• Rachel Davies - Retro Curator

How Teenage Girls Transformed The War Effort in the 1940's | Retro Time Machine Vol 4

In this series of the Retro Time Machine, we travel back to the 1940's and discover how teenage girls kept war materials rolling in factories all across America.

A young blue eyed blond is instructing elders to become inspectors and machine operators in a big war plant. Outside you can hear the faint hum of powerful machinery. Another girl in the same factory is an accomplished electrician working on a Vega Ventura Bomber.

These were the "soldiers of production" in war plants across America in the 1940's.

With soldiers going off to war, manpower became a problem. The nation geared for war, had to draw on it's youth reserves. And many girls were eager to serve in the crisis.

School's across the country piloted programs for young women. Program's were structured so girls could continue their studying and find employment.

Many worked four or five hour shifts in the evening. Classes were arranged so that they would finish up school at two o'clock.

They would study as usual. Do their assignments, eat together downtown and then go directly to the factory.

Before clocking in they would change into their work clothes. Uniforms consisted of shirts and slacks or denim overalls.

Because of the danger of hair catching in machines, they wore hair nets or head scarves. The girls were quick to learn, attentive to their work and proved to be very fast machine operators.

To overcome the monotony of the inspection line, some girls would sing together. It was not unusual to hear four part harmonies pouring from the windows of the plants.

Teen age girls proved their worth in many fields. They kept the assembly lines moving. Turned out the weapons needed on the world's battlefronts and pitched in to help win the war.

Below is a video starring the gorgeous Veronica Lake, showcasing a hairdo for the women working in factories. It was important to keep their hair under control for safety around machinery.

And for your listening pleasure, here is some music from 1944. "Swinging On A Star" by Bing Crosby and John Scott Trotter.

Perhaps this was one of the songs the young women would sing on the assembly line.


Looking for denim overalls, saddle shoes, scarves or other 1940's inspired fashion? Check out these great options here.

Assembly line workers image credit - https://fineartamerica.com/featured/women-did-mens-jobs-during-world-war-everett.html

All other images, video and music found in the public domain via internet archive.

#1940s #WorldWar2 #1940steenagers #BingCrosby #VeronicaLake


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