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Wingwomen: 1942

Wingwomen: 1942

October 1942. North American Aviation workers assembling wing component for a P-51 fighter. View full size. 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Alfred Palmer.


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Excellent attention to detail

Composition and lighting show great care. Note how the lighting makes the subjects stand out from a potentially cluttered background.

Despite bright lighting, the facial features are not obscured by reflections on the protective masks. Did photographer Alfred Palmer employ a polarizing filter to screen out reflections, or were they removed in post-processing with Photoshop? Maybe both.

As with many images in this series, the women appear to be dressed and groomed for the photo op--a natural reaction.


I lived for a while on the other side of the fence from the Arsenal. It humbled me to think of all the amazing things that went on inside. I'm more so touched now to think of your mother.

Made my ex jealous

I have this as my desktop right now.

My ex-wife came over to pick up our son and almost the first thing out of her mouth when she came in the door was 'Who are THEY?'

I think it was the first time she didn't ask 'where do you find this crap?' I guess jealousy is an improvement.

[We here at Shorpy do what we can. Thanks for sharing! - Dave]

Reese Witherspoon's Mom

I guess that's what I saw. She's cute

women at war

Seeing this picture reminded me of how proud I am of my mother. She worked at the Watervliet Arsenal (NY) during the war. Thanks for the memory.

They remind me of

They remind me of Laverne and Shirley

[Wonder if I have any Kodachromes of the Blatz bottling plant ... - Dave]

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