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Official Business: 1942

Official Business: 1942

October 1942. Milwaukee, Wisconsin. "Women in war. Supercharger plant workers. To replace men who have been called to armed service, many young girls like 19-year-old Jewel Halliday are taking jobs never before held by women. Her job is shuttling workers between two Midwest war plants for Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Co." Photo by Ann Rosener for the Office of War Information. View full size.


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Restating "The estate of affairs"

While looking very Buick-like, this is actually a 1942 Chevrolet Special DeLuxe Station Wagon. The wood panels and trim are different; the Buick's fender sweep into the front doors is longer; the thin wooden slats on the interior roof of the Chevy took the place of a headliner; and the shadow of the Chevy's rear door hinge can also be seen below the door handle. The Buick's hinge was above the window line.

Chevy built 1,057 while there were only 327 of the 1942 Buick Model 49 Estate Wagons (including one for export). At $1,095 it was Chevy's most expensive model, and it was also their heaviest model at 3,425 pounds. Only three of these Buicks are thought to still exist, and half of the 1942 production is believed to have gone to the federal government for the war effort. Cost of the Buick was $1,450, and it weighed 3,925 pounds (500 more pounds than the Chevy!).

Comparison photos from early 1942 catalogs are below. Note that because Chevy used two different body builders for the station wagon bodies the trim shown in the Shorpy photo is slightly different from the catalog drawing (which was also produced months in advance of actual production beginning).

It wasn't just women

In 1944, my Dad (16 years old) was driving the street sweeper in Coronado, Calif. He had an hour between 5-6am, to sweep the downtown business district. The next hour was spent on a rotating basis thru the different residential areas. By 7am he was headed home to get ready for school.

Jewell Halliday

Jewell (correct spelling) Halliday married Rudolph A. Pollak in Milwaukee, on June 20, 1946. He was a World War II veteran. Jewell passed away in Milwaukee on November 20, 1974. Rudolph died in Florida, on November 24, 1999. I was unable to determine if they had any children.

The estate of affairs

Looks like a 1942 Buick 40B Estate Wagon - for all your war labour transport needs.

I'm a big fan of wooden boats, so the idea of beautifully varnished wood on a mechanical conveyance is not foreign to me.

The US Army bought a ton of the 2-door and 4-door sedans for use as staff cars, and it would appear a few of the woodie estate wagons too.

Don't mess with me, mister!

A wonderful shot, dramatically lit, conveying the sense of the subject being all about business.

[Photographer Ann Rosener would be a Missus. As opposed to her assistant crouched next to the steering wheel. - Dave]

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