The Human Machinery of War

Photograph: Woman War Worker Leaning Against Wall

Original Title/Caption:  “Safe clothes for women war workers.”


Description: This black and white photograph is of a woman war worker, wearing an apron, one safety glove, and a safety helmet.  The woman leans against a wall with one hand on her hip and the visor on her helmet up.  Under her helmet, her hair is held back with a scarf. The photograph was taken sometime between 1942 and 1945.


Source: “Safe clothes for women war workers,” Photograph, between 1942 and 1945.  From Library of Congress: Farm Security Administration – Office of War Information Photograph Collection, Call number LC-USW3- 058274-C. (accessed March 20, 2007).


Historical discussion: While far more military personnel died during the war than civilians in industrial accidents on home front (the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that there were 75,400 deadly or permanently totally disabling accidents between 1942 and 1945), American industry claimed more total casualties than the war.

See “Estimated Number of Disabling Industrial Injuries, By Major Industry Group: 1942 to 1946,” in Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1947 (Washington: G.P.O., 1947), 216.