Before “Rosie the Riveter”

Thursday, Dec. 10, 1942

Jan 15, 1942_p28_Help wanted_WomenFirst, let’s get one thing clear: Women have always worked – and worked hard. The real questions are:

1) In or outside the home?

2) Did they get paid and, if so, how well?

If you don’t think scrubbing and hanging out the wash, cooking meals for the family and farm or ranch hands, making clothing, and doing dozens of jobs without the labor-saving appliances of today was work  – all while bearing and caring for children –  think again.

WWII was significant because of the extent to which women got jobs and earned money outside the home. And that only happened because factories, businesses, and such were desperate to fill vacancies. Published barely eleven months  earlier, on Jan. 15, 1942,  this employment ad for women listed jobs in bakeries, clothing manufacturers, department stores, offices. Women could be typists, clerics, Dictaphone operators, telephone operators, sales clerks, cashiers and such.

Tomorrow: The ripple effect as women  take on “men’s” work.


This entry was posted in Chicago during WW II, Jewish life in America during WW II, Uncategorized, World War II and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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