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Doing Her Part: 1942

Doing Her Part: 1942

October 1942. "Rita Rodriguez. Production of B-24 bombers and C-87 transports at Consolidated Aircraft, Fort Worth, Texas." 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Howard Hollem for the Office of War Information. View full size.


Machinist's realities

I'm sure she worked her butt off for the effort, but this is obviously posed, my shop aprons lasted about five minutes in that pristine condition. Plus the lack of, even then, federally mandated safety equipment is a sure sign of war time photo-op. Horizontal mills, like K&T's and Bridgeports didn't come with shields, so you had to do the quick step to avoid coolant and chips, but you ended the day pretty wet anyway.

Fark Factory


Could this milling machine be a Kearney & Trecker?

[As noted below, the letter before the Y seems to be an A or an M. - Dave]

Viva Rita

This is great. You don't see too many Latinos represented in media of this era. Who would have thought that Rosie the Riveter's real name was Rita Rodriguez.

U.S. Machine Tools

For the third time, it's a U.S. Machine Tools mill. A pretty positive ID can be seen towards the bottom of this thread.

Now it's quite possible, if not probable, that USMT was a dealer/seller rather than the manufacturer, but it's not a Kent-Owens.

Kent-Owens Horizontal Mill

According to this guy selling the identical horizontal mill on eBay, these are Kent-Owens No. "O" machines.

If these old machine tools could speak, what stories they could tell.


Dave. do you think that was a flash that was used for lighting or daylight from a nearby window?

[Neither. Probably floodlights. - Dave]

Pratt & Whitney Machine Tools

Two possible machine tool companies ending in "y" - Pratt & Whitney and Lodge and Shipley. (Pratt & Whitney machine tools is very distantly related to Pratt & Whitney div of UTC which makes aircraft engines).

I believe the Ft Worth factory is still in use, producing F 16s and F 22s. It's owned by the US govt and currently operated by Lockheed. According to an article on the web, the plant occupies 7 million square feet which I calculate to be about 175 acres!

[The name looks like it ends in "AY," or maybe "MY." Then something ending in "AS" or "MS" under that. - Dave]


As Safety and OSHA Compliance Officer at my workplace and the son of a retired shop teacher, my first reaction was "Safety Glasses!" Just looking at all of the metal particles on the machine and her apron makes my eyes hurt.

[If there were something in the vise and if Rita were really working instead of posing, she'd be wearing goggles. - Dave]

Wheel of Fortune

So, what manufacturer of machine tools has a company name that ends in Y?

Heavy Duty

Those must be some industrial strength skivvies, Yoda.

Always in my underwear ...

... I find little paper notes that say "Inspected by No. 17." So she's the one!

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