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of the

Women’s Bureau,

No. 201


For sale by the Superintendent ol Documents, U. S. Government Printing Office, Washington 25, D. C,
Price 10 cents



Letter of Transmittal---------------------------------------------------------------------What Kinds of Jobs May Need Women?------------------ ----------------------------Part I. Description of the Occupations Selected for Study---------------------Assembly------------------------------------------------ --------------------------------Methods of Assembly-----------------------------------------------------------Training Women in Assembly Techniques------------------------------- <
Importance of Assembly Jobs for Women-------------------------------Assembly of Aircraft------------ --------------- *-----------------------------Assembly of Fine Instruments----------------------------------------------Assembly of Machine Tools--------------------------------------------------Assembly in Shipyards--------------------------------------------------------Assembly of Ammunition and Firearms--------------------------------Electrical Assembly--------------------------- --------------------------------Inspection--------------------------------------------------------------------------------Inspection as an Occupation for Women--------------------------------Training of Women Inspectors----------------------------------------------Systems of Inspection----- -----------------------------------------------------Skills Required in Inspection-------------------------------------------------Operation of Machines--------------------------------------------------------------Women as Machine Operators---------------------------------- -------------Training for Machine Operation--------------------------------------------Skills Required for Machine Operation-----------------------------------Simplification of Machine Operation-------------------------------Proficiency of Women in Various Machine Operations---------Operation of More than One Kind of Machine--------------------Grinding Processes Numerous in Metal Work---------------------Many Machine Operations Require Special Skills--------------The Problem of Heavy Work------------------------------------------------Packing and Wrapping----------------------------------------------------------------Tool-Crib and Storeroom Work---------------------------------------------------Other Characteristic Occupations-------------------------------------------------Burring and Filing--------------------------------------------------------------Coremaking------------------------------------------------------------------------Part II. Probable Opportunities for the Employment of Women-------------Shifts from One Skill to Another---------------------------- --------------------Change to New Products, and Continuance of Demand-------------------The Electrical Industry----------------------------------------------------------- Lamps and Tubes----------- -----------------------------------------------------Radio Sets--------------------------------------------------------------------------Other Electrical Appliances--------------------------------------------------Professional and Scientific Instruments----------------------------------------Small Metal Products-----------------------------------------------------------------Kitchen Products-----------------------------------------------------------------Needles and Pines---------------------------------------------------------------Miscellaneous Hardware-------------------------------------------------------Other Small Metal Products--------------------------------------------------Transportation Equipment—Automobiles and Aircraft------------------Automobiles------------------------------------------------------------------------Fabricated Plastic Products--------------------------------------------------------Sources Referred to in Text--------------- -----Chart: Extent to which women employed in six selected industries were
doing assembling, inspection, and machine operating------------------------n









United States Department of Labor,
Women’s Bureau,

Washington, October 11, 191/4
Madam : I have the honor to transmit a study directing attention to
certain industrial occupations in which women have demonstrated
marked success, and which may be expected to continue to afford many
opportunities for women.

This report is one of a series of inquiries the Women’s Bureau is
making in fulfillment of its obligation to investigate indications as
to types of jobs likely to present future employment opportunities
for women. It also illustrates the way in which women’s work in
industry during the war has extended over a varied range in occupa­
tions having great similarity to those in which women long have been
employed and in which they undoubtedly will continue.
The report has been prepared as one part of the Bureau’s program
to outline probable conditions for women workers in the reconversion
and postwar periods. It is chiefly the work of Elisabeth D. Benham
of this Bureau’s Research Division, cooperating with Mary Elizabeth
Pidgeon, Director of the Research Division.
Respectfully submitted.
Frieda S. Miller, Director.
Hon. Frances Perkins,
Secretary of Labor.


Women workers long have shown marked ability to perform
particular industrial processes that require care, patience, and
In prewar years, and to a far greater extent during the war,
women have been employed on these types of work, in which
they could use their characteristic abilities. Outstanding
among occupations for which women thus have demonstrated
special aptitudes are:
Assembly of small articles—requiring deftness, ac­
curacy, and patience.
Inspection of many types—requiring conscientious
care and attention to details, and sometimes in_ volving quite expert procedures.
Operation of various machines—requiring close
following of instructions, and care in performing
correct processes and in preventing spoilage of
Tool-crib and stockroom work. Burring and filing.
Coremaking. Wrapping and packing.
Not only war industries but peacetime manufacturing as well
will need types of operations at least very closely allied to
those so skillfully done by women, both before the war and
in much larger numbers during the war.
The rapidity with which women can be employed on such jobs
depends on prompt change-over to peacetime production.
The extent to which such work can continue depends on
sound methods to assure a high level of employment and the
consequent distribution of buying power.
During the war large numbers of women have had valuable
experience in detailed operations that are the same as or very
similar to those that will be needed when production for
civilians is resumed. These women can play an important
part in meeting consumers’ demands for such products as the
Electrical equipment for lighting, radios, medical
care, and a wide variety of home uses.
Household utensils.
Hardware and other small metal parts.
Interchangeable small parts for automobiles and
Scientific measuring instruments.
Certain plastic products.

Employment Opportunities in Characteristic
Industrial Occupations of Women
The particular abilities of ■women workers have proved an unques­
tionable asset in certain industrial processes that long have employed
women. In many cases allied types of skill may be utilized in several
different industries. Consequently it is possible for women to transfer
from one industrial job to another in an industry wholly different but
requiring similar skills of the worker.
This has been of great advantage both to management and to workers
during the war, when occupations in which women excel have engaged
enormously increased numbers. It is likely that after the war these
operations will continue to offer a large field of opportunity for women
workers, owing to the interchangeability of such skills among several
industries and the particular aptitudes of women in performing them.
I here is strong probability that they will employ fewer persons than
at the war peak, but still will offer jobs to more women than in prewar
Such types of work include, for example, the assembling of small
pieces mto a whole or a part of the final product, which may involve
the soldering, welding, or fitting together of parts with hand tools
such as tweezers, pliers, or screw drivers; the inspection of parts or
assemblies, which may range from a simple examination by sight or
touch to the expert use of a precise measuring instrument; the opera­
tion of various types of machines, in some cases requiring the setting­
up of the machine; a number of kinds of cleaning or polishing; and
the wrapping and packing of the product, especially when this entails
handling relatively small units.
Assembly, inspection, operation of certain machines, and the wrap­
ping and packing of small articles long have been occupations em­
ploying many women. As far back as 1907 and 1908 when the study
of woman and child wage earners was made by special direction of the
Congress, women were assembling filaments for electric lamps, locks,
jewelry, and metal articles among other things, and were operating
drill presses, punch presses, and other machines in making huts, bolts,
screws, tin cans, hardware, and so forth (l).1
During the present war far greater numbers of women than before
have gone into such occupations in war industries. A 1942 study of
more than 125 war plants in a large industrial State found that threefourths of the women with occupations reported in the electrical, in14gefere"ces in parentheses throughout this report are to “Sources Referred to in





strumentj aircraft engine and propeller, machine, metal parts, and
ammunition plants combined were assembling, testing or inspecting,
operating machines, or packing and wrapping. Typical is the report
from an electrical plant recently visited, where the employment man­
ager stated that women have been found to be more adapted than men
to assembly work.
But it is not alone war industries whose products require assem­
bling, inspecting, and machine operations to be done. After the war



All other

Instruments, profes­
sional, scientific,
and other

Electrical products

Machines and machine

Metal parts, small

Aircraft engines
and propellers

Ammunition, gun
parts, and other
ordnance accessories
^Prom a sample of 70 plants in a large industrial State, 194a.

as before, women will do such work in many industries, probably in
numbers considerably greater than in 1939 if not so great as at the
war peak. For example, there would appear to be a relatively sure
demand for such products as the following, the making of which re­
quires the operations referred to: A variety of electrical appliances,
such as buzzers, fuses, meters, plugs, switches, coffee-makers, and
toasters; automobile parts; small metal products such as bolts, nuts,
screws, pins, and needles; delicate parts of such machines as type­
writers and other office equipment, sewing machines, and instruments
for measuring and testing; and such long-time employments of
women as the weaving of textiles, or the making of clothing, shoes,
and paper products. Wrapping and packing occupations also are
required in a number of the foregoing, and on an extensive scale in
various food industries as well.



Two points should be made at the outset of this discussion, and
they are points that cannot be repeated too frequently. In the first
place, the employment of women will rise or fall with the soundness
of the entire economy—with the rapidity with which conversion to
peacetime production can be made, and the extent to which a high
level of employment can be developed and maintained.
Secondly, the ever-changing processes of industry, new public de­
mands and the decline of earlier demands incident to new discoveries,
new methods of production, will continue to mean shifts in employ­
ment. Some highly specialized skills may become obsolete, others
need to be developed; but at the same time there are certain skills
that are admirably exercised by women and that are likely to be
usable, or adaptable in some closely allied form, in a variety of in­
dustries to the extent that the country’s economy enables those in­
dustries to exist.
The following pages will describe some of the work performed in
various industries by women in such occupations as assembly, inspec­
tion, operation of machines, and a few others. Possibilities then
will be discussed for postwar demands for the products of a few
of the chief industries that undoubtedly will continue to employ many
women in such occupations, as for example various branches of the
electrical industry, transportation equipment, certain small metal
parts, and plastic products.
Among the operations that long have been usual for women in many
industries are those of the type known in general as assembly or as­
sembling jobs that is, the. putting together of parts. These vary
widely in method used and in degree of skill. To screw together two
parts of the plug for an electric toaster, for example, seated at a bench
and using a small hand screw driver, is one of the simplest types of
assembly. Somewhat more difficult is the assembly of an induction
coil unit for an automobile. Wire is wound on a soft iron core, the
electrical connections are soldered, and the unit is put into a metal or
plastic housing.
When a number of parts are to be fitted together, it becomes neces­
sary to have as a guide some sort of pattern or instructions. Usually
this is in the form of a blueprint, and it is an important part of the
worker’s job to know how to read or interpret this accurately. Finally
there are very expert and complicated types of assembly sometimes
involving hundreds of pieces, often requiring a thorough knowledge
of the use of the mechanism being made. Examples are the work of
the watchmaker, or the final assembly of scientific instruments or of
machine tools.
The Dictionary of Occupational Titles compiled by the United
States Employment Service defines assembler as “A general term used
to designate a worker who assembles mechanical units or fabricated
parts to form complete units or subassemblies, using hand tools or
machines. Usually specifically designated according to the part he is
assembling, the article he is assembling, or the stage of assembling he
is performing.”



Methods of Assembly.
Assembling of small parts may be done while seated at a work bench.
It may or may not be organized on an assembly-line or belt-line system.
Where larger parts are concerned, and more space consequently is
needed, floor assembly is the method used, and this also may or may
not be done on an assembly line.
The entire occupation for some individuals as a part of the assem­
bling process may be the operation of a machine, such as a punch or
drill press to make the holes through which screws are to go; others
may perform some part of the preparation for making the parts fit or
smoothing them, using a scraper or a hand file; or the parts may be
fastened together with bolts or screws (using hand wrenches or screw
drivers). More complicated methods of fastening parts together, re­
quiring definite learning periods, may be by riveting, soldering, or
welding (for which methods differ). The weight and size of the ma­
chines or of the hand tools used in these various processes depend on
the weight and size of the parts being assembled.
Electrical assembly involves some techniques that are quite different
from those involved in preparing and fitting together small metal
pieces. However, in either type of assembly accuracy and fine work
are involved and there is an overlapping in machine and electrical
industries in the kinds of skills required by these occupations. Proc­
esses in the latter industry include cutting and insulating of wires,
connecting them according to a prearranged pattern by the use of
screws or solder, and so on. When a great number of wires are used
the pattern may become quite intricate, as for a switchboard or an
airplane panel board. Coil winding and armature winding are among
the types of work involved in electrical assembly.
Persons who have learned the various techniques just mentioned
should find their services of use in any one of a number of industries.
Furthermore, if they have started with the easier processes they may
be considered partly prepared for assembly jobs requiring other skills,
which they can add to those initially acquired. For example, as has
been indicated, in many of the more intricate jobs a knowledge of
blueprint reading is essential. By adding such knowledge to her
other skill, a woman who has successfully done some simple assembly
can advance to a more difficult type of work.
Training Women in Assembly Techniques.
The extent to which women are learning some of the techniques
involved in assembly may be judged by reports on cumulative en­
rollment from July 1, 1943, through April 30, 1944, in vocational
classes offering supplementary training to employed women, thus
adding to the skills they already were practicing. Altogether these
accounted for about three-fifths of all women enrolled in such classes.
They were as follows:
Aircraft assembly--------------------------Aircraft riveting--------------------------Welding (all kinds, in all industries)
Electric welding, heavy------------Blueprint reading__________________


Women enrolled
Number of total
39, 991



Importance of Assembly Jobs for Women.
That assembly jobs are far from new for women has been referred
to. In World War I the Women’s Bureau found women substituted
for men as assemblers in some 30 industries studied at that time, as
solderere in 9, as welders in 7 or 8, and as riveters in at least 4 (2).
In discussing the work of women in such occupations, the Bureau
Women had been employed as assemblers of small metal parts before 1914.
The war not only extended their employment for the first time in this
capacity to many factories making delicate machines or instruments, but
it sent them into machine shops where parts of medium size were assem­
bled. During 1918, women were substituted for men in assembling very
delicate instruments, locks, typewriter parts, sewing-machine parts, addingmachine parts, rifles, airplane parts, hardware, cutlery, tools, gears, trans­
missions, and joints of automobiles; centrifugal governors, and radiators
for engines; electric motors, switches, and switchboards; bombs and shells;
in the assembling of many other parts; and in aiding in machine erection.
* * * Two-thirds of the firms reporting on 1919 labor conditions had
retained their women assemblers (3).

