Monday, May 14, 2012

Rare color photos from WW II showing close-ups of female workers in defense plants

From: William K.
Sent: May 14, 2012
To: undisclosed recipients
Subject: Fw: Rare color photos from WW II showing close-ups of female workers in defense plants

Large format (4 x 5 inch negative) rare color photos from WW II showing close-ups of female workers in defense plants and other activities…
Some nail polish looks pretty good also!
Back in the mid '70s when I was working at Hellers Camera in Bethesda Md. I had a reference book with a color photo of the battleship Pennsylvania in an advanced base sectional dock, somewhere in the Pacific in about 1944.

The quality of the photo made it clear that it was shot with a large format camera, which puzzled me since I did not think Kodachrome (the only modern color film of the time in the US) was available in sheet films. A guy I worked with was an old Kodak hand (and WWII vet, a radioman in Europe) and told me that they did have sheet Kodachrome, and that there was only one machine to process the film, located in Rochester. The exposed film was sent there for processing.

And note the almost complete lack of basic safety equipment. I saw only one pair of safety glasses, and only a few of the workers were wearing gloves. Working without gloves around sheet metal is an injury waiting to happen.

Notice most of the woman had lip stick and nail polish on. WWII could not have been won without the woman of America stepping into men's shoes to build the equipment needed to defeat the axis powers.

Fascinating! Some of these these images are 70 years old and look as fresh as ever. If someone had told any of the subjects in these photos that we'd have such a clear look at them in the year 2012... boggles my mind. Thought you'd find this interesting ! See more

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