The Human Machinery of War

Photograph: Worker Tracing an Outline for a Bomber Part on Sheet Metal

Original Title/Caption: “Production. B-24 bombers and C-87 transports. Tracing a template outline on a sheet of duralumin for the making of a part for a consolidated transport plane. This ship is adapted from the B-24 bomber. It carries one of the greatest human or cargo loads of any plane now in mass production.”

 

Description: This black and white photograph shows a man sitting on a large piece of sheet metal and tracing the outline a part.  The background is dark, but various wooden boards are visible.  This photograph was taken in October 1942 by Howard R. Hollem.

 

Source: Hollem, Howard R., photographer. “Production. B-24 bombers and C-87 transports. Tracing a template outline on a sheet of duralumin for the making of a part for a consolidated transport plane. This ship is adapted from the B-24 bomber. It carries one of the greatest human or cargo loads of any plane now in mass production.”  Photograph, 1942.  From Library of Congress: Farm Security Administration – Office of War Information Photograph Collection, Call number LC-USE6- D-007198.  http://loc.gov/pictures/resource/fsa.8b04839/ (accessed March 20, 2007).

 

Historical discussion: “Each year,” historian Andrew E. Kersten reports, “the United States was losing at least an entire battalion to injury and death on the shop floor” (Kersten 176).

See Andrew E. Kersten, Labor’s Home Front: The American Federation of Labor during World War II (New York: New York University Press, 2006).