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Girls Gone WWII
December 16, 2010 9:44 AM   Subscribe

Photos of female aircraft workers, 1942-1943.
posted by hermitosis (31 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
Babes.
posted by dobie at 9:47 AM on December 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


Wow! These are amazing.
posted by Mister_A at 9:48 AM on December 16, 2010


Aren't these part of the FSA photoset the Library of Congress has posted? I've seen them before, and I think that was where. They are terrific photos. Hard to believe the culture was successful at driving so many these women back into the kitchen in the 50s, ironing doilies.
posted by Miko at 9:53 AM on December 16, 2010


Yup, LoC. Very cool.
posted by rtha at 9:54 AM on December 16, 2010


These photos, and many more, are available via the Library of Congress's Flickr stream, by searching for "Rosie"
posted by djfiander at 9:54 AM on December 16, 2010


Here is where I had seen them before, and a bunch more at the LoC.
posted by Miko at 9:56 AM on December 16, 2010


Yeah Miko, that's where scanzen's "via" link leads to anyway; I have barely scratched the surface of that collection.
posted by hermitosis at 9:56 AM on December 16, 2010


I love the color in these. They are originally color right, not touched up? I know that color film was available at the time, but it certainly wouldn't have been common.
posted by Stagger Lee at 10:04 AM on December 16, 2010


Those planes were getting shot out of the European sky as fast as they could manufacture them and fly them over there. A very low (however more than zero) survival rate. That said, though, amazing photos.
posted by Danf at 10:11 AM on December 16, 2010


In the indoor photos, why are the backgrounds so dark? Did they have super strong lights on the subjects and stop the lens down, or are they retouched, or what? Trying to figure it out. I know there must be a simple explanation, but my brain isn't currently supplying it.

Was that the style of the day for day-in-the-life type portraits? It makes them look really staged to me, not like they've candidly caught a slice of action.

Beautiful photos, though. I love looking at them -- just want to understand the style and process better.
posted by mudpuppie at 10:19 AM on December 16, 2010


There's just something about a women with power tools.
posted by Aizkolari at 10:25 AM on December 16, 2010


I love these images for two reasons. One, my step-grandma was a Rosie The Riveter, and also the best thing that ever happened to my late Grandpa Reetz. I am gonna write her a letter.

Two, it shows the military history of the place I live now - the Burbank/Glendale/NoHo area. This area is so nuts. It's crass, ugly, consumerist sprawl - little but strip malls. But it grew from aircraft factories and skunk works.
posted by fake at 10:27 AM on December 16, 2010 [6 favorites]


Was that the style of the day for day-in-the-life type portraits? It makes them look really staged to me, not like they've candidly caught a slice of action.

I think they are very carefully staged, and lit by flash. Gotta be Kodachrome. I've always loved these.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:29 AM on December 16, 2010


Was that the style of the day for day-in-the-life type portraits? It makes them look really staged to me, not like they've candidly caught a slice of action.

Since they are working on military bases (or under similarly classified conditions) in the middle of a war, I assume this wasn't just some guy strolling by with a camera. Probably they sent the photographer around and he set up the shot, made sure she wasn't doing anything secret, and etc etc.
posted by DU at 10:38 AM on December 16, 2010


Some British mechanic
posted by Ruodlieb at 10:47 AM on December 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


This sort of thing is my bag, baby. Thanks for posting!
posted by Scoo at 10:48 AM on December 16, 2010


These. Are. Awesome. Thanks for sharing!
posted by New England Cultist at 10:58 AM on December 16, 2010


There's just something about a women with power tools.
posted by Meatbomb at 11:33 AM on December 16, 2010


I'm under the impression that most of the rivets being set in these photos are solid rivets requiring access to the back side of the structure. But, one rarely sees a photo showing the person holding a bucking bar, as here.
posted by exogenous at 11:47 AM on December 16, 2010


I'm calling BS on this. I'm pretty sure this girl works at my local bike shop and tends bar at the Tinderbox Lounge on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:13 PM on December 16, 2010


Oooo baby. How do you write out a wolf-whistle anyway?

I grew up around machine shops, and (as others have said) there's something about women with a mechanical bent and and power tools and what not.
posted by Relay at 12:42 PM on December 16, 2010


Y'all have seen this askme, right?
posted by rtha at 1:09 PM on December 16, 2010


颯爽英姿五尺槍
曙光初照演兵場。
中華兒女多奇志,
不愛紅裝愛武裝。
posted by Abiezer at 1:09 PM on December 16, 2010


Photographs: Very good.
No eye protection: Very bad.
posted by Tube at 1:50 PM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Relay "Oooo baby. How do you write out a wolf-whistle anyway?"
I think the WWII written/spoken equivalent of a wolf whistle was hubba hubba .
posted by Cranberry at 2:13 PM on December 16, 2010


My grandmother worked at the North American plant in Los Angeles during the war. One day, she was transferred to bucking rivets (holding the bar behind the object being riveted, against which the rivet is flattened). That day turned out V-J Day, after which she was immediately laid off. Her name was Rose, so she was this close to being Rosie the Riveter.

We named our daughter after her.
posted by The Tensor at 2:38 PM on December 16, 2010


They All Rock!
that is all
posted by djrock3k at 3:36 PM on December 16, 2010


Does anybody have any idea where one can get poster-sized prints of stuff like this? Or even just some higher resolution photos? This sort of thing is amazing and I'd love to have it on my walls.
posted by Scientist at 8:44 PM on December 16, 2010


How hi-res? The Library of Congress has downloads available - like this one, for example.
posted by rtha at 9:19 PM on December 16, 2010


Huzzah!
posted by buzzman at 9:29 PM on December 16, 2010


Color me disappointed. I was hoping for photos of the women actually at work and not these staged shots.
posted by batou_ at 1:36 AM on December 17, 2010


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