Monday, November 12, 2012

Pictorial of Women's Wartime Efforts

I believe we can often find inspiration simply by looking at photos. I put together for your viewing a few inspirational photos about the efforts women were encouraged to and did make during WWII.  The first photo below is of a woman working the drill in a factory in 1942, a simple task but she was doing her part.

An artist named J. Howard Miller was commissioned to create morale boosting posters for the war effort. Little did he or a young girl named Geraldine Hoff Doyle realize that the image they both took part in playing would become an iconic symbol for women everywhere!

Doyle was just seventeen years old when she took a job at a factory. When she graduated from High School many of her schoolmates had gone off to war and she wanted to do her part. She was working at a metal-stamping machine when a photographer took a photo of her wearing a red bandanna with white polka dot. And the rest is history....

Women we asked to conserve food on the home front because the more we saved meant the more the boys abroad would eat. So they were asked to can foods, grow victory gardens, make their own clothes, and mend their clothes to have them last for as long as possible. All in all, women were asked to be savvy and creative. Like a lot of women today during this harsh economy, we must do what we can to conserve and not waste perhaps not for the sake of winning a war or for freedom, but for the livelihood of our family, household, and home.

This was by far my favorite find (photo below). I really want to get a copy of this and frame it in my kitchen. To be honest with you I live out my life daily according to this chart so when I found it and read it, you can imagine my shock and surprise that yet again I find myself living a 1940's life.

For those of you who grew up on a less money than most, you most likely grew up in a household that conserved their food, water, clothing, and much more. Nothing was wasted and each meal was carefully planned out. Again, I think during this time we can look at this chart and do one of two things; feel good that you are not alone in your situation-that many people in the past and present had to and have to live their daily lives on a careful budget OR learn from those who have lived harder lives and appreciate what you do have a little bit more.

Looking at all of these images makes me feel proud and good to be a woman. It also makes me feel proud to be a housewife/homemaker/stay at home mom. I feel good knowing that there were so many women before me who sacrificed not only for their families but for the end of such a horrific war. That by canning, working, gardening, or even mending-that although it may not seem like much to some today, it meant for them that they were doing something to help others and to help our brave men and women who fought for freedom across the globe.



  1. There is so much to learned from our foremothers, and no time exemplifies that more than the tumultuous thirties and war torn forties. You selected a superb array of examples of how most people did their best (and then some) to make do and mend, pitch in on the home front, and keep calm and carry on during some of the darkest days in recent history.

    ♥ Jessica

  2. We really could learn a lot from those who worked during the War Years. People always waste, waste, waste! My parents taught me while growing up "Waste not, want not."

  3. I agree we can learn a lot about conservation by looking back. I feel we are on a bad track of not really thinking about consumption and about all the waste. Great visual images you were able to find:)

  4. Great post, I think that is a great idea on framing the image, I might just do the same. We don't waist anything at my house either, I was just telling my husband on garbage day we only had one bag of garbage for four people!


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