As recently as the summer of 1942, a Women’s Bureau report of
women’s work in war industries in an important industrial State
found that more than one-third of the women reported were assem­
blers, and that women constituted one-fourth of all assemblers in the
plants visited. Only 6 percent of these women were replacing men;
92 percent of them had been doing that work before the war, and the
few remaining women assemblers were doing work new to the plant.
The importance of assembly as a job for women in the various indus­
tries surveyed in this State is shown in the following:
Percent women assemblers
were of all women
Electrical products------------------------------------------------------------------------- 47
Instruments, professional, scientific andother----------------------------------- 37
Metal parts, small------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2^
Plastic products------------------------------------------------- ----------------- :-------- jj-7
Ammunition, gun parts, and other ordnanceaccessories------------------------- T7
Machines and machine tools-------------------- ,--------------------------------------Chemicals and drugs----------------------------------------------------------------------- 13
Aircraft engines and propellers-------------------------------------------------------1
Rubber products

Assembly of Aircraft.
A very great number of parts go into the finished airplane. For
example, the midwing section alone of a certain type of plane has some
10,000 different kinds of parts, which are assembled into a unit measur­
ing about £0 by 12 feet (4). Some parts are very small. One of the
smallest electrical devices for aircraft use is a 10-ampere switchette
weighing one-third of an ounce (5). Such a condition makes possible
a very great subdivision of work and furnishes many jobs well within
the strength of the average woman. The assembly of the plane sec­
tions is done in a variety of major subassembly departments, and the
extent to which these functions are broken down into separate divi­
sions varies from plant to plant.
Early in 1942 the Women’s Bureau studied women’s work in aircraft
plants, and found women employed generally in detail and small sub­
assembly. The amount of work done on detail assembly in the bench



departments varied with the organizational set-up of the plant, with
a general tendency toward an increasing break-down of - operations
with more subassemblies and bench work. Women as bench workers
were on operations preparatory to assembly. They were using small
jigs to form subassemblies, fitting parts together with hand tools,
wrenches, screw drivers, scrapers, and the use of arbor or power presses
to force the parts close together, drilling holes with portable drills,
cutting with hack saws, inserting screws, clips, and dimpling by hand
and machine (6). Deft fingers and the ability to work with pains­
taking accuracy on small details are valued attributes. Certain of
these operations are similar to work done before the war on the smaller
parts for automobiles, though there is likely to be much more of the
finer work in an airplane than in an auto.
In the detail-assembly department of one large plant, three-fourths
of the workers were women. They were sorting, hand forming, filing,
burring, and riveting as well as putting parts together with hand tools.
In another plant women were 85 percent of all workers on detail as­
sembly, 3 being foremen of riveting.
Riveting is the operation that builds up most of the subassemblies
and final assemblies. Though not a large group at that time, women
were on all the various types of riveting. Not only were they working
on jig subassemblies of ribs, spars, and bulkheads, but they were at­
taching the metal skin to the control surfaces and wing panels.
At the time of the Women’s Bureau survey of aircraft plants in the
spring of 1941 it was estimated that in the fuselage department from
20 to 25 percent of the jobs could be done by women provided thev were
trained in riveting, which is the most common job throughout assembly.
In wing assembly about 35 percent of the jobs could be done by women,
in control-surface assembly nearly 70 percent, in cowling and tank
assembly about 20 percent, in final assembly about 15 percent.
Spot welding, a process that is substituted for riveting on an in­
creasing number of assemblies, requires little training and women were
being employed with marked success. A few full-fledged women
welders also were manipulating acetylene torches; these welded rods
joining brackets to steel tubing on engine mounts, tanks, landing-gear
parts, and other parts. A woman welder being paid a journeyman’s
rate of $1.32 an hour was reported as one of the most efficient in the
group with which she worked; the others were men. Parts plants
making manifolds, cowls, airscoops, and tanks were employing women
gas welders.
The proportion of women on the major fuselage and wing and final
assembly was very small and most plants had none at all. In two
plants, however, women worked alongside the slowly moving assembly
lines installing such parts as pulleys, levers, pedals, radio tables, switch
panels, and controls. Women working in a team were installing parts
of the hydraulic system for landing gears. In the wing-assembly
section of one plant 68 percent of the workers were women. In the
earlier stages of assembly women were operating dimplers and all types
of rivet machines, drills of all sorts, band saws, small brakes, rolls and
shears. In fuselage assembly (another plant) 52 percent were women.
The foreman wanted 800 more “right away.”
A vivid picture of women’s progress in this industry is presented
by the two trips made to a final-assembly plant. When first visited in



December 1941 it was stated that the nature of the work did not lend
itself well to the employment of women. Fifteen months later about
a third of the factory workers were women and their production had
far exceeded expectations. Since parts were made elsewhere, much
of the work was assembly.
Aircraft-engine plants visited by the Women’s Bureau late in the
summer of 1943 had women working with men, assembling engines,
tearing them down after testing, and reassembling. In one plant
women did 40 percent of the assembly work. Men did the jobs requir­
ing heavy lifting, otherwise work was the same for both. Most plants
avoided much lifting in engine assembly by having engines mounted
so that they could be turned mechanically to different positions.
Assembly of Fine Instruments.
The making of aircraft, optical and fire-control, and surgical and
dental instruments has been of great importance during the war.
Aircraft instruments are for indicating, measuring, recording, or con­
trolling the flight and navigation of a plane. Fire-control instru­
ments are predominantly optical, such as panoramic sights, gunsights,
periscopes, telescopes, and binoculars. The demand for surgical and
dental instruments has increased to supply medical units of the Army,
Navy, and Air Corps. At the same time, instruments for the auto­
matic control of industrial processes have been developing, and
probably will increase in importance after the war.
Many of these instruments are relatively small, light in weight, made
up of many intricate parts and assemblies. The light work, the many
small parts, and the painstaking requirements of certain operations
make instrument manufacture a field well adapted to the employment
of women. That their employment has greatly increased is shown by
the proportion of all wage earners who were women in October 1943,
as estimated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, compared with the
report of the Census of Manufactures for October 1939.
Number of women
per 100 wage earners

Professional and scientific instruments and fire-control equip­
Photographic apparatus------------------------------------------------------ 26
Optical instruments and ophthalmic goods 33



The final assembly of some instruments is akin to watch making. It
calls for a high degree of skill and responsibility, a thorough knowl­
edge and understanding of the use of the instrument, and a practical
knowledge of the field in which it is being used. The fact that even
two women were reported in a Women’s Bureau survey as final assem­
blers and instrument makers shows that they might become a sub­
stantial part of the final assemblers if management were open-minded
to the possibilities of employing them.
The Women’s Bureau made a special survey of the instrument in­
dustries in the fall of 1941. At this time the policy as to the employ­
ment of women varied greatly among the plants, their proportion of all
factory workers ranging from about 3 to nearly 50 percent. Later, in
1942, 9 instrument plants were visited in one industrial State, and
more than a third (37 percent) of the women they employed were as­
semblers, all of whom were on work done by women before the war.



In the prewar period 44 percent of women’s jobs in the plants report­
ing had been in assembling.
Most of the pressure-actuated aircraft instruments consist of a metal
or plastic case, bezel or snap rings, front glass, dial, pointers, and a
number of internal parts or subassemblies. In one of three large plants
women did practically all the work on these subassemblies, while in
the other two most of it was done by men. In a large plant that manu­
factures Navy and commercial barometers, automobile altimeters, and
compasses similar to aircraft instruments, women have been employed
extensively for many years and assembled aircraft altimeters during
the war of 191L-18.
Another type of instrument is based on the gyroscopic principle. In
one of the two plants inspected, women assemblers were classed as
unskilled repetitive workers doing light bench work. In the other they
did the major part, of the assembly' work.
Various news stories indicate an increased employment of women
making aircraft instruments:
Gyro-horizons and compasses, instruments necessary for safe, accurate
navigation of aircraft, are so delicate that all work must be done in washedair, pressure-controlled rooms. Women have proved especially adaptable
to this work.
An antiaircraft detector is assembled and largely machined by women.
A watch company makes altimeters and fine telescopes, as well as naviga­
tion watches and clocks. Before war production began, the firm employed 40
percent women; in 1942, 60 percent; now (June 1943), 80 percent.
A firm making automatic pilots for airplanes found it necessary to train
girls with little or no previous mechanical experience to perform the exacting
work required in the assembly of these devices.

In the manufacture of most dental and surgical equipment women
did little but minor subassemblies. However, in one plant making
clinical thermometers they were employed on all major processes.
Sphygmomanometers, which measure blood pressure, also were largely
the product of women’s work. Here they did all the assembly.
Binoculars were the only fire-control instruments on which women
were employed extensively at that time. They were mounting and
setting optical parts such as lenses, Porro prisms, and reticles into the
case, and staking and making minor adjustments of the position of the
parts. Similar work was being done by women on telescopes, aircraft
sights, and small gunsights. Later (January 1943) women were re­
ported to be 80 percent of the employees in a department assembling
Navy binoculars.
In another plant making Army range finders, fuze setters and firecontrol mechanism, a visit in December 1943 found women doing
electrical-parts-assembly bench work, and subassembly of units.
Some of this is precision work and women were, considered somewhat
better than men. The instruments were assembled on a wheel truck
that kept the work at bench level and enabled it to be turned in any
position. The truck had been made in the plant to ease the work
for both men and women. In final assembly women were helpers
to the men. The men were first-class mechanics but the women were
gradually learning enough about the job to go on with some of the
assembly when the men were absent.
In a plant making sighting and fire-control instruments visited
in July 1943, women were on subassembly using small hand tools. All
were required to read blueprints.



Instrument assembly was found in shipyards where women worked
with the instruments of navigation and control. They disassembled,
cleaned, repaired, reassembled, and calibrated such instruments and
meters as tachometers, thermostatic contact makers, hydrogen detectors
for submarines, shaft revolution indicators, heat and pressure gages,
and compasses. They also disassembled, cleaned, repaired, reassem­
bled and alined the optical parts of telescopes, gunsights, binoculars,
navigation instruments, and range finders.
Assembly of Machine Tools.
Assembly is an important part of the manufacture of machine tools.
It demands the precise leveling of machines on the floors, the exact
alinement of the various u*its with one another, and many fitting
operations involving scraping, filing, tapping, and other hand and
machine processes. As customarily organized, one man has done a
considerable variety of work requiring both experience and strength,
since many parts handled are heavy.
When the Women’s Bureau visited 15 major machine-tool plants
in the summer of 1942, only 8 were employing women on production
and in these the proportion of women among all factory workers was
only from 2 to 8 percent. Assembly accounted for nearly a fourth
of all production workers; only 2 plants were employing women as
assemblers, though with greater subdivision women could have done
much more of the work. In 1 of the 2 plants where women were
assembling, the work was so organized that women were not required
to handle any part weighing more than 18 pounds; they were filing,
burring, and polishing and using hand drills and arbor presses on
some of the smaller parts. In the other plant, women not only were
doing these simple, light operations but had been given the responsi­
bility of putting together parts of some of the subassemblies, such as
the cross-feed screw nuts, the taper attachment shoes, fitting the gears
on small shafts, and making lever and hand assemblies. They had
proved so satisfactory here that a large proportion of the women to
be hired in the future were to be placed in the assembly department.
At the time of the survey 70 percent of the women production workers
were on assembly jobs. One of the companies visited was planning
to employ women as final assemblers to do light fitting as well as
polishing and cleaning on the smallest machines manufactured.
Studies of various machine industries made by the Bureau of Labor
Statistics in 1942 also show relatively few women assemblers. Most
women were performing the least-skilled bench operations. An ex­
ception was the mechanical power-transmission-equipment industry,
where women were half of all bench assemblers and three-fourths of
those described as “Class C,” the unskilled group. The products,
ball and roller bearings, gears, drives, shafts and so on, are relatively
small (7) . A ball bearing used in an aircraft instrument is described
as 0.015 inch on its outer diameter and with balls so tiny that 3,000
would fit in a thimble. The entire bearing consists of six of these balls,
a race, two rings, and an outer casing (8). It can easily be imagined
how fine a process the assembly of such tiny parts must be.
In later Women’s Bureau visits, toward the end of 1943, women in
one plant were found doing bench assembly work which was not re­
petitive. They were using drawings, and considerable training and
experience were requird. A few women were employed here in the



welding department. They were considered good at intricate work.
Another plant visited at nearly the same time was still making some
of its prewar products, full-fashioned knitting machines. Here about
75 women were employed on textile-machine needles doing fine speed
work at benches that required great finger dexterity and excellent sight.
Though none of the women had been there over a year, they were said
to be much better than men and may be retained after the war. Many
women were doing needle-filling, which involves slipping and fitting
small needles into the groove of a rack on a small bar.
Assembly in Shipyards.
A great many small parts go into the building of a ship. There also
are many fittings for the living and working quarters on board that
are the same as or similar to articles made in other industries. For
these reasons many shipyard operations are well within women’s
In 1943 the Women’s Bureau visited 35 shipyards that had women on
production work and found women doing assembly work on a great
variety of items. These indued valves, couplings, waterpumps, Diesel
engines, manifolds, metal furniture, locks, water tanks, ammunition
boxes, lockers, rifle cabinets, switchboards, stanchion parts, ammuni­
tion-hoist parts, stiffeners, parts for watertight doors. In one yard
women assemblers filed surfaces to true, fitted gears to shafts, and made
subassemblies. Some were proficient enough to assemble an entire
unit, such as the mechanism controlling the training of a gun.
Assembly of Ammunition and Firearms.
From an occupational standpoint, the chief value of women’s ex­
perience in work on ammunition and rifles is in the techniques there
acquired that may be applied to peacetime products. Only a minimum
of these products should be required after the war, and with curtail­
ment in their manufacture workers now making them will shift to
other industries. Assembly of certain ammunition components is a
perfect example of the work first considered essentially suited to
women—the handling of very small units, requiring deftness, pre­
cision, and patience. This included the putting together of percussion
elements, primers, boosters, booster cups, and fuzes in many varieties
and sizes. It is probable that hundreds of small operations are needed
to complete these various parts.
Work on mechanical time fuzes may be taken as an example of proc­
esses women were performing. One of the Government arsenals in­
spected by the Women’s Bureau in 1941 reported 96 percent women in
the mechanical-time-fuze department, where 3 years before only 2
percent were women. It is interesting to note that many women for
such operations were recruited from needle-trade occupations, where
their abilities had been developed in fine embroidery.
A mechanical time fuze is made up of more than 100 parts varying
in size from a fraction of an inch to several inches. AH the sub­
assembly work is concerned with tiny parts and employs women almost
exclusively. The assembly of the movement is divided into progres­
sive steps similar to those of building up a watch or small clock. Much
of the work is intricate; small tools are used—tweezers, files, screw
drivers, hand drills, and others—and some of the assemblers wear a
jeweler’s loupe (eyeglass). Operations include the inserting of wheels



and movement parts; screwing, staking, and peening (drawing, bend­
ing, or flattening) subassemblies in place; setting escapements, firing
pins, firing arms, and testing their action. Finally the movement is
fitted into the fuze case.
In the making of small arms, assemblers were not a major occupa­
tional group; they composed only 2 to 5 percent of the workers in the
plants. Women constituted 8 percent of the assemblers in plants in­
spected by the Women’s Bureau in 1942, and the plant employing them
on the widest array of assembly work had 17 percent. Women could
do most of the small-arms subassembly and much of the final assembly,
depending on the weight of the weapon.
In several Canadian gun and rifle factories visited by the Bureau in
January 1942, half the assemblers on shoulder rifles were women, and
it was expected that eventually women would comprise three-fourths.
rI hey were doing subassembly on machine guns and were beginning to
work on final gun assembly with satisfactory results.
A United States plant making naval torpedoes was inspected in the
summer of 1943. Here women were doing most of the assembly, which
was fairly complicated. One person put together the entire front part
or the entire after-body, including all the mechanism. Women were
learning the complicated assembly of the gyro, which demands great
precision. They were taught to work with considerable independence
and responsibility.
Electrical Assembly.
As has been mentioned, the nature of electrical assembly involves
characteristic processes some of which are quite different from those
required in the fitting together of metal parts. Others, such as weld­
ing and riveting, are fairly similar in metal and electrical assembly.
Coils and armatures must be wound; electrical connections must be
prepared, wire insulated and connected with complicated instrument
systems. Many of these are operations that long have been performed
well by women.
Furthermore, electrical-assembly work cuts across the various indus­
tries that have been discussed, and others also, as well as occurring in
the more specifically electrical industries themselves, such as radio,
batteries, generating appliances, communications equipment, and so
on. At least some parts of great numbers of products are actuated by
electricity, as machine tools, automobiles, ships, and airplanes. In
other industries there are shops where electrical repair or maintenance
work is done, as in steel mills and foundries. In establishments visited
by the Women’s Bureau, the work forces in these departments fre­
quently had larger proportions of women than those in the plant as a
whole. Often the work the women did was decidedly skilled.
. In October 1939 women were a third of all wage earners in the
inclusive Census group “electrical machinery” and by February 1944
Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates considered them to be nearly half.
As already noted, assemblers were 47 percent of all women in electrical
plants visited by the Women’s Bureau in a 1942 survey in a large
industrial State, and 92 percent of these were doing work that had
been done by women before the war.
Most of the chief branches of the electrical industry were covered
by two studies of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, one in August 1937,
the other 5 years later (9). Comparison shows some increase in the



utilization of women: They comprised a little less than half of all
assemblers in the, early study, more than half in the later. While in
1937 no women were classed as skilled, in 1942 they were nearly a
fourth of Class A bench assemblers. The proportion of all assemblers
who were women varied considerably in the different branches of the
industry. In 1942 they were approximately as follows:
Percent women among all
Industry branch
assemblers reported
Electric lamps and radio tubes,100
Insulated wire and cable 79
Electrical measuring instruments__ : 79
Wiring devices and supplies----------------------------------------------- -------------- 78
Electrical appliances 68
Carbon products---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 66
Communications equipment 62
Radios and phonographs 52
Batteries 47
Generating, distribution and industrial apparatus------------------------------ 34
X-ray and therapeutic apparatus 23

Core and coil winding may be considered a part of assembly and in
the 1942 study women were two-thirds of all reported on these jobs.
They were more than half the solderers, but less than a fifth of the
riveters and welders.
An important electrical industry that since its earliest days has
been a large employer of women is the manufacture of radios. A
Women’s Bureau study of this industry in 1929 found one plant in
which 84 percent of the women hired during the year were put on
assembly work, in contrast to 33 percent of the men so placed. This
does not represent the proportion at any one time but is a rough
indication of the work done by men and women. Large numbers of
women, many more than men, were hired for the assembly of sets,
receivers, speakers, condensers, and transmitters. Only as assemblers
of consoles and cabinets were the men hired in this plant outnumbered
by women (10). In the more recent study, made in the summer of
1942 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women were more than half
of all assemblers, though none were reported as skilled bench assem­
blers, or as floor assemblers of any grade (11).
Recent visits to electrical plants have found women doing bench
work—assembling small parts of thermostats, wiring and soldering
elements, and armature winding. In one plant making communica­
tions equipment, the majority of the assemblers were women. In
another making motors and generators the work was subdivided so
that one group of girls put brushes, screws, and rings on the lower
part of rotors; they were then passed to another group who inserted
two bakelite panels in the upper part and a metal partition through
the middle; the third group fitted the rotor over a bakelite insulator.
Men put on the final heavy cage.
Women in the electric shop of a steel mill did assembling on A. C.
motors. In another they took apart and reassembled small motors,
being classed as helpers. Even in a plant making guns, howitzers,
and mortars, visited in November 1943, women in an electrical-assem­
bly department worked on small mechanisms, cables and harness, con­
necting, soldering, and so on. Some made cables of different sizes and
types. Some assembled an entire small mechanism, using a special
type of blueprint easy to follow. There were 75 different types to be
assembled, so work was not repetitive.



