Women at work

Women at work Credit: Photos via the Library of Congress on Flickr.
Remember Rosie the Riveter? The now iconic feminist symbol comes from a song titled "Rosie the Riveter" that came out in 1942, which depicted a woman working in an assembly line during World War II. While men went off to fight in the war, many women left behind the life of a housewife and took on crucial manufacturing jobs in factories and plants to aid in the war effort. And while Rosie has become an icon for feminism and women's employment over the years, these real photos of women hard at work in the 1940s are even more empowering today. In this image, Mrs. Irma Lee McElroy paints the American insignia on airplane wings at the Naval Air Base in Corpus Christi, Texas in August, 1942.

Checking the parts

Checking the parts Credit: Photos via the Library of Congress on Flickr.
An aircraft worker at the Vega Aircraft Corporation in Burbank California checks electrical assemblies in June, 1942.

Ms. Davis

Ms. Davis Credit: Photos via the Library of Congress on Flickr.
At the Naval Air Base in Corpus Christi, Texas, Mrs. Virginia Davis trains to take over her husband's job in case he's called to work by the armed service in August, 1942.

Working hard

Working hard Credit: Photos via the Library of Congress on Flickr.
In December, 1941, a woman works at the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. in Akron, Ohio, manufacturing self-sealing gas tanks.

Using that elbow grease

Using that elbow grease Credit: Photos via the Library of Congress on Flickr.
A woman assembles a section of the leading edge for the horizontal stabilizer of a plane at North American Aviation, Inc. in Inglewood, California in October, 1942.

Working on the planes

Working on the planes Credit: Photos via the Library of Congress on Flickr.
In October, 1942, a woman works as a shop technician at the Douglas Aircraft Company plant in Long Beach, California.

Helping in her way

Helping in her way Credit: Photos via the Library of Congress on Flickr.
A woman finishes up the bombardier nose section of a B-17F navy bomber at the Douglas Aircraft Company plant in October, 1942.

Installing an engine

Installing an engine Credit: Photos via the Library of Congress on Flickr.
A woman is trained to work on an engine installation at the Douglas Aircraft Company plant in October, 1942.

Drilling

Drilling Credit: Photos via the Library of Congress on Flickr.
At the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation plant in Fort Worth, Texas, a woman drills a wing bulkhead for a transport plane in October, 1942.

Running the big machines

Running the big machines Credit: Photos via the Library of Congress on Flickr.
In October, 1942, a woman prepares metal parts to go through a multi-ton hydropress at North American Aviation, Inc.