Scope and Contents
Series 1: Photographs includes images of women in industry along with associated documents. Materials are arranged alphabetically by subject. The photographs date from 1890 to 1981, yet the bulk of the materials are from 1930 to 1948. A portion of the materials are undated. There is a notable shortage of material related to women of color. The photographs depict women working in engineering jobs, operating heavy machinery, working with textiles, and handling different types of technology. There are several types of machines and products featured in the collection including pneumatic drills, gas irons, typewriters, rivet guns, compressed air machines, an arbor press, bending roll machines, and light bulbs. Documents that correspond to the photographs discuss an increase in women taking men's jobs in the 1940s while the men were at war. Consequently, photographs from the 1940s in this collection represent the transition of making machinery more applicable to women and enabling them to do "man-sized" jobs. Many of the 1940's photographs depict women enrolling in engineering training programs and physically working with heavy machinery.
Earlier materials from the early 1900s show women sitting in factories next to lighter equipment such as sewing machines and typewriters. There are a variety of companies displayed in the photographs including B. F. Spinney Co., Computing-Bureau Freight Accounts, Curtis Publishing Company, Curtis-Wright Corporation, Deane Works, Draper Corporation, General Electric Co., Glenn L. Martin Co., Goodyear Aircraft Corp., Osborn Manufacturing Company, and Timken Roller Bearing Co. A portion of the commercial photographs were taken by companies including Commercial Photo Co., Eastman Kodak Company, Mercury MFG. Co., Novelty Photo Co., Science Service, and Underwood and Underwood.
Series 2: Advertisements includes advertisements related to women in industry. These advertisements date from 1927 to 1946. The materials in this series promote products and jobs targeting women operating machinery such as safety bars, grinding tools, bending roles, gauges, double-seaming machines, and portable package staplers. There are a variety of companies featured in this series including Acme Staple Co., Ashcroft Gauge Division, Buffalo Forge Company, E.W. Bliss Co., The Sheffield Corporation, and Willson Safety Products.