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War Work: 1943

War Work: 1943

May 1943. Arlington, Va. "Idaho Hall, Arlington Farms, a residence for women working in government for the duration of the war." Medium format nitrate negative by Esther Bubley for the Office of War Information. View full size.


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perfect picture for Mothers Day!

That could have been my mom, too….except she came to Washington from North Dakota, worked at the Interior Department for the Grazing Service (now the BLM), and lived in a boarding house on R Street NW. She made Washington sound like the hub of the universe at that time, full of bright young people who came from all over the country to help out (and get decent jobs) with all the new agencies set up to end the Depression, and later, to step in when the men got sent off to war. My mom got sent out west to do payroll for the Grazing Service in Pocatello and Salt Lake City, making sure forest-fire fighters got paid; she ran into a lot of what she used to call 'guff' from the Western roughnecks because only men had ever had that job before. She said Salt Lake City was so dirty, she had to have 2 work dresses to alternate because she could only wear a dress once in the filthy air before it needed washing. During the war, office workers in Washington regularly worked overtime during the week, and worked on Saturdays for free, because there was a war on. There were plenty of small night clubs and dance joints, though…my mom remembers lots of dances and card parties at the boarding house too. Then she met my dad (who was 4-F) and that's how I came to be typing up this comment!

Re: ring

It's hard to be sure, but it looks like a Phi Gamma Delta fraternity ring, presumably from a fiancé.

The Ring

I am curious about that ring on her finger and the "Book" she is reading. The ring looks like a class ring, and the book looks like a hard back Bible.

[Only if Bibles have SHAKESPEARE on the back cover. - Dave]

Thanks Dave. Eyesight not what it used to be, even up close :>) [BAXADO]

Ok, thanks for the update on the ring.

Dumbo and his magic feather

Nice photo! My eye was immediately drawn to the cute sketch of Dumbo on the wall- because I love elephants! Disney's film Dumbo came out in 1941 and I believe it was quite popular. My children loved watching it over and over- I can probably still sing all the songs! In the movie, Timothy Mouse gave Dumbo a feather when he was up in the tree, saying it was "magic" so Dumbo wouldn't be afraid to fly-and he found he could fly! Later in the circus act, he loses the feather, but finds out he can fly without it!

Reminds Me of my Mother

My mother was from Ohio but moved to Washington, D.C. during the war to work at the Civil Aeronautics Administration, the forerunner of the FAA. In fact she met my father, who was at Walter Reed Hospital recovering from war injuries, in 1943. This lady is not my mother but she does resemble her with the glasses. Don't know where my mother lived in D.C. during this time period.

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