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American Workers in Color

WWII color photographs.Created by: PICRYLDated: 1939
Woman aircraft worker, Vega Aircraft Corporation, Burbank, Calif. Shown checking electrical assemblies
WWII color photographs. Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Color Photographs from the Library of Congress. The original images are color transparencies ranging in size from 35 mm. to 4x5 inches.

Photographers working for the U.S. government's Farm Security Administration (FSA) and later the Office of War Information (OWI) between 1939 and 1944 made approximately 1,600 color photographs that depict life in the United States, including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The pictures focus on rural areas and farm labor, as well as aspects of World War II mobilization, including factories, railroads, aviation training, and women working.
290 Media in collectionpage 1 of 3
Carefully trained women inspectors check and inspect cargo transport innerwings before they are assembled on the fuselage, Douglas Aircraft Company, Long Beach, Calif.
American mothers and sisters, like these women at the Douglas Aircraft Company, give important help in producing dependable planes for their men at the front, Long Beach, Calif. Most important of the many types of aircraft made at this plant are the B-17F ("Flying Fortress") heavy bomber, the A-20 ("Havoc") assault bomber and the C-47 heavy transport plane for the carrying of troops and cargo
Woman working on an airplane motor at North American Aviation, Inc., plant in Calif.
Santa Fe R.R. locomotive shops, Topeka, Kansas
Gus Worke, a farmer who came from Germany 40 years ago, Southington, Conn.
C & NW RR; locomotives in the roundhouse at Proviso yard, Chicago, Ill.
C. & N.W. R.R., Mrs. Dorothy Lucke, employed as a wiper at the roundhouse, Clinton, Iowa
Chicago and North Western R.R., Mrs. Thelma Cuvage, working in the sand house at the roundhouse, Clinton, Iowa. Her job is to see that sand is sifted and cleaned for use in the locomotives. Mrs. Cuvage's husband works as a guard at the Savannah (Ill.) Ordnance plant
John Kelseh, blacksmith, at his forge in the blacksmith shop at the roundhouse, Rock Island R.R., Blue Island, Ill.
Huge drop hammers work day and night forming sheet metal parts for United Nations bombers and fighters at the North American Aviation, Inc., plant, Inglewood, Calif. The heavy hemp rope is used to snub the hammer so that it forms the part under proper pressure and rises clear of the work after each operation. This plant produces the battle-tested B-25 ("Billy Mitchell") bomber, used in General Doolittle's raid on Tokyo, and the P-51 ("Mustang") fighter plane which was first brought into prominence by the British raid on Dieppe
War production workers at the Heil Company making gasoline trailer tanks for the U.S. Army Air Corps, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Elizabeth Little, age 30, the mother of two children, spraying small parts. Her husband runs a farm
North American B-25 bomber is prepared for painting on the outside assembly line, N[orth] A[merican] Aviation, Inc., Inglewood, Calif.
A noontime rest for a full-fledged assembly worker at the Long Beach, Calif., plant of Douglas Aircraft Company. Nacelle parts for a heavy bomber form the background
Girl inspectors at the Long Beach, Calif., plant of Douglas Aircraft Company make a careful check of center wings for C-47 transport planes
Annette del Sur publicizing salvage campaign in yard of Douglas Aircraft Company, Long Beach, Calif.
Mechanical operator on boiler parts, Combustion Engineering Co., Chattanooga, Tenn.
Riveters at work on fuselage of Liberator Bomber, Consolidated Aircraft Corp., Fort Worth, Texas
Drilling a wing bulkhead for a transport plane at the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation plant, Fort Worth, Texas
Lowering an engine in place in assembling a transport plane in a Consolidated Aircraft Corporation plant, Fort Worth, Texas
Switch boxes on the firewalls of B-25 bombers are assembled by women workers at North American [Aviation, Inc.]'s Inglewood, Calif., plant
Sheet metal parts are numbered with this pneumatic numbering machine in North American's sheet metal department, N[orth] A[merican] Aviation, Inc., Inglewood, Calif.
Camouflage class in New York University, where men and women are preparing for jobs in the Army or in industry, New York, N.Y. They make models from aerial photographs, re-photograph them, then work out a camouflage scheme and make a final photograph
C. & N.W. R.R., women wipers employed at the roundhouse cleaning one of the giant "H" class locomotives, Clinton, Iowa

C. & N.W. R.R., women wipers employed at the roundhouse cleaning one o...

Photograph probably shows Mrs. Marcella Hart and Mrs. Viola Sievers. Compare to USW36-639.