In shipbuilding, considerable electrical assembly is required, and
women work on fittings for electric-wiring systems, conduit pipes,
lamps, and small switches, and repair and assemble telephones. On
board ship they are helpers to the electricians who install switches,
lights, telephones, instruments, and fuse boxes. In one yard a woman
was reported as able to make the entire telephone installation, with
another woman as helper. She had learned to read engineering blue­
prints and could make all installations from the print. In another
yard women were doing electrical wiring, working from simplified
blueprints or drawings.
In aircraft production, among the first occupations thought suitable
for women were some of those in the electrical workroom. These
include wiring and assembly of switch, junction, and jack boxes, work
on the instrument panels, and a great variety of other processes.
Sometimes parts needed reworking to insure an accurate fit. Most of
the work in the electrical, radio, and instrument-panel divisions re­
quires manipulative dexterity of a high degree, and these divisions
were among the first to offer new opportunities to women. In 1942
the Women’s Bureau found women working on the assembly and
preparation of electrical systems—cutting wires, attaching fittings
and lugs with screw drivers, arbor presses, and soldering wire to con­
tact points. They were laying out wires on routing boards or jigs,
bending them around pegs until a complete harness was assembled.
They laced groups of wires together, gave them a protective cover of
shellac, and installed them in conduits; soldered on lugs, and attached
designations for the final assembly into the plane. The definition of
a single type of electrical assembly in the aircraft industry as given
in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (Supplement, Edition II, July
1943, p. 83) gives an idea of the various operations that may be involved.
The operations may be subdivided.
* * * measures and cuts insulated wires of a specific size and kind, usinga wire cutter or pliers; tapes fittings on the ends of the wires; threads the
wires through conduits and solders the ends to a plug; laces together the
wires protruding from the open end of the conduit; wires parts, such as
switches, meters, light sockets, and terminal panels, using an assembly sketch
as a guide; attaches fittings to junction boxes, using nuts and bolts, inserts
wires through openings into box and connects them to specific parts; connects
wired junction box to testing apparatus and verifies wiring by connecting the
box to testing lights.

A western aircraft plant put 25 women—the first hired—on elec­
trical and radio essembly in the early spring of 1941. In 3 weeks
the units produced per week increased by 25 percent, some even by
50 percent. Women fitting 63 different wires into a junction box cut
the time from 2 hours to 90 minutes. In this plant a fuselage frame
starts down a powered conveyor line. As it passes the various sta­
tions, girls install throttles, controls, instrument panels, and so on.
Nowhere does a man touch it (12). In the electrical department of
another aircraft plant the Women’s Bureau found that about 60
percent of the workers were women, who were chiefly sorting, splicing
wires, assembling parts, and making installations. On a visit to
this plant a year later, it was stated that women’s work was not dis­
tinguished from men’s except that women could not hold jobs that
required lifting.
614696°—44---- 3



The instruments used on airplanes to control their engines, such
as tachometers, manifold pressure gages, and electrical thermometers,
are dependent on electrical transmission for their indications. In
plants visited by the Women’s Bureau as early as 1941, women were
employed on much of the work of making these instruments. They
were doing part of the winding of armatures, field coils, and stators;
coil taping and forming; assembling armatures and commutators;
soldering and connecting wires; and other electrical operations.
At an airport visited in November 1943, women in the shops did a
great variety of light bench work, assembling radio harness for planes,
soldering, and so on. Some six or seven new electrical harnesses are
made for each plane, and women do a great variety of small assembly
on them.
Machine-tool making involves some electrical work, such as the
wiring and installation of motors, switch boxes, and electric panels.
Of 15 such plants inspected by the Women’s Bureau in 1942,8 employed
women on production and 2 of these used them for electrical assembly.
The work of these women consisted of wiring panel boxes, soldering,
cutting wires, attaching wires to terminals, and similar bench opera­
tions. A third company planned to put women on panel wiring soon.
Work tables with pigeon holes had been constructed for the various
parts to be used, and the women were to follow numbered diagrams
that had been broken down and simplified by the engineering
In another machine-tool plant visited in 1943 women were doing
electric-panel-board assembly exclusively and were considered better
than men ever had been. Management would like to have women on
this work after the war. At least one electric panel board is assembled
for each machine made. The boards are a little different for each,
but there are some similarities and panels fall into four general types.
The girls followed blueprints at first but had learned to work so well
that usually they could get along without them.
Most types of manufacture provide for inspection of the product,
usually at various points in the manufacturing process. This is a
prominent feature, for example, in the metal-goods and machinery
industries, where greater and greater precision is demanded in the
product. Parts must fit accurately in order to function according to
the high standards required. Parts also must be interchangeable,
so that replacements may be made from stock on such equipment as
machines or automobiles. This precision is secured by inspection at
various stages of production, which may involve merely looking at
the part for obvious defects or may require exacting measurements
for variations from required dimensions of not more than onethousandth, or perhaps a ten-thousandth, of an inch. With the trend
toward greater accuracy, there have been perfected measuring devices
so largely automatic that some inspection processes are quickly and
easily learned. This trend also calls for more inspectors, whether men
or women, in relation to workers on production. Besides inspection
at various stages of production, examination is made also of parts
that may be shipped in from other plants for use in a more complete



Testing is a form of inspection. It may involve determination of
certain qualities, such as hardness of a piece of metal. It is often the
trial of a completed mechanism to see that it functions as it should.
A very simple form of testing is to screw an electric light bulb into
a socket to see whether or not it will burn. Very elaborate tests are
made of airplane engines by setting them up and running them in a
testing cell, keeping watch of various gages and making careful
records of performance. Such a test may take 4 to 5 hours.
Inspection as an Occupation for Women.
The report of women’s employment made nearly 40 years ago—in
1907 and 1908—shows that women were engaged as inspectors at
that time. In the making of incandescent electric lamps, women even
then comprised about four-fifths of all workers. They were testing
carbons, filaments, coil testing, and doing the final inspection. The
report states “The operators engaged in this inspection must have a
great deal of experience and judgment * * *.” They also were
inspecting bolts and screws, type, tin plate, cutlery, gun barrels, and
parts of locks. Of the last named the report states, “This is exacting
work, since the inspector must note and reject imperfect parts for the
most trifling error.” In can factories women were testing finished
cans for leaks (13).
During the First World War, women’s employment in the metal in­
dustries increased greatly and they were substituted for men as in­
spectors as well as in other occupations. The description of their work
is not unlike a present-day description: “Here very often parts have
to be accurate to the thousandth of an inch. Women employed as
inspectors had to learn how to use gages, read micrometers, and
vernier calipers. Many learned to read blueprints and to use the
Scleroscope (for testing hardness).” Women were reported as re­
placing men inspectors in 27 different industries. About two-tliirds
of the firms reporting on the relative output of men and women de­
clared women to have been as fast or faster than men. One firm stated
that its records showed women to have turned out 20 percent more than
men on 3-inch trench-mortar shells. Of the firms describing condi­
tions in 1919, over 70 percent had continued to employ women for
inspection (14).
One-sixth of the women employed in over 125 plants, in a large
industrial State surveyed by the Women’s Bureau in 1942, were in­
spectors or testers. Three-fourths of these were doing what had been
women’s work before the war, about 15 percent were replacing men
and 11 percent were on work new to the plant. Inspection's an
opening for women varied in importance by industry, as the following
Percent of all women who
were inspectors and testers

Metal parts, small____________________________
Aircraft engines and propellers 31
Plastic products--------------------------------------------------------------------------- ~
Ammunition, gun parts, and other ordnance accessories 2i
Machines and machine tools 23
Instruments, professional, scientific, and other 22
Rubber products 13
Electrical products H
Chemicals and drugs




While inspection was a new occupation for all the women reported
in aircraft parts and chemicals and drugs, it was a prewar occupation
for all in plastic and rubber products (15).
Officials interviewed by the Women’s Bureau often speak of inspec­
tion as being well suited to women if parts and gages handled are
not too heavy. The foreman in a machine-tool company reported
that women picked up the work faster than men, followed instructions
better, and were more careful in making precise measurements and
checks. In aircraft plants women inspected small parts and castings
for defects and tested for hardness. Foremen stated that men were
apt to become bored with this type of work and that women were more
satisfactory. In one aircraft-parts plant women were replacing men
on highly skilled inspection work and were very successful. Accord­
ing to the superintendent of inspection, women at the end of a 3months’ training period were the equal of men with 6 months’
Training of Women Inspectors.
Women’s Bureau studies of war plants show some of the policies
regarding on-the-job training. In one plant women were learning to
be inspectors while doing some productive process. These usually
were short runs of different kinds of work. A girl would learn to
use one gage applicable to the work in progress; the next run of
work might require another type, and thus the girl learned the vari­
ous types gradually. Under a similar system in another plant women
were receiving the kind of training that would make them all-round
inspectors. Rarely were as many as 200 parts of one type made.
This plant considered women most skilled and most useful as inspec­
tors. In a third plant a combination method was found suitable.
Women who disliked to change were allowed to learn one type of in­
spection and could achieve great speed, which was a valuable asset.
Others who would find the repetition monotonous were taught the
different methods. Their versatility made them equally useful.
In one of these plants women taking the inspection course attended
6 hours a week for 12 to 14 weeks. They learned blueprint reading
and the use of all precision instruments, and acquired an understand­
ing of shop processes. As to details, they learned the tools used in
setting up work for inspection, such as plates, squares, and protractors
of various kinds; several different kinds of micrometers, some 20
different kinds of gages, dial indicators, and comparators. Most of
the students in these classes were women.
During the second half of 1943 and the first 4 months of 1944, nearly
two-thirds of all persons enrolled in the Government classes for in­
spectors’ supplementary training were women. About 5,150 of these
were in aircraft plants alone, some 8,500 in all other industries.
Systems of Inspection.
Inspection may be delayed until the product is finished, and this
would be a suitable method for a very simple article. Usually, how­
ever, it has been found more and more necessary to make frequent
checks at various stages of the work. This is especially true when
many parts are brought together to make a finished whole. All must
meet the standards set up by the engineers or they will not fit together
and adequately serve their purpose. Inspection saves time and mate­



rial. If a deviation from standard is caught at the right moment
it may be corrected. Inspection may show faulty working of some
machine, which if not adjusted would result in a continued produc­
tion of scrap and a waste of the machine operator’s time.
Under a customary system in plants visited by the Women’s Bu­
reau, inspection starts with machine operators who do some checking
on their own work. General or roving inspectors make spot checks
at the machines. Then final inspection is done at benches or on a
line. A variety of gages are used.
In the aircraft plants, women inspectors in 1942 were engaged
chiefly in checking to order specifications such incoming purchased
parts as valves, rivets, bearings, and clamps. They inspected small
castings for internal defects, using Magnaflux testing equipment, and
tested the hardness of metal on Rockwell, Brinell, or Scleroscope
testers. During fabrication, forming, and assembly, inspection is
continuous, and women were employed in departments where they
constituted a substantial part of the group, such as in the fabric,
electrical, and tubing sections. By the spring and summer of 1948
there had been a great increase in the employment of women in the
inspection of aircraft parts.
In machine-tool factories studied in 1942, the organization and ar­
rangement of inspection differed from plant to plant. Women were
doing in-process inspection, and a few made the final inspections of
small parts. Most read blueprints and used a variety of precision in­
struments. Some plants had inspection centers where any work done
in a department was thoroughly checked before being sent on for
further processing. The line or general inspectors, employed on the
floor by some companies to go through the departments and check
on any work that appeared to need it, usually are highly skilled work­
men capable of doing any kind of work, and no women were so
Inspection that keeps pace with other processes is well illustrated in
the work on percussion fuzes and powder-train time fuzes. For one
of the more complicated types, 38 operations are listed, including ma­
chining, assembly, and five inspections of parts or of assemblies, done
in many cases by women. In the making of barrels for small arms
there are 41 principal machine operations. In this sequence there are
over 30 inspections, including visual, gage, and Magnaflux, hardness
testing, and inspection of line straightening. Women participated in
most of these.
A typical large plant making automobile accessories, electrical equip­
ment, and radios both before and during the war, formerly placed
great reliance on final inspection. War demands for increased exacti­
tude and speed developed the system of full inspection of parts at
every step—10 percent spot checking on minor dimensions and 100
percent on major and critical ones. The inspection staff has been in­
creased to more than 6 times its former size, though the total force is
only something more than double the prewar force. For detail in­
spection at benches, the company has long employed women on small
parts where delicate finger touch is an advantage.
At the head of the system for securing precision in this plant is the
set-up inspector—a man seasoned and expert. He devotes his whole
time to first samples of parts coming off a machine; checking them
according to the operation lay-out sheets and blueprints involved, as



prepared by the tool lay-out engineers. When he tags a part as correct
it is turned over to a floor inspector with instruction as to what to
look for. As a rule each floor inspector checks on the output of 25
machines and is responsible for seeing that parts produced are of the
quality approved by the set-up inspector. When qualified men floor
inspectors left to enter the services women were trained to replace
them with very favorable results. When gages are light they have
been found most capable (16).
Skills Required in Inspection.
It can be seen from the discussion of training and of inspection sys­
tems that the skills required vary greatly with the product, the type
of set-up, the degree of subdivision, and so on. Some types are simple
repetitive operations that demand but little judgment. Many gages
and testing appliances are simple and quickly learned. Some plants
keep women on one type of appliance exclusively, others introduce
them to the use of several, often a considerable number. Illustrating
work that was relatively simple, though fatiguing because very fast
and monotonous, is the inspection by women of belt links for ammuni­
tion. They sat beside a rapidly moving belt piled with links. Each
woman took olf as many as she could inspect. Any that were missed
passed the line of workers again. Each link was placed over a small
gage. If defective, a red light flashed. After the belt was installed,
the women had to learn to look above and not at it. Individual records
showed 15,000 or 16,000 links inspected in 8 hours, with one unusual
record of 20,000.
Other kinds of inspection follow an involved process that places a
great deal of responsibility on the worker, who must have considerable
experience. This is especially true of certain testing operations. An
example is the work of women in two small-arms factories, inspecting
gages used in checking on the plant product. Since the accuracy of
the products manufactured depends on the correctness of the gages and
dies, this work requires great care and skill. Also necessary is a certain
knowledge of mathematics, and use of a wide range of measuring in­
struments. Typical of the devices used in this work were optical
comparators, shadowgraphs, Carl Zeiss toolmakers’ microscopes, Pratt
and Whitney supermicrometers, vernier height gages and depth gages,
calipers, micrometers, Rockwell hardness-testing machines, and Jo­
hansson gage blocks. Gage inspection was done by women in some
cannon factories also. Only college graduates were employed.
An even heavier responsibility rests on a group of some 60 women
who work in New York City as inspectors for the gage division of the
Inspection Board of the United Kingdom and Canada. They inspect
the gages that are used in the checking of all munitions for the lend
lease program to insure interchangeability of parts. They use preci­
sion instruments that measure within millionths of an inch. In re­
cruiting women to be trained for this work the board looked for college
and university graduates with an “analytical mind” who had majored
in mathematics or physics. The first four began their special train­
ing in January 1941. They are still at work. The first-class technical
assistant in charge thinks these women are less like “prima donnas”
than most men doing the same exacting work.
Calibration of instruments is a responsible job done by women, and
covers testing, adjusting, balancing, and measuring their performance



