for their suddenly far afield fathers, husbands, and brothers.

These women paved the way for the modern workplace with its equal pay protections, anti-discrimination laws, and opportunities. They also maintained their flair with red lips, gorgeous head scarves, up-dos, and nailpolish. They worked it.

These photos are from Flickr's Commons. Click any of the above images to learn some fascinating facts, and witness sometimes entertainingly inane public commentary.

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