A girl riveting machine operator at the Douglas Aircraft Company plant joins sections of wing ribs to reinforce the inner wing assemblies of B-17F heavy bombers, Long Beach, Calif. Better known as the "Flying Fortress," the B-17F bomber is a later model of the B-17, which distinguished itself in action in the south Pacific, over Germany and elsewhere. It is a long range, high altitude, heavy bomber, with a crew of seven to nine men -- and with armament sufficient to defend itself on daylight missions
Punching rivet holes in a frame member for a B-25 bomber, the plant of North American Aviation, Inc., Calif.
Excavating within the log cofferdam during an early stage of construction, Douglas Dam, Tenn.
Assembling Liberator Bomber, Consolidated Aircraft Corp., Fort Worth, Texas
Welder making boilers for a ship, Combustion Engineering Co., Chattanooga, Tenn.
Operating a hand drill at Vultee-Nashville, woman is working on a "Vengeance" dive bomber, Tennessee
Two employees at the roundhouse at Proviso yard, C & NW RR., Chicago, Ill.
Casting a billet from an electric furnace, Chase Brass and Copper Co., Euclid, Ohio. Modern electric furnaces have helped considerably in speeding the production of brass and other copper alloys for national defense. Here the molten metal is poured or cast from the tilted furnace into a mold to form a billet. The billet later is worked into rods, tubes, wires or special shapes for a variety of uses
Mounting motor [on a] Fairfax B-25 bomber, at North American Aviation, Inc., plant in [Inglewood], Calif.
Employees at North American Aviation, Incorporated, assembling the cowling on Allison motors for the P-51 fighter planes, Inglewood, Calif.
Working inside the nose of a PBY, Elmer J. Pace is learning the construction of Navy planes, Corpus Christi, Texas. As an NYA trainee at the Naval Air Base, he gets practical experience. After about eight weeks, he will go into civil service as a sheet metal worker
Greasing a locomotive at the 40th Street shops of the C & NW RR.
"Big Pete" Ramagos, rigger at work on dam (TVA) Douglas Dam, Tenn.
Servicing one of the floodlights that turn night into day at the big construction operations for a new steel plant which will make important additions to the vast amount of steel needed for the war effort, Columbia Steel Co., Geneva, Utah
Workers on the Liberator Bombers, Consolidated Aircraft Corp., [Fort Worth, Texas]
A wing brace assembly for a B-25 bomber is prepared for the assembly line of an aircraft plant, North American Aviation, Inc., Calif. With plenty of speed, a 1,700-mile cruising range and a ceiling of 25,000 feet, it has performed as a medium bomber and as an escort plane
With careful Douglas training, women do accurate electrical assembly and installation work, Douglas Aircraft Company, Long Beach, Calif.
War production worker at the Vilter [Manufacturing] Company making M5 and M7 guns for the U.S. Army, Milwaukee, Wis. Ex-housewife, age 49, now doing bench work on small gun parts. Son [is] Second L[ieutenan]t, Son-in-law, Capt[ain] in Army
Women become skilled shop technicians after careful training in the school at the Douglas Aircraft Company plant, Long Beach, Calif. Most important of the many types of aircraft made at this plant are the B-17F ("Flying Fortress") heavy bomber, the A-20 ("Havoc") assault bomber and the C-47 heavy transport plane for the carrying of troops and cargo
Workers leaving Pennsylvania shipyards, Beaumont, Texas
Worker inspecting a locomotive on a pit in the roundhouse at the C & NW RR's Proviso yard, Chicago, Ill.
A mating operation on a transport plane just before it comes to the pre-assembly line at the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation plant, Fort Worth, Texas
Farm Security Administration borrower plowing his garden with one of the few plows used on the island, vicinity of Frederiksted, St. Croix, Virgin Islands
Crane operator at TVA's Douglas Dam, Tennessee
Working on a locomotive at the 40th Street shop of the C & NW RR, Chicago, Ill.
A young woman employee of North American Aviation, Incorporated, working over the landing gear mechanism of a P-51 fighter plane, Inglewood, Calif. The mechanism resembles a small cannon
Employees at Mid-Continent Refinery, Tulsa, Okla.
Formerly a sculptress and designer of tiles, Dorothy Cole converted her basement into a workshop to tin plate needles for valves for blood transfusion bottles prepared by Baxter Laboratories where she lives, Glenview, Ill. She turns in her profits to war bonds to provide a college education for her young nephew
The water stretching machine of an eastern parachute manufacturer stretches shroud lines so as to make them more adaptable to the finished product, Manchester, Conn.