according to definite standards. Calculations and computations may
be necessary and the calibrator of the more intricate instruments needs
a working knowledge of mathematics and the principles of physics
involved. In all but one of the plants visited by agents of the Women’s
Bureau only men did this work. In the one exception a woman was
calibrating suction gages, which are among the simpler instruments.
In the making of gyroscopic instruments women were doing practi­
cally all the testing on the smaller rotors, including testing of spring
tension, making run tests to ease parts, and vibration tests to detect the
slightest friction in movement.
In one plant manufacturing fittings and castings and doing preci­
sion work, intelligent girls with a better-tlian-average education were
selected to make final inspection tests. They checked all parts in oper­
ation, doing any necessary adjusting with hand tools. They then
figured out various test problems to check the use of the instruments.
Another exacting type of inspection in which women participated
to varying degrees in several plants visited is in the testing of aircraft
engines. The engine is set up, with propeller attached, in a testing cell.
The operator or operators direct and watch the “test run” through the
window of an adjoining room. There is a control panel with as many
as 79 instruments, most of which are similar to those on the instrument
panel of large aircraft. The engine is run at different speeds, and ac­
celeration, idle, and dive tests are performed. Pressures and tempera­
tures are observed and recorded; fuel and oil consumption under var­
ious conditions, and operation under various propeller settings and
speeds, are checked. The operator who is working alone must watch
the engine and the panel board, make calculations, and keep records
After an aircraft engine has been tested, it is disassembled and all
parts are given close inspection for flaws, signs of wear, and failure
to function or possibility of such failure. In a plant where men had
always done this work, a few women had recently been employed
and a new group was being trained.
In the engine plants women were found doing the computing for the
log sheets, using a slide rule. In one plant testing was done by a
team of a woman and 1 or 2 men. About 80 girls were so employed.
Usually they learned the work in about 2 months. In another plant
where women were operators in the test cells, they did practically
all the work but ordinarily there was 1 skilled man with every 6
women. At an air station where engines are tested after flights, a
woman operator works alone and is entirely responsible for the engine.
Another operator in the same space and testing another engine may
act as relief, since tests take from 5 to 8 hours.
The war industries make extensive use of metals, and their fabrica­
tion into the various required parts includes shaping by means of
machines or hand tools. The chief machines for shaping metal prod­
ucts by the removal of particles of the material, known as machine
tools, are milling machines, drilling, reaming, and honing machines,
gear-cutting machines, broaches, grinders, and automatic, engine, and
turret lathes.



Such equipment is produced in a great variety of types and sizes.
Each machine may be built for either of two purposes: (1) To per­
form various operations on miscellaneous pieces or (2) to perform the
same operation or operations on quantities of one piece. The first
type is for short runs, is extremely flexible, and ordinarily is operated
by a skilled machinist. The second kind of machine is for massproduction purposes, and often has groups of tools working at the
same time; it may be partly or fully automatic, so that the.operator
has only to load, start, stop, and unload it. Besides machine tools,
other common metal-working machines are punch presses for punching
holes in stock or for cutting small parts out of stock, and forming or
stamping machines or presses for shaping metal parts.
The proportion of all workers who operate these diverse machines
varies with the product. Factories assembling airplanes and automo­
biles from purchased parts will have relatively fewer machine oper­
ators than plants that make the smaller parts or the entire product
from the raw. materials. In the machine-tool plants studied by the
Women’s Bureau, about half the men and nearly two-fifths of the
women were in the machining units, most of them operators. In the
making of small arms, nearly two-thirds of all factory employees
worked on machines.
In aircraft-assembly plants not more, and usually less, than 10
percent of all employees are in the machine shop. Bureau of Labor
Statistics studies show that in 1940 13 percent of all employees in
automobile manufacture were machine-tool or punch and press opera­
tors, compared with about one-fourth of those in automobile-parts
plants. Bureau of Labor Statistics studies of the manufacture of air­
craft parts show that about one-fifth of the workers on the first shift
operate such machines (18).
An example of the extent to which machine operation is necessary
in metal fabrication is the making of the 30-caliber Browning machine
gun (air cooled). This has 189 parts, with 1,800 separate machine
operations. The large amount of metal that must be removed by
gradual machining is shown in the work done on a number of the
parts. The raw stock and forgings for one type of gun weigh 100
pounds, the finished steel parts only 18 pounds. Among the major
components are the gun-body forging, weighing 45 pounds in contrast
to the finished gun body’s 5y2 pounds, the barrel forging weighing
10 pounds and the finished barrel 0, the slide-butt forging weighing
22 pounds and the finished slide butt 4.
Women as Machine Operators.
Though the number of women operating machines in metal-goods
plants has increased so greatly during the war, this is by no means
a new type of occupation for women. In the early survey of 1907
and 1908 it was stated that “a very large proportion of women em­
ployed in this group of industries are working as machine opera­
tors * * *” (19). Some of the machines particularly noted, with
the product worked on, were as follows:
Brass ware and other metalsFoot and power presses.
Stamping presses.
Drill presses.
Cans and boxes, tin
Punch presses.



Clocks and watches--------------------------- Automatic screw machines.
Drill presses.
Milling machines.
Hardware---------------------------------------Power presses.
Dial presses.
Milling machines.
Automatic screw machines.
Nuts, bolts, and screws----------------------- Cutting machines.
Nut tapper (drilling operations).
Punch presses.
Stamped ware--------------------------------- Forming presses.

A study of the position of women during and after the First World
War revealed that more than four-fifths of the women substituted for
men in metal-working industries were put on machine processes fairly
similar, in occupation if not in method, to those performed today on
metal work (20). Women were very successful, and well over half
of the firms reporting had retained women on each type of machine
in 1919, as the following shows:

Percent of firms retaining
women in 1919

Gear cutters and shapers 86
Grinders and polishers 69
Milling machines 68
Drill presses 66
Punch presses 59
Lathes 57

Every one of the firms employing women on milling in this World
War I survey reported favorably on their work. One element enter­
ing into their success undoubtedly was the fact that the parts being
processed usually were small. To set up work correctly in milling
machines requires considerable skill, though to operate the machine
after it is set up requires little. Some women were able to set up their
machines and grind the tools after a month’s practice, some took as
much as a year. Three firms keeping actual output records found that
women averaged more than men on identical work.
In the First World War more firms substituted women on drilling
than on any other occupation. Most of the work was done on light
and medium machines having from 1 to 16 spindles. Not only were
holes rough-drilled, but they were reamed to overcome drilling defects,
tapped to produce internal screw threads, counter sunk and counter
bored to enlarge the upper end or to form a shoulder at the lower end.
The great majority of the firms reported that women were more atten­
tive and conscientious than men. Some of the women put in their own
tools and ground them. Figures as to output on identical work under
the same conditions were secured from 3 firms. In 2 of the 3, women’s
output exceeded men’s.
The lathe performs a greater variety of processes than does any
other machine, and on the whole operating a lathe calls for greater
ability and judgment. More than two-thirds of the firms surveyed
after World War I reported women’s output on lathes as equal to or
greater than men’s. Their success is all the more significant because,
compared to other kinds of work, they had failed most frequently
in this due to lack of experience or to insufficient strength. In a list
of 10 lathe operations performed by women on shells they had learned




on 6 to set up the work, test the cut, grind the tools, shift the belts,
and clean the machine. Of 20 firms reporting on the relative produc­
tion of men and women on turret lathes, 5 stated that women produced
as much as men, 5 that they produced more, and 10 that they produced
When only a small amount of metal must be removed to bring the
work to correct measurements, or when a smooth surface is wanted,
it is ground or polished. Also, there is much grinding or sharpening
of tools in connection with all machine-shop work. An employer
using women to grind the bores of cylinders said, “Women have better
eyes for symmetry.” In one establishment a woman on automatic saw
grinding operated 14 machines, a man with longer experience 5. In
another plant the average output of women on rough and finished
tool grinding was nearly twice that of men. A firm that reported a
smaller output for women than for men on polishing stated that the
quality of work done by the women was better (20).
A State survey in 1942 covering more than 125 war plants reported
that over one-tenth of the women employed were operators of machine
tools or of punch and forming presses. It is not surprising that the
proportion was considerably greater than this in certain industries,
as appears in the following:

Percent of all women who were machineindustry
tool or punch- and forming-press operators
Machine and machine tools---------------------------------------------------------- 29
Aircraft engines and propellers_________________________ ________ 27
Instruments, professional, scientific, and other------------------ ------- — 18
Ammunition, gun parts, and other ordnance accessories-------- ------------ 17
Metal parts, small 16

It is of significance that larger percents of the women at work on
the punch, forming, and drill presses had been similarly employed
before the war, though certain other machine occupations reported
were new to women in the plants studied.
Percent of women on
prewar occupations
Punch- and forming-press operators------------------------------ ---------------- 67
Drill-press operator 41
Lathe and screw-machine operator------------------------------------------------ 25
Grinding-machine operator-----------------------------------------------------------9
Milling-machine operator------------------------------------------------------------7
Gear-cutting-machine operator------------------------------------------------------ None

The New York Department of Labor made a survey of the replace­
ment of men by women in the first year of United States participation
in the present war. Data were secured from reports of plants that
were granted relaxation from State labor laws in connection with war
production (21). Of the plants reporting substitution of women for
men, almost half were manufacturing iron and steel and other metal
products, machinery, and transportation equipment. The proportion
of plants that had replaced men with women on the chief machine
processes was as follows:

Percent of plants that
replaced men w-ith women
Drill-press operator--------------------------------------------------------------------- 33
Filer, grinder, buffer 15
Milling-machine operator 11
Lathe operator 11
Punch-press, power-press operator------------------------------------------------ 12
Screw-machine operator 1



The extent of women’s employment on machines in a mass-produc­
tion industry is illustrated by the Women’s Bureau survey of smallarms manufacture in 1942. Women were about one-fifth of all machine
operators in the factories inspected, but their utilization varied greatly
from plant to plant and department to department. They were 6
percent of the workers in the lathe and screw-machine departments,
though not all operated machines. In some machining departments
the proportion of women ran as high as 60 percent; yet one plant had
no women so employed. In one plant almost 80 percent of the drillpress operators and 30 percent of the milling-machine operators were
women. Three plants employed women extensively on turret, engine,
and bench lathes, while two others had no women on such work. One
plant had 21 percent women in its barrel-machining department, where
they operated milling machines, engine and automatic lathes, drill
presses, grinders, broaches, reamers, and other specialized machines.
Training for Machine Operation.
Women, ordinarily not familiar with machines, need more training
than men for some of these operations, but they are quick to recognize
this need. Instructors state that women bombard them with questions,
and demand more attention on their training projects. They are much
more meticulous in following detailed instructions, and are less likely
to slur over or pass up specifications.
Training for machine operation in general includes learning the
names of tools and parts of the machine, care of tools, reading of
blueprints, and use of measuring instruments, as well as the actual
operation of the machine, often of a number of machines.
During the 10 months ending April 30, 1944, some 33,600 employed
women had enrolled in supplementary classes for machine-shop prac­
tice, more than a third of all such trainees. In addition, about 7,000
women were in training as aircraft mechanics (maintenance) or auto­
motive mechanics and outside or marine machinists.
A report made by the supervisor of training in a New England school
as to women’s capabilities in such instruction is typical—that the
women listened more carefully than men to instructions and were more
painstaking in their work. They were slower than men at first, but
their spoilage was less. He stated that women were able to work to
close tolerances in a very short time.
Skills Required for Machine Operation.
The basic metal-working machines cannot be listed in order of ease
or difficulty of operation, since this varies according to size, type, and
so forth. The most complicated machine, requiring the greatest skill
to set up ready to operate, may be the most automatic, the most easily
learned, and the simplest to run.
In mass-production industries a machine setter selects the proper
tool, which has been sharpened; fixes it in the machine; and adjusts
the machine for the work in progress. Often an indicator is set to
determine the point at which the process is to be stopped. The ma­
chine operator then takes hold. If quantities of the same piece are
processed, the run may keep her busy for a day or two. She has
merely to load and unload the machine, to start and stop it. Under
this arrangement an operator may run 6 to 8 machines. It may be
more practical to keep the worker—whether man or woman—con­



tinuously on the one type of operation, and there may be no economic
advantage in teaching the setting up, tool grinding, and so on. The
operator may, however, make spot checks of the dimensions of the
parts as they are finished. In small-arms manufacture, the usual
practice was to have machine setters for all machines.
Simplification of Machine Operation.—Various things can be done
through planning and design to simplify work for the operator. As
one executive has said, “Owing to development and design, the ma­
chine tool now does the physical work which formerly was done by
the operator. The machine tool has within itself the precision ana
the power needed to get the job done. All that the operator has to
do is to have the intelligence and the dexterity to operate the ma­
chine.” It was pointed out in connection with a precision grinding
operation that it is the machine that is precise.
In some machine-tool plants, good tooling has replaced individual
skill. In one case, for example, the inside chasing of threads was
eliminated by standardizing the thread and size of hole and then
buying 4 or 5 expensive taps by which the job could be done with
much less skilled attention. A woman operating a rifling machine
had to perform 32 separate operations, but the company had developed
a system of laying out the cutters and tools to be used, in proper
order; also tools were correctly ground for the work.
Proficiency of Women in Various Machine Operations.—There is
plenty of evidence in Women’s Bureau reports that women are doing
some of the skilled preparatory work—the set-up, selection of tools,
their grinding, and so forth—and working to blueprint specifications
rather than with dimensions automatically governed by the machine.
Women have demonstrated ability for independent work. For ex­
ample, in the toolroom of one large plant visited, 8 women were grind­
ing cutters and taking care of tools, 1 was repairing dies and was
learning to make them. The women were improving steadily, but
it is obvious that in work that requires a considerable training period
for any new employee, they would have to be there from 9 months
to a year before they would be really useful. In the same plant two
women were learning to do skilled machine repair. In one smallarms plant the largest single occupational group of women, aside
from inspectors, were those in the toolroom, where 40 percent were
women. The toolroom force for all plants was 11 percent women.
They were most frequently making cutters, reamers, end mills, gages,
and drawbars. Some women were setting up their own machines
and more were learning this part of the work. In another plant
women in the tool crib sharpening tools did as good work as any
man. Two had been there a year and needed no help of any kind.
In the machine shop women were placed on the less complicated
machines. However, they were not mere routine workers but had
learned blueprint reading and set-up on the job so that they could
take increasing responsibility. On turning precision bearings and
hand wheels, women made better records than men and earned more
production bonus, and at least one was doing her own set-up work.
Some women on precision grinding were working to one or two tenthousandths of an inch and checking their work.
Operation of More Than One Kind of Machine.—Even where work
is simplified, more skill is required if the operator is shifted from



one machine to another. Whether or not this is done depends chiefly
on the demands of the work. Toolrooms for maintenance of plant
equipment are far more likely to shift workers from machine to
machine than are departments doing machining of the product. Hav­
ing one person run more than one machine was a rather common
practice in small-arms plants. Either a series of operations was per­
formed on one part, using one machine at a time, or concomitant op­
erations were performed by keeping all machines going at once.
Where several machines are operated at one time, the speed is not so
great and the machining cycle is longer. Examples of combinations
of machines operated both by men and by women are as follows:
Cincinnati power mill No. 0-8, Rand mill, and drill press.
Brown & Sharpe mill No. 000, 3 machines operated by one person.
Fellows gear shaper, 3 machines operated by one person.
Cincinnati mill No. 1-12 and a drill press.
Automatic profiler and a drill press.
Natco drill (multiple spindle), Leland Gifford drill, and Cincinnati mill
No. 0-8.
Hand mill, bench profiler, and two Cincinnati mills No. 0-8.
Pratt & Whitney profiler and 3 hand mills.
Two hand mills and one Milwaukee mill Model H.

