Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.
Vintage photos of:
January 1942. Bantam, Connecticut. "Defense homes. Fred Heath works on the night shift at the Warren McArthur plant in Bantam, and spends his days with Mrs. Heath and their three-year-old daughter, Ann. Here they are in the living room of the Heaths' new four-room apartment, part of the new eighty-unit defense housing project just five minutes walk from the plant. The Heaths, who pay thirty dollars rent, like overstuffed chairs, and Ann also likes her overstuffed Teddy Bear." 4x5 nitrate negative by Howard Hollem. View full size.
August 1942. "Formerly a sociology major at the University of Southern California, Mrs. Eloise J. Ellis (left) now "keeps 'em flyin'" at the Naval Air Base, Corpus Christi, Texas. She is a supervisor under civil service in the Assembly and Repair Department. It is her job to maintain morale among the women by helping them solve housing and other personal problems. With her is Jo Ann Whittington, an NYA trainee at the plant." Large format Kodachrome transparency by Howard Hollem for the Office of War Information. View full size.
August 1942. Corpus Christi, Texas. "Women from all fields have joined the production army. Miss Grace Weaver, a civil service worker at the Naval Air Base and a schoolteacher before the war, is doing her part for victory along with her brother, who is a flying instructor in the Army. Miss Weaver paints the American insignia on repaired Navy plane wings." 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Howard Hollem for the Office of War Information. View full size.
February 1943. Milwaukee, Wisconsin. "War production workers at the Heil Co. making gasoline trailer tanks for the Army Air Corps. Elizabeth Little, age 30, mother of two, spraying small parts. Her husband runs a farm." 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Howard Hollem, Office of War Information. View full size.
February 1942. A.C. Gilbert Company, New Haven, Connecticut. "Conversion. Toy factory. Stephanie Cewe's skill with this electric screwdriver has been turned to the aid of Uncle Sam's war machine. Stephanie used to assemble toy locomotives; today, she uses the same screwdriver to assemble parachute flare casings." Photo by Howard Hollem, Office of War Information. View full size.