Two women workers are shown capping and inspecting tubing which goes into the manufacture of the "Vengeance" (A-31) dive bomber made at Vultee's Nashville division, Tennessee. The "Vengeance" (A-31) was originally designed for the French. It was later adopted by the R.A.F. and still later by the U.S. Army Air Forces. It is a single-engine, low-wing plane, carrying a crew of two men and having six machine guns of varying calibers
Metal parts are placed on masonite by this woman employee before they slide under the multi-ton hydropress, North American Aviation, Inc., Inglewood, Calif.
Flexible performance of C-47 transport planes is due in part to their two 1,200 horsepower radial engines and to their three-blade variable-pitch propellers, Long Beach, Calif. Picture taken at the Douglas Aircraft Company. The versatile C-47 performs many important tasks for the army. It ferries men and cargo across oceans and mountains, tows gliders and brings paratroopers and their equipment to scenes of action
Working in the Assembly and Repair Dept. of the Naval Air Base, Corpus Christi, Texas
P-51 ("Mustang") fighter plane in construction, North American Aviation, Inc., Los Angeles, Calif.
Part of the cowling for one of the motors for a B-25 bomber is assembled in the engine department of North American [Aviation, Inc.]'s Inglewood, Calif., plant
A lathe operator machining parts for transport planes at the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation plant, Fort Worth, Texas
Clerk in one of the stock rooms of North American Aviation, Inc., checking to see if the proper numbers of parts were received and placed in the proper bin, Inglewood, Calif. This plant produces the battle-tested B-25 ("Billy Mitchell") bomber, used in General Doolittle's raid on Tokyo, and the P-51 ("Mustang") fighter plane which was first brought into prominence by the British raid on Dieppe
Girl worker at lunch also absorbing California sunshine, Douglas Aircraft Company, Long Beach, Calif.
Working inside fuselage of a Liberator Bomber, Consolidated Aircraft Corp., Fort Worth, Texas
On North American's outdoor assembly line, a painter cleans the tail section of a P-51 fighter prior to spraying the olive-drab camouflage of the U.S. Army, N[orth] A[merican] Aviation, Inc., Inglewood, Calif.
Welder at work on Douglas Dam, Tenn. (TVA)
Generator works at the winding of a generator stator in a new addition to TVA's hydroelectric plant at Wilson Dam, Sheffield vicinity, Ala. Located 260 miles above the mouth of the Tennessee River, the dam has an authorized power installation of 288,000 kw., which can be increased to a possible ultimate of 444,000 kw. The reservoir at the dam adds 377,000 acre-feet of water to controlled storage on the Tennessee River system
Women are trained to do precise and vital engine installation detail in Douglas Aircraft Company plants, Long Beach, Calif.
War production workers at the Heil Company making gasoline trailer tanks for the U.S. Army Air Corps, Milwaukee, Wis. Mrs. Angeline Kwint, age 45, an ex-housewife, checking the tires of trailers. Her husband and son are in the U.S. Army
A worker in the roundhouse at the C & NW RR., Proviso yard, Chicago, Ill.
Drill press operator, Allegheny Ludlum Steel[e] Corp., Brackenridge, Pa.
[Children on row house steps, Washington, D.C.]
P-51 ("Mustang") fighter planes being prepared for test flight at the field of North American Aviation, Inc., plant in Inglewood, Calif.
Installing an engine at the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation plant, Fort Worth, Texas
Daniel Anastazia, blacksmith's helper at the roundhouse of the Rock Island R.R., Blue Island, Ill.
Woman aircraft worker, Vega Aircraft Corporation, Burbank, Calif. Shown checking electrical assemblies
Melrose Park (near Chicago), Ill.; C & NW RR; Roy Nelin, a box packer in the roundhouse at the Proviso yard
Electric phosphate smelting furnace used to make elemental phosphorus in a TVA chemical plant in the vicinity of Muscle Shoals, Alabama
A carpenter at the TVA's new Douglas dam on the French Broad River, Tenn. This dam will be 161 feet high and 1,682 feet ong, with a 31,600-acre reservoir area extending 43 miles upstream. With a useful storage capacity of approximately 1,330,000 acre-feet, this reservoir will make possible the addition of nearly 100,000 kw. of continuous power to the TVA system in dry years and almost 170,000 kw. in the average year
A noontime rest for a full-fledged assembly worker at the Long Beach, Calif., plant of Douglas Aircraft Company. Nacelle parts for a heavy bomber form the background
Operating a hand drill at Vultee-Nashville, woman is working on a "Vengeance" dive bomber, Tennessee
Installing one of the 4 motors on the transport plane at Willow Run