Progression in machine operation for women in aircraft-assembly
plants appeared often to be from jig drilling to sensitive drilling;
when the operator had attained skill in sharpening and changing her
drills, if she worked in a production shop she might be upgraded to
operating a milling machine. In a plant making many small parts for
aircraft engines, a girl who became bored with a monotonous job could
be advanced to more complicated machines or more skilled inspection.
In upgrading women it was found that it took about 4 months to make
a hand screw-machine operator and about a year to make an all-round
Grinding Processes Numerous in Metal Work.—In a survey of ma­
chine-tool plants women were found employed to a greater extent
on grinding than on any other kind of machining, though much of it
was precision work done to very close tolerance. They do all kinds
of grinding such as magnetic, chuck and surface grinding; centerless,
internal and external grinding; tool grinding, and so on. In one
plant women grinding involute cutters and gears operated two ma­
chines each. They performed their own set-up and dressed their own
wheels. It had taken them about two months on the job to learn the
set-up work. In the same plant a woman grinding tapers on shanks
was doing her own set-up work and was allowed practically no toler­
ance, according to a company official. In another plant several women
who were form grinding also set up their own work. Each new set-up
had at least to be checked for every tool ground, and the tolerance
allowed was but .0002 inch. In another factory women on surface
grinders were at first allowed a tolerance of .0005 inch but later were
upgraded to more difficult work on which they were permitted only
.0002-inch leeway. One of them, employed only 10 weeks at the time
of the survey, already was performing a complicated set-up involving
compound angles and requiring the use of sine bars and Jo blocks.
Women grinders on small parts in aircraft-assembly plants were
able to follow blueprints, measure with calipers, micrometers, and
scales, dress their grinding wheels if necessary, and generally follow



work specifications. Dressing the grinding wheel involves cutting the
worn wheel to true the surface. The wheel is mounted on a powerrotated spindle and the surface cut with a diamond-pointed cutting
tool (22). Where it was customary for drill-press operators to change
and sharpen their own, the women usually were doing this. A few
women had full-time joDS dressing the points and grinding the cutting
surfaces of drill tools to specified angles and shapes.
Many Machine Operations Require Special Skills.—In the machinetool industry, a great many operations that need special skill and accu­
racy remain even where process simplification has been accomplished.
Though women have been in such plants for only a relatively short time,
they already were doing accurate work on jobs requiring, for example,
machining to a tolerance of .0002 inch, or a fifteenth part of the diam­
eter of a hair. Where small lots were common, some women already
were learning the setting up of their own machines in 6 of the 8 plants
having women on production work. One of these had no special set-up
men, since women were expected to set up all the machines they
In one plant they were cutting the teeth on broaches on fairly large
lathes. They were required to read blueprints and mark out their
own work. Each type of cutter on which women were engaged had
a different pitch of teeth, so they had to be able to mark out numerous
kinds of work. In one of two plants employing women on gear cut­
ting, each operated two to five machines and did her own set-up work.
Machine operators had to be somewhat more versatile in the manu­
facture of cannon than in some industries, shifting from one type of
work to another, since there is not a great volume of production of parts
of any one kind. Women did this as well as men, including the
setting-up of machines. Machine operators checked their own work
with calipers, micrometers, and fixed gages; sometimes they did filing
and burring of parts. The extent to which they filed or burred de­
pended on the machining cycle and the number of machines operated.
A few women in the maintenance machine shops of steel mills were
operating lathes, drill presses, milling machines, shapers, and grinders.
In several plants they were doing part or all of their own set-up work.
In at least two plants each worked on a number of machines. In one
plant a woman m the carpenter shop running an automatic sharpener
worked on all kinds of saws. She learned the work more quickly than
the men and did better work.
Workers must be experienced, skilled, and mechanically minded in
the instrument field, and for this reason at first women were received
very slowly as machine operators in this industry. However, some
women worked on small machine-drills and punch presses, milling ma­
chines, lathes, and so forth. In two instances women milling operators
made their own set-ups. On certain processes the quantity and quality
of workmanship was reported as about the same for men and women.
Dental burrs and broaches are manufactured in about 150 styles
and are made almost entirely by women, who were straightening,
cutting, and inscribing the trade-mark on wire used as raw stock.
Semiautomatic and automatic machines are used for forming the
ends of burrs. Broaches are ground and tapered on fine carborun­
dum wheels and barbs are cut on a special bench machine. The
operations are checked under a microscope.



The Problem of Heavy Work.
Machine tools range in size from those small enough to mount on
a bench and weighing only a hundred pounds, to giants that stand as
high as a three-story house and weigh several hundred tons. Many
of the machines used in making cannon have beds over 200 feet long.
In general the large machines are for the processing of large parts.
There is the weight not only of the stock but of the jigs and fixtures
to be considered. On some machines considerable effort is required
to tighten the work in place and later to release it, and tools for this
purpose also are likely to be heavy. A large machine may require a
tall person with a long reach to manipulate it. .
These are not insuperable obstacles to the employment of women,
however, and have been met in various plants. Men as well as women
are unable to lift by hand all the parts involved without the use of
chain hoists or other mechanical lifting devices, and such devices are
very generally a part of the equipment of most large modern machine
shops. Power chucks are installed in some cases to avoid the neces­
sity of exerting great physical effort in tightening pieces in the ma­
chine. It is probable that newer factories will be provided with
these labor-saving devices, whether men or women are to be em­
ployed. The increased production possible would make them an
economy, and they save workers’ time for the job skills.
Women have been able to do a considerable share of the work on
larger parts in small-arms manufacture, due to management’s con­
stant search for improved production techniques to lighten machine
operations. New fixtures were designed to replace the heavy arbors
for holding the cutting tools; benches or machines were raised or
lowered to improve work lay-out and reduce lifting; conveyors were
i nstalled to slide parts from one machine to another. Through use of
these measures women in one plant comprised from a third to con­
siderably over a half of all machine operators in the various depart­
ments making large parts.
Proper selection of the workers for the job also is important. In
both small-arms and cannon plants it was stated that tall women
are chosen for work on the larger machines, since they can more
readily reach the multiplicity of controls. A woman more than ordi­
narily robust may be perfectly capable of exerting the necessary force
to manipulate the levers, hand wheels, and turnstiles. There still will
remain work that is beyond the average woman’s strength but well
within that of the average man and in some cases of the exceptional
There remains the possibility of separating light work from heavy
so that women may be assigned to the light work. Both light and
heavy pieces often were processed on the same machine in the machinetool industry, and at least one employer expressed the opinion that
a readjustment, while perfectly possible, would be less efficient. In
another plant, with a different arrangement of the flow of work, small
tools in two machining departments already were separated from the
medium and large, the lighter work being at one end of the room,
the heavy at the other. The smaller parts were being routed separately
in these two departments, though no women were employed there nor
was their employment anticipated. In two plants, such separation of
work on turret lathes had been made in order to give the smaller work



to women. In small-arms factories women most frequently were em­
ployed in the general machining departments where smaller parts
were made. In the plant making the most extensive use of women
they were 57 percent of all workers in such a department.
Women operated the same makes and types of machines as men in a
large plant making aircraft engines. Women operated all 35 types of
machines used in this mass-production plant, and at the time of visit
they constituted a third of all machine operators (600 of 1,800). The
only difference was that men were used in departments where heavy
parts of engines were worked on, where machines were larger and the
parts, jigs, and fixtures heavier. Both men and women operators were
taught to follow blueprints, inspect their own work, see that the ma­
chines were running correctly, do their own degreasing and some of
their own set-up. There were, however, skilled set-up men, 1 for every
8 to 10 operators, whether men or women. Other establishments re­
ported practically the same arrangement.
Unless the finished product moves out of the plant under its own
power there is usually necessary some kind of packaging, wrapping, or
crating to prepare the article for shipment. Packing of small finished
products or of small parts for assembly in another plant is especially
suitable for women. In one of the aircraft-engine plants, for example,
85 to 90 percent of the wrapping and packing of spare parts for re­
placement was done by women. Packaging furnishes protection to
the item and, in peacetime, eye appeal to the consumer. The finished
package must be strong, compact, neat, and often attractive. Though
not calling for much skill, packing does require some dexterity and
usually considerable speed. Stamping or labeling may be done in
packing departments; sometimes also loading and unloading and other
operations that may be designated as warehouse work.
In the wartime metal industries surveyed by the Women’s Bureau,
packing operations were being performed by women. In smallarms-ammunition plants, for example, women set up cartons, packed
cartridges in pasteboard containers and then in the cartons, and handpasted labels on the outside. They were doing similar work in fac­
tories making artillery ammunition. In some instances each com­
pleted fuze was placed in an individual cardboard container. Boxes
were taped and dipped in wax to make them waterproof. Women
were employed also in stamping or stenciling on the container infor­
mation as to the kind of fuze, primer, or booster it contained, the lot
number, and any other essential data. Usually final packing is done
in boxes of fairly large size by men, as the work at this stage is too
heavy for women.
About 30 percent of the packers in small-arms plants were women,
and most of them were counters, sorters, wrappers, and packers of
spare parts. Parts greased or oiled were wrapped in heavy oil paper
before packing in envelopes, cartons, or boxes. A few women were
nailing metal strips around large packing boxes.
With some types of packing, speed is the chief essential. In a tin­
ware plant a girl was packing gallon cans. Working very rapidly, she
picked up 4 with one hand and 2 with the other from a moving con­
veyor and placed them in a carton, which another girl set up and



opened for her; this second girl then closed the carton and sent it along
another conveyor to an automatic gluing machine. Women feeding
packaged safety matches to a machine that wrapped them had to work
quickly and pay close attention, as the packages passed them very
rapidly on a moving belt.
. The foregoing apply to newer war plants, but wrapping and pack­
ing long has been a type of job performed by women. A few descrip­
tions of women’s work as packers of metal products in 1907 and 1908
(23) follow:
Hardware—The small articles * * * are usually packed in cartons by the
dozen, the gross or singly. * * * Sometimes the articles are first wrapped in
tissue paper to keep them from getting scratched or tarnished. * * * Care is
required * * * to get the packages up in neat and attractive form and to see
that each has the specified contents.
Needles and pins—The long strips of paper (filled with pins) from the sticking
machine come to the folders, who cut them into proper lengths for a paper of pins,
then fold each paper and place * * * a dozen papers in each box. Cheap
pins * * * are wrapped in packages.
Nuts, bolts, and screws Bolts (with the nut screwed on), are sorted, inspected
piled together, packed in paper cartons or boxes, sealed and labeled.
Stamped and enameled ware—Labels were stamped, pasted, and stuck to the
ware, the ware was wrapped in a sheet of paper, another label pasted on the
outside and the parcel set aside. * * * Hollow articles, like pails, which can
be put one inside another or “nested” are stacked as high as the wrapper can

In food industries Women’s Bureau studies report a great deal of
packing and wrapping done by women, both in war and in peace times.
A study of these operations made by the New York Department of
Labor in 1936 reported on nearly 10,000 women, practically 60 percent
of whom were in food industries, most of the remainder packing cos­
metics and drugs. In meat plants women have long packed sausages,
wrapped hams, arranged sliced bacon in cartons or cellophane wrap­
pings, or put chipped beef into cellophane envelopes or glass cans. In
all cases care must be taken that the resulting package has an attractive
appearance. At the same time considerable speed is required. Some
packaging is done by machine—for example, the filling of pound con­
tainers with lard. Cartons are set up with an inner lining, the lard
is poured and cooled, and the packages are closed automatically.
Girls are employed at different points on the line to see that all is
going smoothly, to take off defective packages, and generally to prevent
anything from interfering with rapid progress.
The multitudinous forms in which candy is put out indicate the
amount of wrapping and packing that must be done. Wrapping often
is done by automatic machines. In candy factories studied by the
Women’s Bureau in 1920 and 1921,45 percent of the women were wrap­
pers and packers, such women comprising 96 percent of all persons on
these processes. These operations in the main require speed rather
than judgment or skill.
The following description of women packing biscuits (crackers)
from the 1907—08 study of woman and child workers shows the kind
of skill involved in many packing processes, regardless of the product:
The packers stand on each side of a table along which a moving runway
carries the biscuits about at the level of the packers’ waists, while another
carries along the empty cartons about at the level of their heads. The lids
and flaps of each carton still stand up straight when it reaches the packer,
so that no time is lost in opening it. Taking the carton in her left hand, the
packer takes up a handful of biscuits in the right hand and places them in the




carton. A good packer will nearly always fill a box with two handfuls of
biscuits, and quite often will do it with only one. A packer is expected to
watch carefully to see that she does not pack any misshaped or broken or
scorched biscuits; she must not pack her carton either too tight or too loose;
she must be sure that the biscuits are all turned one way; and she must not
accept an imperfert carton for packing (24).

Packing and wrapping and other concomitant occupations are im­
portant in both cigar and cigarette manufacture. At one time pack­
ing of cigars was a skilled occupation, as cigars were sorted by color
and shade before being packed in boxes. With the introduction of foil
or cellophane wrapping, sorting and shading became less important,
and more women were employed or the simpler processes as well as in
banding and labeling.
The putting of cigarettes in the standard-size packs has long been
done by machines, usually operated by women. The development has
been to make the machines more and more automatic and capable of
performing more processes, such as the pasting on of the revenue
stamp and the putting of the wrapper around the package. Hand
packing is done only when the type of container is used so infrequently
that the use of a machine is not justified. Speed and deftness are re­
quired in this work. A Women’s Bureau study of these industries in
representative States and communities (1929 and 1930) showed that
about 13 percent of the women in cigar factories and 42 percent of
those in cigarette factories were in the packing departments.
In the clothing industry the amount of wrapping, packing, boxing,
labeling, and so forth is likely to depend on the fineness and price of
the article. Full-fashioned hosiery is carefully paired, banded, la­
beled, and boxed to make an attractive appearance on the departmentstore counter, while children’s cheap socks may be merely bundled up
wholesale to be spread out in the “5 and 10”. Men’s shirts may be
sorted for size and sleeve length, and a certain number of each size
put together according to the orders of the wholesaler or retailer. All
this work is done by women, and is quickly learned, though it does re­
quire dexterity and care.
Tools used in making the product, purchased parts from screws to
castings, patterns, chemicals, many different items, must be kept so
as to be quickly available. The attendant must know the stock and
its arrangement, keep track of all that is given out, see that non­
consumable items like tools are returned, and in general do a store­
keeping business. This is an occupation relatively new for women in
any considerable numbers in the present war. However, many women
now are performing this work very successfully, provided the attend­
ant need not handle large and heavy as well as small and light
Storerooms and stockrooms had women employees in most of the
aircraft plants visited by the Women’s Bureau. Supplies such as
sheet metal, extrusions, bars, clamps, nuts, bolts, rivets, and parts are
kept in bins and on shelves and racks. Many of the parts to be stored
and issued are small and can be handled easily by women. Much of
the work is of a semiclerical nature, keeping stock records of the



