The country had to keep functioning even as millions of men who performed critical functions in the economy were drafted. Women responded to calls to keep Americans fed, moving, and communicating.

Credit: Library of Congress




Advertisement for Fletcher’s Castoria in the December 1944 issue of The American Magazine

Credit:  Women’s Memorial Foundation

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In the 1940’s freight and passengers moved on railroads that employed more than two million people. Women took over many jobs associated with maintaining the rails and trains over which critical war material and troops flowed.

The image to the left is of Dorothy Lucke, an employee of Chicago & Northwestern Railroad, and she worked as a wiper at the Clinton, Iowa roundhouse. The image below is of trackwomen of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company, 1943

A woman wiper at the roundhouse gives a giant “H” class
locomotive a bath of live steam, Clinton, Iowa, April 1943

Credit:  Library of Congress

Credit:  National Archives

Women workers have lunch in their rest room,
Clinton, Iowa, April 1943

Credit:  Library of Congress