Installing one of the 4 motors on the transport plane at Willow Run

Photo shows the Willow Run manufacturing plant, run by the Ford Motor Company near Ypsilanti, Michigan, which made the B-24 Liberator bombers during World War II. (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2009)

Mr. Leatherman, homesteader, coming out of his dugout home, Pie Town, New Mexico
Formerly a sculptress and designer of tiles, Dorothy Cole converted her basement into a workshop to tin plate needles for valves for blood transfusion bottles prepared by Baxter Laboratories, Glenview, Ill. She turns in her profits to war bonds to provide a college education for her young nephew
Drilling horizontal stabilizers: operating a hand drill, this woman worker at Vultee-Nashville is shown working on the horizontal stabilizer for a Vultee "Vengeance" dive bomber, Tennessee. The "Vengeance" (A-31) was originally designed for the French. It was later adopted by the R.A.F. and still later by the U.S. Army Air Forces. It is a single-engine, low-wing plane, carrying a crew of two men and having six machine guns of varying calibers
Santa Fe RR freight train about to leave for the West Coast from Corwith yard, Chicago, Ill., Santa Fe R.R. trip
The careful hands of women are trained in precise aircraft engine installation duties at Douglas Aircraft Company, Long Beach, Calif.
Two Navy wives, Eva Herzberg and Elve Burnham, entered war work after their husbands joined the service, Glenview, Ill. They assemble bands for blood transfusion bottles at Baxter Laboratories. Mrs. Burnham is the mother of two children
Working with a small steam drop hammer at the blacksmith shop in the Santa Fe R.R. shops, Topeka, Kansas
Mrs. Virginia Davis, a riveter in the assembly and repair department of the Naval air base, supervises Chas. Potter, a NYA trainee from Michigan, Corpus Christi, Texas. After eight weeks of training he will go into civil service. Should he be inducted or enlist in the armed service, he will be valuable to mechanized units of the Army or Navy
Working on the wing center section at the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation plant, Fort Worth, Texas
[Men working on telephone lines, probably near a TVA dam hydroelectric plant]
Transfusion donor bottles, Baxter Lab., Glenview, Ill.
Women at work on C-47 Douglas cargo transport, Douglas Aircraft Company, Long Beach, Calif.
C. & N.W. R.R., Mrs. Irene Bracker, mother of two children, employed at the roundhouse as a wiper, Clinton, Iowa
Putting the nose section of a mighty transport plane in place in the fuselage mating fixture at the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation plant, Fort Worth, Texas
Inspecting of landing wheel of the transport planes at Willow Run

Inspecting of landing wheel of the transport planes at Willow Run

Photo shows the Willow Run manufacturing plant, run by the Ford Motor Company near Ypsilanti, Michigan, which made the B-24 Liberator bombers during World War II. (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2009)

Working on the boiler of a locomotive at the 40th Street shops of the C & NW RR, Chicago, Ill.
[Electric phosphate smelting furnace used in the making of elemental phosphorus in a TVA chemical plant in the Muscle Shoals area, Alabama]
Welder making boilers for a ship, Combustion Engineering Co., Chattanooga, Tenn.
Farm Security Administration borrower, vicinity of Frederiksted, St. Croix, Virgin Islands
Installing an engine at the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation plant, Fort Worth, Texas
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