receipt and disposal of parts, perpetual inventory reports, filing
requisitions and orders.
Similar jobs were held by women in the toolrooms, where tools,
templates, small jigs, and dies are stored, maintained in condition,
and issued, and women could do this type of work to a greater extent.
Only a small number of women were found in the toolrooms, but in
all cases where there were women it was planned to augment their
numbers. When women can increase their general mechanical back­
ground and knowledge of the names and uses of tools, more of them
can be considered as tool-crib workers. One firm estimated that it
could use almost 300 additional women tool-crib attendants and clerks
if labor-supply conditions made it necessary.
In small-arms plants more women were employed as stockroom at­
tendants than as tool-crib attendants. Twelve percent of the stock­
room workers were women acting as stock-record clerks and store­
keepers, filling cribs and boxes with parts and supplies, and putting
up orders to be routed to the plant. Seven percent of the tool-crib
attendants were women, who handled the smaller tools, jigs, and fix­
tures, checking them in and out and keeping records. This work
requires a knowledge of the different articles, which women were
acquiring gradually on the job. Women did similar work in cannon
plants. In the tool cribs they did a certain amount of grinding of
milling cutters and reamers. '
Women were employed as tool-crib attendants in only 3 of the
machine-tool firms surveyed. In 1 of these women were known as
tool dispatchers, since they took tools to the machine operators so
that the latter need not leave their machines.
In steel mills women were employed in both tool cribs and store­
rooms. In foundries they were reported as storeroom laborers, tool
cleaners and grinders, and toolroom attendants. In the pattern-mak­
ing shop they gave out and stored the smaller patterns.
Women have proved very satisfactory in toolrooms of shipyards.
They have learned quickly and are orderly and efficient. In one yard
the toolroom served a thousand people a day. The women waited on
them and got them away from the window much faster than men did.
Once a week files were gone through and misfiled slips pulled out.
Formerly there would be a peach basket full of such slips; with
women on this job there were only about 15 slips incorrectly filed.
Girls spell and write better and are more accurate and serious about
the work.
In a few occupations particularly characteristic of the metal and
machinery industries—for example, in filing and burring and core
making—women frequently are engaged. As with other occupations
discussed, the size and weight of articles to be handled determine
whether or not women can do these types of work satisfactorily.
Burring and Filing.
These operations sometimes are reported with other bench work.
But bench work ’ may be the operation of a small machine mounted
on a bench, or assembly, or inspection, or the sorting of parts. In



general, bench work involves work on small articles and often may
be done while seated.
A favorite introductory job for women in aircraft-assembly plants
inspected by the Women’s Bureau is burring and filing in the machineshop and metal-fabrication departments. Bough edges, small projec­
tions, and irregularities are removed from machined j)arts, fittings,
castings, and sheet-metal parts with emery cloths, burring tools, and
files, the work sometimes being to close dimensions along prescribed
lines. Larger burrs or surplus metal are machined off on lathes and
stationary grinders and the insides of holes are cleaned with burring
attachments on drill presses. Many women do bench burring and
filing and as an entry job it affords them training and experience
in the use of hand tools and clamps, scribing, and the handling of
metals and sometimes of templates and machines.
The Women’s Bureau survey in small-arms plants found more
women doing this type of work than any other with the exception of
machine operating and inspection. Machine operators quite fre­
quently burr and file parts that they machine. But in addition there
are many full-time filers, burrers, precision filers, and polishers.
About 16 percent of the burrers, filers, and polishers in the plants with
detailed information were women, and in one instance the proportion
was 30 percent. Women generally worked on the smaller parts, using
files, scrapers, portable burring machines, high-speed lathes, belt Sand­
ers, disk grinders, and emery cloth. In all the plants there still were
a great number of men working on small parts, as filing of gun parts
has been considered precision work requiring considerable skill. But
women had demonstrated their ability to pick up the techniques in­
volved and more and more were being placed on precision filing and
work on heavier parts.
In cannon manufacture as well there is a great deal of filing, burring,
and polishing of parts. While women worked chiefly on small parts
some were on heavier articles. Most of this work was done at benches
with the worker seated, but some on large pieces was done standing.
In one of the aircraft-engine plants visited about 75 percent of the
burring in the machine shop and subassembly departments was done
by women.
During the First World War, 11 of the 278 metal-working plants
studied by the Women’s Bureau had replaced men with women on
filing. Of 10 firms reporting, 7 stated that women did as much or more
work than men. However, only 3 had retained women in 1919.
Coremaking is done entirely in foundries. The core, around which
the molten metal flows at pouring time, forms the interior opening or
hole in a hollow casting. The core is made separately from the mold
that shapes the outside of the casting. Most cores are made of a
special type of sand, sometimes reenforced by wire or rods, and baked.
Each sand core is used only once and is broken up to free the casting.
Women were doing this work at least as early as 1907 and 1908.
The description of women’s work given at that time shows that the
process has changed very little.
The women, standing or sitting at long tables on which each had a space
about 3 feet square, filled the core boxes with the sand mixture, tamped it
down to the proper density, removed the core box, and carried the cores to the



oven. They were never employed upon heavy or intricate work, this being
done by men.
In spite of this fact the work done by women is distinctly skilled. For
a week or so after learners begin, at least 90 percent of their work is
spoiled. Within two weeks, however, they can learn to make the simplest
forms well, and within three or four months they can do ordinary work;
but it takes at least a year for the average woman to learn to make well
all the varieties of cores which may fall to her department. Removing
the core boxes without breaking the angles or corners of the more intricate
cores is an operation which requires both natural dexterity and
experience. * * *
* * * The making of each core is a bit of constructive work calling
for much more than the mere repetition of mechanical movements. Usually
a woman is called on to make several different kinds of cores during a day,
which also tends to keep the work from becoming mechanical (25).

In 1917-18 some plants employed women as coremakers for the first
time, while in others where they had worked on light and simple
cores for 15 or more years they were employed on more intricate and
heavier work. Two-thirds of the firms reporting retained women on
this occupation after the war.
A series of biennial reports by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on
wages and hours in foundries and machine shops from 1923 to 1931
showed that women ranged from 7 to 10 percent of all coremakers
covered. However, since only about 1 plant in 10 had any women
coremakers, their proportions where employed must have been con­
siderably larger. One of the important considerations is the size and
weight of the core and core box, determined by the size of the casting
to be made (26).
Of 13 foundries visited by the Women’s Bureau in 1943, at least
11 employed or had employed women on coremaking or other core­
room work. One plant used a process that did not require the conven­
tional core. Where especially noted, women usually made small cores
only. In one the small parts required very delicate work, such as
women are best suited to do.

Ihe first section of this report has discussed certain industrial
processes that women’s special aptitudes particularly fit them to per­
form in industry—namely, assembling, inspecting, wrapping and
packing, and the operating of certain machines.
These operations have been examined primarily in relation to their
performance by women in war manufacturing, as for example in
metal-products and electrical industries, and in the manufacture of
aircraft, ships, and munitions.
Some of these industries—munitions for example—no longer will
feature largely in the country’s economy after the war. Others prob­
ably are due for considerable cuts. The indications are that ship­
building, an industry requiring many heavy and difficult operations,
will employ only very minor proportions of the enormous groups of
women it has engaged during the war, and the manufacture of air­
craft may be considerably reduced from the peak of its output and
But there are other industries that will enjoy an increased, or at
least a very large, peacetime demand. Many of these have produc­
tion processes similar to those discussed here, which were performed
by women in large numbers before the war and to a very greatly
increased extent during the war.
A wide variety of electrical appliances will continue to be in in­
creasing demand, and many of the small metal products on which
women have worked are necessary for daily use of the people. Inter­
changeable small parts as well as accessories will be needed, probably
on an extensive scale, for postwar automobiles, and such aircraft as
will continue in production. Evidence points toward the increased
use of measuring instruments of various types on which women have
been widely employed in the developing programs of industrial dis­
covery, scientific advance, and improved household and transportation
The outlets for the skills women have developed in assembling,
inspecting, machine operating, electrical manufacture, will be in the
industries of coming demand. This section of the report, therefore,
will consider some of the evidences of such demand for certain prod­
ucts in the fields of electrical devices, small metal products, automobile
and aircraft accessories, plastic parts, and so forth. Of course the
need for women’s work will continue to a large extent in other indus­
tries that long have employed them, as for example in the textile,
clothing, and shoe industries.
Shifts From One Skill to Another.
Any discussion of future employment must take into consideration
possible shifts from the use of one material to another or from the



use of one method to another. But when this occurs and demands for
old skills decline, new skills, often of an allied type, are called for.
This point might be illustrated by changes in ways of preserving food,
brought on to a considerable extent by war conditions. With the short­
age of metal there has been an increased use of glass containers in
place of tin cans in commercial canning. The glass industry estimated
a production of about 92 million gross of glass containers in 1943 com­
pared with 76 million gross in 1939. Some of these, of course, repre­
sented the greatly accelerated use of containers at home to preserve
victory garden products.
Even more significant for the postwar period may be the develop­
ment of the quick-freezing processes, which had increased 35 percent
in employment in the 2 years from 1937 to 1939. This growth may
mean that the peacetime demand for tin cans will not return to its pre­
war level, and the wartime demands for glass containers also may
decline. But with change of method, and decline of one type of need,
new products are required along some other line, as food must be
provided and cared for.
The changed method requires a different container, a cardboard
carton instead of a tin or glass can. An extension of the freezing
method and a newer development is the use of frozen-food lockers
in homes. These have been in use on farms for some time, and just
before the war in many city homes as well. Models of such freezers
about the size of a gas stove have been shown lately, although manu­
facture will have to await the fortunes of war. These freezers usually
would supplement rather than replace the regular home refrigerator
and thus if their production means decline in the use of tin cans it
offers good prospect of new jobs to workers in the electrical equipment
field, as well as to those making the cabinet containers.
Another development in food preserving is dehydration, used largely
as a means of saving shipping space. Unless the dried product can
be made as palatable and attractive as either canned or frozen foods,
this method may not present much competition after the war.
Change to New Products, and Continuance of Demand.
A critical factor in postwar employment is the time element. How
long will accumulated demands provide jobs? How soon will these
jobs be available ? As to the first point, the pent-up demand for motor
vehicles and accessories, for example, represents several years’ work
at the 1939 level. Demand for certain electrical equipment represents
only about a year’s work. For many items no long-time estimate can
be made.
Surveys of consumer demands have on the whole been realistic,
recording not all who wish for a certain article, but only those who
feel that they will be able to finance the purchase. For many families
jobs must come first before plans can be made for large-scale purchases.
This emphasizes the importance of the second point. Reconversion
must come promptly to build up more purchasing power for those who
do not now see their way much beyond the present.
There are many young married couples who due to war conditions
have not yet established a home as they would normally do on marriage.
A special Census survey indicated that in March 1944 there were more
than two and a half million women with husbands in the armed forces,
nearly half of them under 25. The Census estimates that more than



a million and a half marriages took place in 1943. These families need
homes and equipment for homes, but they must have jobs first of all.
Not only are there young couples starting out, but many families of
all ages have low incomes. Census data for 1939, for families of 2 or
more persons with no income but wage or salary and not living on
farms, show that 31 percent (4.3 million families) had incomes of less
than $1,000; and over two-fifths of these families had 4 or more mem­
bers. These must feel more secure before they can plan for buying.
Such a number of families with unfulfilled demands clearly argues
that the development of a high level of employment and wages will
further increase markets on all the home fronts. Jobs for all will mean
jobs for women in the occupations they can do best. Building a mil­
lion new homes means immediate work almost exclusively for men, but
fitting and furnishing these homes mean many jobs for women.
In October 1939, there were about 100,000 women wage earners in the
electrical-machinery-industry group, one-third of all its employees.
By October 1943, Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates indicated 3y2
times as many, some 350,000 women, or nearly half of the total wage
earners. Many, perhaps, most, of the electrical items now being made
for the Army or the Navy are quite similar to those that will be
in demand for civilian use in the postwar period—radios, lamps, bat­
teries., wire and cables, and so forth. The greatest reduction due to
priorities probably has been in household equipment—electric ranges,
vacuum cleaners, toasters, and various smaller electrical appliances
in daily use. This fact indicates that there will be considerable de­
mand for replacement of such articles now wearing out. Moreover,
a great variety of new electrical products had been developed but not
widely used before the war, and some of these will be much more gen­
erally employed after the war to advance health and convenience in
homes, work places, and public centers.
Lamps and Tubes (27).
The making of light bulbs and of radio and other tubes involves
many of the same basic processes, including assembly of very delicate
parts and inspection and testing. In 1939, women composed more
than three-fourths of all wage earners making electric lamps. A study
by the Women’s Bureau in 1929 showed that about 83 percent of the
workers on radio tubes were women in contrast to 46 percent on
receiving sets (28).
There is sure to be a postwar demand for replacement and im­
provement of existing light fixtures in many homes, besides the con­
siderable home building expected after the war that will call for new
lighting equipment. An expert in this field estimates that an average
of 10 fixtures will be required for each new home, not counting several
portable lamps. It has been suggested that workers who have be­
come accustomed to good lighting in modern war plants will not bet
content in peacetime with ill-lighted homes.
Farms too, in recent years, have seen a considerable extension in use
of electricity, greatly accelerated by the Rural Electrification Admin­



istration. In the report of that agency for 1941 it was stated that the
proportion of farms with electricity had increased from 11 percent in
1934 to 35 percent in 1941. But even in 1940 more than 7 million homes
still were lighted with kerosene or gasoline—the great majority of these
in rural areas—and this indicates a wide field for growth in the use
of electric lamps in farm homes (29).
The great need for improved street and highway lighting has been
emphasized in the war period by the blackouts and dimouts with their
accompanying increase in accidents and crime. Even in peacetime
over 60 percent of all traffic accidents occur after dark, when only onethird of the traffic is moving. The city of Detroit, by installing mod­
ern street lighting on certain main thoroughfares, reduced dusk-todawn fatalities on those streets by more than 83 percent. The National
Safety Council points out that “most urban streets have the same type
of street lighting that existed many years ago. Such systems are
wholly inadequate * * * from a safety standpoint” (30).
The war also has increased the attention paid to good lighting in in­
dustrial plants, now more generally recognized as essential for speed,
accuracy, and safety in production. For example, a large machine
plant recently listing the gains made with the installation of improved
lighting, stated that there was a 25-percent reduction in scrapped
pieces, a 5-percent increase in production per man-hour, and a 50-per­
cent reduction in accidents.
The Illuminating Engineering Society lists primarily for industrial
plants the following advantages of good lighting (31) :
1. Greater accuracy of workmanship, resulting in an improved quality of
product with less spoilage and rework.
2. Increased production and decreased costs.
3. Better utilization of floor space.
4. More easily maintained cleanliness and neatness in the plant.
5. Greater ease of seeing, especially among older, experienced employees, thus
making them more efficient.
6. Less eyestrain among employees.
7. Improved morale among employees, resulting in decreased labor turn-over.
8. Fewer accidents.

