The Glenn L. Martin Company began to hire women in August of 1941, first to work the nonmetallic materials used by their planes, such as canvas, felt, cloth, rubber, and asbestos, then later in various areas of aircraft production and other facets of the war effort. Other companies smartly followed suit and before long the ideology of women taking on “a man’s job” forged icons—Rosie the Riveter, Wanda the WAVE, Wendy the Welder, and others. The image embodied by these women spurred billboards, posters, propaganda films, factory tours, and a slew of other ploys all geared at selling war bonds and inspiring a female workforce to push hard and produce more.
The Los Angeles Times, December 28, 1942
Northrop Workers Show 35,000 Visitors How Planes Are Built
Rosie the Riveter and Joe the Jig-builder yesterday showed the folks how they build dive bombers at Northrop. The day-shifters, turning their day off into “family visiting day,” guided mom and dad, sister and Uncle Louie—an estimated 35,000...