partners exhibit heading

Dora Miles and Dorothy Johnson
Women in Production




Women's Work:

From the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, women had worked in American factories, but only doing tasks for which women were considered well suited. With the onset of war, manufacturing resources were devoted to producing goods to satisfy military demands.

To the far right are members of the Yauco Cooperative Tomato
Growers Association, Puerto Rico
, 1942.

To the right a woman sews a soldier's overcoat, 1942.

Woman stitching a sleeve on an army coat 1942 farmworkers

Women manufacture clothes and boots for soldiers

shirt manufacture in Iowa 1942

Shoe cobblers
Work in textile mills, clothing industries, and food preparation were among the oldest female dominated factory jobs. With the war, factories that produced silk stockings manufactured parachutes instead, and women’s fashionable dresses and lingerie were replaced by uniforms and underwear for the military.

Be Patriotic, Wear Cotton Stockings

“Be Patriotic—Wear Cotton Hose,” General Federation Clubwoman, October 1941 

“WHY worry about silk hose? Be patriotic and wear a home product. We still have cotton – lots of it – grown right here within the borders of our own country.”

“Look for the plain knits if you are hunting something practical. They are very suitable for wear when helping with the defense activities in your town. As one woman commentator put it, “We would look mighty silly fire-fighting in 3-thread hose!”


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 Photo Credits (L to R): #1: National Archives, #2-4: Library of Congress, #5 General Federation of Women's Clubs

(c) Copyright National Women's History Museum 2007