It is probable that most of the larger plants on war production,
especially those that have been newly built, are well lighted. But a
new market among small manufacturers who during the war period
have had too low a priority rating to buy new equipment probably will
be opened in the future. Comparatively few of some 130 war plants
studied by the Women’s Bureau in one large industrial State in 1942
were reported as having inadequate lighting, but a prewar study of
industries in another State showed lighting to be haphazard in many
plants, in some instances both good and wretchedly bad in the same
plant. Though undoubtedly there has been improvement, there are
many cases where further advance is needed.
Other electrical equipment has important health uses and is, likely
to find an increased demand in the postwar market. Infra-red lamps
producing heat, and ultra-violet or “sunlight” lamps, are accepted
generally for therapeutic purposes. Their use expanded 10-fold in
the decade before the war and there is every likelihood that when they
again become available on a large scale their production and sale will
increase enormously. Most ultra-violet lamps require a transformer
and are of the floor type, but one had been developed that could be
screwed into any 120-volt socket, making its use in homes of the utmost



convenience. It is not now available but will be again after the war.
A sun lamp for use in industry is designed to expose large numbers of
workers at once to the ultra-violet rays (32).
About 5 years ago a germicidal lamp was developed that uses ultra­
violet rays. Such lamps have been installed in many hospitals, and
their use is being extended to surgical and dental offices, schools, busi­
ness offices, and factories. Many more establishments eventually will
use such equipment to maintain public health and to free workers,
patients, and children from colds and more serious diseases. It may
in time find a wide-spread use in individual homes as well.
Such sterilizing lamps also have many other factory uses to pro­
tect customers as well as employees. For example, a soft-drink plant
employs this equipment at every stage from preparation of the syrup
to washing, filling, and capping its bottles. A plant selling safety
shoes to workers sterilizes those that have been tried on. Ultra­
violet lamps are used to destroy bacteria in the air as it is drawn
into the air-condition ducts. Another use for ultra-violet rays is in
their action on light-sensitive films and papers, as in photostat ma­
chines and in printing of movie films.
Infra-red lamps are being used extensively to produce heat for in­
dustrial purposes, and drying processes are considerably hastened as a
result. A company that had to finish in a very short time 5y2 mil­
lion buckles for war products found the bottleneck was in drying the
lacquer on the buckles. The process required an hour to dry a batch
and necessitated that they be shaken in the trays every 15 minutes. A
simple installation of eight 260-watt infra-red-ray lamps wTith suitable
reflectors enabled 1,500 buckles to be dried satisfactorily in 2 minutes.
No more space was needed. Electric heating is a great improvement
on old methods of dehydrating food, since it makes it possible to re­
move more moisture and thus insure a product that stores well in the
There have been many shifts from filament to fluorescent lights,
which produce a bright, glareless light admirably suited for precision
work. Fluorescent lamps were introduced in 1938 and their use has
grown very rapidly. Sales of the tubes increased from 7.1 million in
1940 to 24 million in 1941 and 33.6 million in 1942. A tiny fluorescent
lamp no larger than a marble could, it is estimated, burn for 6 months
with about one cent’s worth of electricity. Such a lamp could be
used where constant light is necessary, as to mark a stairstep, for
example, or a keyhole. The fluorescent in the immediate future may
provide less employment than the filament lamp, because the latter
still will be necessary in large quantities for uses to which the new
type is not well adapted. Fluorescent lamps, though considerably
longer lived than the filament lamps and giving off a much smaller
amount of heat, are more expensive, and as they perform best when not
turned on and off frequently, thus far they are less well adapted for
home use than the filament type (33).
Electron tubes, the making of which involves processes similar to
those in making light bulbs, are essential to the radio. They also
have a variety of other uses, some well established and sure to be in
increasing demand, others newly developed and likely to grow into
much wider use.
The first such tube was made in 1907, an evacuated glass bulb con­
taining three simple elements, a cathode or metal filament, an anode



or plate, and a small metal screen or grid. This tube is essentially
a valve, and can be incorporated in an electric circuit to control or
change current in many ways. It can act as a switch or be used as a
measuring device. A year ago there were 750 different types in use,
all variations on the same principle. The following examples indi­
cate the wide variety of uses to which these tubes are put.
A vacuum-tube oscillator connected to a quartz crystal is used to
produce smoother food products by emulsification, as homogenized
milk. This is done by supersonic or sound waves of such high fre­
quency that they are inaudible to most human beings. They ac­
celerate chemical reactions and transform crystal structures. They
may be used to treat seeds to stimulate growth, and for various other
purposes in food and chemical industries.
Through use of electronic tubes in spray painting of irregular ob­
jects, the objects and the particles of paint are charged in such a way
that the paint is deposited uniformly on all surfaces, doing a better
and a quicker job at a lower cost. This is done by producing the
same type of electrostatic charges that make people jump when they
touch metal after walking across a rug on a dry, cold day. A sharper,
faster-cutting sandpaper is produced by this method, with every
particle of the abrasive material alined with the sharpest points up­
ward. _ Another application of electrostatic fields includes smoke
precipitators for chimneys and air cleaners to remove dusts, pollen,
or other foreign particles.
Many electronic tubes are used as the basis of a control device. The
well-known “electric eye” that opens a door has other uses. It can
measure the vitamin content in a liquid, turn on lights in school < ■
factory when needed, or regulate the heat in industrial furnaces by
reaction to the color of the flames. Such tubes are incorporated in
the newer machine tools to hold the speed constant regardless of the
load. These and a multitude of other things are done at high speed
and with great efficiency.
Radio Sets.
An enormous postwar demand for radios is almost certain. Many
existing sets have deteriorated, if not worn out completely, during the
years in which consumers could not buy freely. A United States
Chamber of Commere report in the fall of 1943 indicated that over
2j/2 million families hoped to buy radios immediately after the war.
Moreover, nearly 6 million housing units were without radios in
1940 (34). Nearly three-fourths of these were rural homes, many no
doubt without electricity. This indicates a considerable new market
for radios, whether battery-operated or obtained after electricity has
been installed. In 1939 more than U/3 million battery sets were made.
In that year also there was a great increase in demand for portable
sets, which came about through development of small, light batteries;
one portable introduced that year weighed less than four pounds.
A combined battery and plug-in device made some of these sets more
useful, and would appeal to farmers anticipating the extension of
electric lines.
There undoubtedly will be demand for radios adapted to the re­
ception of the newer frequency-modulation broadcasting, which is
said virtually to eliminate static and is known to the trade as FM. In
the fall of 1941 there were 120,000 FM sets in use, compared to 15,000



in January of that year. In February 1943 there were 47 stations
built or building for such broadcasting (35). A wide market for this
development will be in schools and colleges, where the use of radios
is growing constantly. It was reported in March 1944 that more than
100 school systems, colleges, and universities had taken first steps
toward obtaining their own FM broadcasting systems as a means of
furthering education (36).
Considerable attention has been given of late to the use of radio
communication as a safety feature on trains, connecting engine and
caboose, one train with another, or trains with stations. Some exper­
imental installations have already been made (37). The ‘‘walkietalkie”, a military development, probably will find many peacetime
uses, especially by police and fire departments; also perhaps by plant
executives, construction gangs, forest rangers, and ranchmen. A two­
way radio system weighing little more than 5 pounds, stated to be
as easily operated as a telephone, already has been advertised (38).
Other Electrical Appliances (39).
The Chamber of Commerce report referred to on page — indicated
an immediate postwar demand for more than 1.5 million electric irons,
1.4 million vacuum cleaners, and not far from 1.1 million electric
kitchen mixers. The number last named about equals, that of vacuum
cleaners and that of the group mixers, whippers, and juicers pro­
duced in 1939.
The extent to which household equipment is being reconditioned
in the present emergency is illustrated by the experience of an elec­
trical company in a middle-western city. In making a canvass of
residential customers for one month, the company restored 137 electric
appliances to use; took 89 to the dealer for repair; sent 50 to the
factory for repair; recommended that 196 be sent to the dealer for
restoration; and made 124 minor repairs in the home.
The demand undoubtedly will increase greatly for certain types
of equipment that were introduced prior to the war but had not come
into widespread use. For example, in 1937 there was developed a
new window-mounted room cooler, which could be installed easily
and quickly and was remarkably silent. These would be useful in
homes, small offices, hospital rooms, and elsewhere, and could be moved
from one room to another. In 1939 some 28,000 air-conditioning
units were produced, described as portable and self-contained. There
also was introduced in 1937 an electrically heated bed cover that con­
sumed on an average about as much electric energy as a 100-watt
household lamp.
Since women can be employed more easily on small articles than
large, the statement that electric motors are getting smaller and more
powerful is of interest. A 3-horsepower motor has been developed
that weighs only 7 pounds. Formerly the standard 3-horsepower
motor weighed 105 pounds. A recently developed 30-horsepower motor
is 5 inches in diameter, 13 inches long, and weighs 57 pounds. The
Census of Manufactures shows a great increase in the number of frac­
tional-horsepower motors produced, about 11)4 million in 1939 com­
pared with not quite 5 million in 1929.
There is a long list of miscellaneous electrical products, often
small, often with a wide variety of uses, on which women well might



be employed, especially as assemblers and inspectors. Among them
may be listed the following:
Burglar alarms
Circuit breakers
Coffee makers
Curling irons

Lightning arresters
Panel boards
Spark plugs

Switch boxes
Telephone and telegraDh
Waffle irons

A great variety of articles for many different purposes are included
in the general term “instruments.” Among the most common and
best known are thermometers and barometers, cameras, compasses, sur­
gical implements, dental chairs, and sterilizers. Many new navigation
instruments have come into use in airplanes and have been improved
rapidly under pressure of war demand. All these items will continue
to be in considerable demand in the postwar period. In the fall of
1943 women constituted 43 percent of all wage earners making pro­
fessional and scientific instruments and fire-control equipment.
Gages, micrometers, and the like are a type of instrument used to
insure greater precision in manufacture. The frequent inspection of
parts at all stages of processing has become a commonplace in war
industries. (See discussion of inspection.) Measuring instruments
have been developed in great diversity, some designed for use by
workers with little experience. For example, an electric check-gage
indicates undersize by a red light and oversize by green, while an
amber light shows tire measurement to be within accepted limits.
It is described as quickly and easily set for extremely accurate work.
Women have done very valuable work in the use of many of these
instruments for inspecting products, and in the careful inspection
of the master gages themselves. With the growing emphasis on pre­
cision, which is especially necessary if parts are to be interchangeable,
there is likely to be permanently a growing market for all types of
measuring devices to be used in metal-products plants (40).
The use of instruments for automatic control has become an integral
part of manufacturing, especially in continuous-process industries such
as chemicals or paper making. Examples of the variables to be meas­
ured and held within certain limits are temperature, pressure, flow
rate, amount, speed, electrical qualities, humidity, viscosity, color, and
opacity. A familiar control instrument is the thermostat, which
kept houses at a temperature of 65 degrees last winter.
In the textile industry, for example, one of the most important
fields for electronic instruments is in the measurement and control of
moisture. _ Satisfactory processing depends on the right amount of
humidity in the air and this varies with the type of fiber being used.
1 he principle of the phototube has been applied to the spectropho­
tometer, which can distinguish two million shades of color accurately
and record them automatically on a graph. An electronic relay re­
cently developed stops all motion in a machine the instant a thread
breaks. Control of temperature in drying of fabrics is important,



since if it is too low time is lost, if too high the goods will be harsh
and have lost its luster.
Some instruments have moved from the laboratory into the factory.
Many types of civilian motor vehicles have received their test through
a trial run, but military requirements are more exacting and there
is no time for a run-in. ' Instead, tank transmissions, for example, are
given a noise test, long a laboratory test but now standard in the
factory through the use of recording instruments. Noise is an index
of the fit and assembly of gears and bearings. Another important
move from laboratory to factory is the use of an instrument for con­
tinuous control of arc welding. By checking current consumption
an experienced man can detect anything wrong with the weld.
Many instruments, often very intricate ones, are in constant use
in research laboratories. While this is a limited field, it may well
be a growing one.
There is a long list of small metal articles in daily use, the demand
for which grows with the population. Included are many household
utensils, tools, and all the miscellany that fills the shelves of the hard­
ware store. Due to restrictions on use of metals, many of these are
not being made in normal numbers. A recent survey by the War
Production Board’s Office of Civilian Requirements indicates a short­
age of many of these everyday necessities. If not more than 30 per­
cent of the demand could be met, the shortage was considered severe
Kitchen Utensils.
A severe shortage is reported of a large variety of kitchen utensils
that may be made of aluminum, of vitreous enameled ware, of tin, or
of other stamped and pressed metal. In 1939 about a fourth of the
wage earners m these industry groups combined were women.
Prewar studies in aluminum and enamel-ware plants showed large
numbers of women at work there, and the replacements now needed
are almost certain to employ at least as many women as formerly,
probably many more. The Women’s Bureau visited several plants
and found that women constituted nearly 28 percent of all employed
in 1935 in making aluminum ware. Women were assembling and
riveting, operating punch, blanking, and forming presses, and large,
numbers were wrappers and packers. More than a third of all workers
were women as were more than half the inspectors and sorters and
the wrappers and packers, in a special study of the enameled-utensil
industry made by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 1910 (42). Women
also outnumbered men as enamel headers and dippers.
Among the items now greatly needed are tea kettles, flour sifters,
dust pans, cans for gasoline or kerosene, garbage cans, and washboilers
and tubs. There is also a shortage, less severe, of coffee pots, double
boilers, frying pans, covered kettles, saucepans, strainers, lunch boxes,
baking pans, and pails and buckets.
The demand for canned foods, put up usually in tin, grew enor­
mously in the decade before the war. From 1930 to 1940 the total
population increased by about 7 percent, but the total production of



canned fruits, vegetables, and fish increased by 37 percent, and of all
types of tin cans, including those for beer and lubricating oil, by
65 percent. In 1939 women were 28 percent of all workers in the
making of tin cans and so forth. The need of foods for the armed
forces has greatly accelerated the growth of this industry. It is esti­
mated that the 1944 vegetable pack, exclusive of soup and baked beans,
will be about 40 percent above 1939, the fruit pack about 18 percent
above; or combining the two, an increase of approximately 35 percent.
The shortage of tin due to its requirement for making other war sup­
plies has caused a switch to glass, at least for much civilian goods, but
there are many uses for which glass is not suitable. Availability of
more tin after the war may increase the making of such containers
above the prewar level. On the other hand, the development of the
quick-freezing process, with home equipment, may lessen the demand
for tin cans. If it does, it will increase the market for other types of
containers and will add to the employment in electrical equipment for
the making of the home units.
Needles and Pins.
At present, demands are not filled for snap fasteners, metal hairpins,
and straight and safety pins, since the making of these small necessities
has been somewhat disrupted by priorities. Many new applications
may well have been developed for slide fasteners during their extensive
use in war equipment.
This industry, which includes slide and snap fasteners and hooks
and eyes, though small, has grown quite steadily, especially with the
introduction of substitutes for buttons and buttonholes. From 1929
to 1939, employment of wage earners rose by more than 65 percent to
an average of 10,403, about half of them women. The relatively new
slide fastener, not reported separately in 1929, accounted for nearly
half the value of the industry 10 years later. Production of metal
hairpins had more than doubled, with the bobby type of pin account­
ing for more than a third of the total in 1939.' Production of hooks
and eyes had nearly doubled and that of safety pins had increased
by one-half.
Miscellaneous Hardware.
Included in this group are locks and hinges, and all the other small
metal parts (aside from nails and bolts and screws) that are used in
buildings, in furniture, in luggage and harness, in motor vehicles,
and m planes and ships. In 1939 nearly a fourth of the wage earners
in such plants were women, and about two-thirds of the value of the
product was for building and motor-vehicle hardware. An expanding
program of home building and resumption of passenger-automobile
production will call for an immediate increase in such small items.
Other Small Metal Products.
SCTere shortage has been reported in a long list of other housenold needs requiring metal—safety razors, flashlights, pliers and
wrenches, metal pot scourers, alarm clocks, carpet sweepers, tire pumps
and window screening. Not more than 60 percent of the demand
could be met for egg beaters, spatulas, stirring spoons, portable lamps,
household thermometers, mouse traps, and insect sprayers. Most of



such manufacture involves the handling of small parts. Taken all
together, women are employed extensively on these products, and many
of them are articles for which continuing need may be expected. The
numbers of workers are not reported separately for each industry, but
women were 48 percent of the wage earners making clocks and watches
and 26 percent of those making lighting fixtures (not including bulbs).
Before the war, over 31,000 women were in transportation-equip­
ment factories. Most of them worked on smaller parts and accesso­
ries, chiefly for automobiles.
A great number of parts and accessories go into the finished auto­
mobile. These include the chassis, wheels, springs, axles, and so on;
small items such as gears, bearings, locks, and other hardware; acces­
sories—the lighting system, instruments for the panel board, carbu­
retors, spark plugs, and so forth. Many more women are employed in
(he making of these things than in the plants that finally assemble
the motor vehicle. A study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 1940
showed that even at that time women comprised nearly a fifth of all
employees in the parts division. Forty-two percent of them were
assemblers, chiefly of small parts, 18 percent were machine-tool or
punch-press operators, 17 percent were inspectors. The proportion
women constituted of total employees was greatest in factories produc­
ing the following:
Percent women
Instruments----------------------------------- ------------------------------------------- 44. 0
Carburetors------------------------------------------------------------------------------j". 0
Coil (wire) springs------------------------------------------------------------------32.4
Automobile-body hardware----------------------- --------------------------------- 34.4
Automobile electrical equipment-------------------------------------------------- "1. 5
Automotive stampings---------------------------------------------------------------")■ ‘
Bearings--------------------- --------------------------------------------------------------0

Production of passenger automobiles for civilian use stopped
February 10, 1942. Since then the deterioration of cars, and their
actual dissolution, has been enormous and presages a very large market
for cars and parts as soon as production for civilians can be resumed.
The United States Chamber of Commerce in its third progress report
of a survey of probable consumer purchases after the war found more
than 17 million persons hoping to buy automobiles and appliances.
Seventeen million automobiles would mean almost 5 years’ work at
the 1939 rate of production of all motor vehicles. It is evident that
many must content themselves at first with parts and repairs to keep
the present cars running, and many probably have this type of pur­
chase in mind. This development would be especially favorable to
women’s employment.
From two to two and one-half million cars were scrapped entirely
in the two years 1942-43. There remain an estimated 24y2 million
cars in use by private owners and about a million used cars are in
dealers’ hands or in storage. Five-sixths of the cars now in use are
3 years old or more, and over half will have seen more than 7 years



of service by the end of 1944. Moreover, it is estimated that one cus­
tomer in every six in need of repair work that involves parts replace­
ment is refused either permanently or temporarily because the required
parts are not available. These data reinforce the prediction that
enormous numbers of parts for replacement as well as for new cars
will be needed as soon as available (48). Of course, in the estimates
of need for these products consideration must be given to buying
power and this again goes back to the points already discussed. A
rapid conversion to peacetime production, and the building of high
employment levels, will be needed to assure the availability of cars and
the ready market for them, and hence employment in parts manu­
Aircraft (44).
It is evident that airplane construction after the war must be far
below the total numbers of military craft now being turned out, many
to replace those that have been destroyed. From Pearl Harbor to
June 1944, 171,257 planes have been produced, and they are being
turned out at the rate of over 9,000 a month, or 108,000 a year (45).
The number of military planes existing at the end of the war, the num­
ber of these that will be needed in the postwar military set-up, and
the way in which the others may be utilized, all are unknown factors
that will affect the picture. Conflicting prophecies continually are
being made. The basis of long-time experience existing in the auto­
mobile field does not apply in aircraft. However, it is safe to say
that postwar uses are likely to include some military needs and con­
siderable extensions over the prewar status in passenger travel, carry­
ing of mail and express, and private ownership.
The work of women in certain occupations in aircraft plants has
been described in the first section of this report. Their employment
during the defense and war programs has grown very rapidly as one
employer after another has found how well suited they are to certain
types of work on fine plane parts. When the Women’s Bureau first
visited 7 major assembly plants, in early 1941, 3 had no women and
in the others only a fraction of 1 percent of the employees were women.
Less than a year later, when visits were made to 26 plants, women
constituted about 4 percent of the factory force, with 3 plants still
employing no women. The plant with the largest proportion had
about 15 percent women among its factory workers.
A study of aircraft-parts plants made by the Bureau of Labor Sta­
tistics in late 1942 showed women to be not far from a fifth of all
first-shift workers. Of these women about 19 percent were assemblers,
16 percent were inspectors and testers, and at least 12 percent were
operators of machine tools and punch presses. About a year later,
estimates by the same agency indicated that women were 32 percent
of all workers in aircraft-engine plants and 38 percent of all in plants
making airplanes and other parts.
The use of planes for carrying passengers, mail, and express un­
doubtedly will increase. If rates can be reduced, this service will be
in great demand. At the beginning of the war the bulk of domestic
airline business was being carried in 361 planes, and Pan American
Airways had only 141 planes to cover the Atlantic, the Pacific, and
South America. Domestic routes now operating cover a total of about



46.000 miles, transoceanic routes 85,000. In 1941, the last year for
which totals could be published, American lines carried 4 million pas­
sengers, compared with half a million 10 years before. However,
even now, plans for expansion are under way. By November 1943
the Civil Aeronautics Board had on file applications for new routes
totaling 560,000 miles (46), some 27 times the distance from New York
to Melbourne and return. Considerably more than half of this
mileage is for transoceanic routes. There is also talk of a chain of
6.000 national airports, compared with 3,000 about a year ago. An
important means of extending the usefulness of civil airlines is through
development of feeder lines, with a pick-up type of service for mail
and express, and for smaller places landing strips for passenger serv­
ice instead of large expensive airports. There are some 8,000 cities and
towns in the United States with populations of more than 1,000, a
size that one company consider^ it feasible to furnish with air
The extent to which private flying will furnish a market is extremely
problematical. In 1941, 24,000 private planes were registered, 17,000
in the $2,000 light plane class, carrying the pilot and one passenger.
About 80 percent were strictly for private flying or instructional
flying. The average period of ownership was less than 4 years. More
than half of those who in the past bought planes or took training
abandoned flying shortly, chiefly because of the high cost of the plane
and its maintenance, inaccessibility of airports, and limited usefulness
of the plane due to weather conditions. Total annual cost of operation
has amounted to from 40 to 60 percent of the price of the plane. A
large proportion of the cost, including such items as insurance and
hangar rent, had no connection with the extent of use. New develop­
ments are very likely to solve these difficulties, some of them similar
to those encountered in early stages of the use of automobiles, which
later went into mass production on so vast a scale. Hence plans are
being made for manufacture of private aircraft. One firm contem­
plates producing 5,000 2-place planes a year, to cost $1,000 each. An­
other plans 5,000 4-place planes at between $2,500 and $3,500. A third
is considering the making of 5,000 2- and 4-place planes at $1,200
and $3,000.
A specialist in the field of rotary-wing aircraft feels that great harm
has been done to future prospects of the helicopter by too much and
too extravagant publicity. He states that it has far to go before it
reaches anything like perfection. This type of plane could have a
greatly extended use in the Coast Guard Service for shore patrol, in
agriculture for spraying purposes and for spotting insect infestation,
and in the Forestry Service for detecting fires and placing personnel
and equipment for fire fighting. Helicopters for the use of the Army
were being produced on a new assembly line in the East in the summer
of 1944, and experimental models of two improved models had been
built. They already have been in service to evacuate wounded men
from points inaccessible by other means of transportation. Another
2-place military model is to be produced in quantity in Michigan. A
corporation was formed in June 1944 to manufacture a new type of
helicopter to carry two passengers and baggage at a cruising speed of
100 miles an hour; 10-passenger and 20-passenger models also have
been produced.



Plastics are being substituted for metal in many cases. They are
used most extensively as small parts of larger units. Tlieir insulating
qualities make certain of these materials especially useful in electrical
equipment for aircraft, ships, and motor vehicles. The Signal Corps
depends on them for antennae, hand generators, dynamotors, batteries,
microphones, head sets, telephone units, and many other items. Many
articles for use by soldiers and sailors are made wholly or partly of
plastics—bugles, whistles, buttons, bayonet scabbards, canteens, razors,
shaving brushes, toothbrushes, and other toilet articles. Other useful
applications have been in first-aid kits, goggles, and flashlights. All
told, the war has greatly increased their use, since often they have Ijeen
introduced to save critical metals and have been proved by exacting
tests to be equal to, and in some cases superior to, the metal replaced
Some of the occupations found to be so well suited to women are
required on plastics as on metals—machine operation, assembly, and
inspection—and it well may be that a relatively new industry such as
this, which has extended its field of usefulness so rapidly, will be more
open-minded toward employment of women than are the older metal
trades. In 1939 more than a fourth of the wage earners making fabri­
cated plastic products were women.
A survey of women’s work in the industry was made by the magazine
Modem Plastics and reported in the issue of January 1943. Women
were found performing successfully many processes, described as
Finishing—Women run drill presses, grinders, lathes, sanders, tapping
machines, automatic machines, multiple-spindle drill presses, buffers, paint
sprays, hand tools, flies, chisels, scrapers, reamers, flexible-shaft machinery.
Inspection—Women operate thread gages, plug gages, ring gages, snap
gages, multiple gages, dial gages.
Toolroom—Women run polishing machines, shapers, lathes, grinders,
drill presses, and do hand operations on the molds.
Press roomi—Women run light hand-molding presses; single-ram presses
from 3- to 15-inch; double-ram presses from 6- to 8-inch; assemble and
disassemble wedges; do preinspection and floor inspection; hi-spot testing.
Drafting room—Women do ordinary drafting-room work.
Laboratory—Women chemists do the same sort of work that men do.
Designing—Women artists do plastics designing.

One plastics mold maker has been extremely successful in using
women in the toolroom. These women work on all types of mold
operations, including cutting, grinding, polishing, and all the various
steps of tooling molds. The company has an extensive training pro­
gram for women, especially designed to fit toolroom work as dis­
tinguished from a general training program applicable to the entire
Plastics include a great variety of substances made according to
various chemical formulas. A review of the industry early in 1942
indicated that since 1918 over 105 trade-named products and possibly
60 different types of compounds had been developed. Each type has
many grades and degrees of hardness. If color and transparency
also are considered there is an almost unlimited list of materials from
which to select. No doubt more types have been developed since that
review. Whenever these materials are to be used for a new purpose,



extensive tests are made to select the one most suitable. Often a new
compound is worked out in the laboratory to meet the situation.
These materials, like the different types of synthetic rubber (classed
by the Census in the plastics-industry group), have both their virtues
and their defects. The materials must be applied so as to make best
use of the virtues, which include light weight, color, durability es­
pecially as compared with glass or porcelain ware, high insulating
qualities, and in some types transparency. When a plastic replaces
metal the process necessarily is changed and often simplified. For
example, a gun-barrel sighter made of five pieces of brass and involv­
ing two soldering operations was first exactly copied in plastics, but
later it was redesigned to be made in two pieces, greatly speeding
production and saving materials.
Out of all these war uses much knowledge will have been secured
as to the most practical application of the various materials. Where
plastics have proved superior to metals or with equal performance
have proved less expensive, their use will be continued and expanded.
The many peacetime uses of plastics that had begun to develop be­
fore the war undoubtedly will be increased and a great variety of new
uses added. Plastic articles that already have been well received
include many small items for use around the house, dishes for informal
occasions, funnels, sink strainers, measuring spoons, apple corers,
cheese graters, shoe and hat trees, and a long list of personal items,
such as costume jewelry, cosmetic containers, cigarette cases, and the
like. Plastics make excellent toys and are almost perfect for infants’
toys. Well over a fifth of the buttons produced in 1939 were of
plastics. Other plastic articles separately listed as manufactured in
1939 were electrical goods; housings (for cameras, scales, radios, and
so forth); and closures for bottles, cans, and the like.
The use of plastic-blended plywoods in boats and small aircraft is
well known. Many of the processes involved in the fabrication of ply­
wood articles are the same as those in ordinary wood. The application
of plastics as a waterproofing material takes it into the textile field.
The making of articles by molding or casting is perhaps most closely
akin to the metal trades.

(1) TJ. S. Department of Commerce and Labor. Bureau of Labor. Woman and
Child Wage Earners. 1910. Vol. Ill (Glass) and Vol. XVIII (Selected
(2) U. S. Department of Labor. Women’s Bureau. Bui. 12, The New Position
of Women in American Industry. 1920. pp. 137-142.
(3) Women’s Bureau Bui. 12 (see 2), p. 112.
(4) Michigan Manufacturer and Financial Record, Mar. 18, 1944, p. 4.
(5) Aviation, Mar. 1944, p. 145.
(6) Some of the examples cited and other data are from Women’s Bureau re­
ports on war plants. See especially: on Aircraft, Buis. 189-6 and 192-1;
on Ammunition of various types, 189-2 and 3, and 192-2; on Instruments,
189-4; on Cannon and small arms, 192-3; on Machine tools, 192-4.
(7) U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Earnings in the Manufacture of Indus­
trial Machinery, 1942. In 3 bulletins: Nos. 720, 720-A, and 720-B.
(8) Aero Digest, Apr. 1943, p. 251.
(9) U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Monthly Labor Review, June 1939, p. 1371
ff., and Surveys of Earnings in Machinery and Allied Industries, Nos. 1-11
(10) Women’s Bureau Bui. 83, Fluctuation of Employment in the Radio Industry.
1831. p. 27.
(11) U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Surveys of Earnings, etc. (see 9), No. 9.
(12) Aviation (see 5), June 1942, pp. 74, 75.
(13) Woman and Child Wage Earners (see 1), Vol. Ill (Glass) and Vol. XI
(Metal trades).
(14) Women’s Bureau Bui. 12 (see 2).
(15) Women's Bureau Bui. 197, Women Workers in Some Expanding Wartime
Industries—New Jersey, 1942, and unpublished material.
(16) Steel, June 7, 1943, p. 104 ff.
(17) For details of testing see Factory Management and Maintenance, Feb.
1944, pp. 124-126.
(18) Monthly Labor Review (see 9), Feb. 1942, p. 300; Mar. 1942, p. 748; Apr.
1943, p. 764.
(19) Woman and Child Wage Earners (see 1), Vol. XI (Metal trades), p. 11;
see also Vol. XVIII (Selected industries).
(20) Women’s Bureau Bui. 12 (see2), pp. 94-104.
(21) New York State Department of Labor. Industrial Bulletin, Mar. 1943,
pp. 110, 111.
(22) U. S. Department of Labor. U. S. Employment Service. Dictionary of
Occupational Titles, June 1939, p. 424.
(23) Woman and Child Wage Earners (see 1), Vol. XVIII (Selected industries),
pp. 189, 223, 301, and others.
(24) Woman and Child Wage Earners (see 1), Vol. XVIII, p. 169.
(25) Woman and Child Wage Earners (see 1), Vol. XVIII, p. 140.
(26) U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wages and Hours in Foundries and
Machine Shops, Buis. 362, 422, 471, 522, 570.
(27) For references in this section see Lighting and Lamps, Mar. and May 1944;
Mill and Factory, Nov. 1942; National Safety News, Feb. 1943; and
Scientific American, June 1938, Oct. and Nov. 1942, July 1943, and Mar.
and Apr. 1944.
(28) Women’s Bureau Bui. 83 (see 10), pp. 8, 15.
(29) U. /S. Bureau of the Census. Housing, Vol. II, General Characteristics,
Part 1, Table 8, p. 23. 1940.
(30) Safe Streets at Night in Wartime and Thereafter. July 1943. Distributed
by Street and Highway Lighting Bureau, New York City.
(31) Illuminating Engineering Society. Recommended Practice of Industrial
Lighting. New York, i939, p. 7.
(32) Business Week, June 26, 1943, p. 98.



(33) See Factory Management and Maintenance, Feb. 1943, p. 128; Fortune,
June 1943; and Manufacturers’ Record, Nov. 1943, p. 42 ff.
(34) U. S. Bureau of the Census. Housing (see 29), Table 10, p. 38. See also
Table 55, p. 96.
(35) Business Week (see 32), Nov. 22, 1941, p. 50, and Feb. 27, 1943, p. 64.
(36) Education for Victory. U. S. Office of Education. Mar. 3, 1944, p. 11.
(37) National Safety News (see in 27), May 1944, p. 18.
(38) Fortune (see in 33), May 1944, p. 34.
(39) See Domestic Commerce, .Tune 1944: Scientific American (see in 27), Jan.
and Mar. 1937 and June 1944; Modern Industry, Mar. 15, 1944; and
Electrical West, Apr. 1944.
(40) See Business Week (see 32), Jan. 30, 1943; Scientific American (see in
27), Feb. 1944; Textile World, Oct. 1943 and Jan. 1944; and Mill and
Factory (see in 27), Nov. 1943.
(41) Victory Bulletin. American Council on Public Affairs. July 6, 1944, p. 10.
(42) Monthly Labor Review (see 9), Mar. 1941, p. 694.
(43) See American Highway, Jan. 1944, and Automotive News, May 8, 1944.
(44) See Aviation (see 5), Aug. and Nov. 1943, and Feb., Mar., and June 1944.
(45) Victory Bulletin (see 41), June 15, 1944.
(46) Aero Digest (see 8), June 1944, p. 76 ff.
(47) See Modern Plastics, Feb.1942, Jan. 1943, and Apr. 1944.