“You’re Going to Employ Women” — U.S. War Department (1943)

One of my friends has had to clean out a recently deceased relative’s home and she has found several gems, including a copy of “You’re Going to Employ Women,” a pamphlet issued by the U.S. War Department in 1943 to its personnel offices (her relative worked in personnel at the Pentagon).

During the 1940s, with so many men off to war, women needed to be hired for positions traditionally held only by men, including in industries like manufacturing. This is the era that spawned the iconic Rosie the Riveter image.

The prospect of hiring women must have struck fear into the hearts of the many men left behind. Pamphlets like the one detailed here were created to helpfully guide them through the hiring and supervising of these creatures.

My friend allowed me to snap photos of the document, which includes such gems as:

“When training women, orient her more thoroughly than a man on health and safety rules, plant layout and production company policies, job techniques.”

“When training women, relate her job training to past experience, usually domestic—interpret machinery operation in terms of household and kitchen appliances.”

“Use a trained personnel woman. She understands women worker needs. She can give sympathetic attention to home problems. She can be told personal difficulties that would not be confided in a man.”

Unfortunately, not all of my photos of the booklet turned out that great, but here are the ones that did:

"When Hiring Women..."

"When Supervising Women..."

"For Victory -- Employ women intelligently."

Fearless Females: Favorite Recipe

This post is part of the Fearless Females series for the month of March, Women’s History Month. Thanks to Lisa Alzo for putting together this list!

Today’s prompt: “March 7 — Share a favorite recipe from your mother or grandmother’s kitchen. Why is this dish your favorite? If you don’t have one that’s been passed down, describe a favorite holiday or other meal you shared with your family.”

As I type this, the sauce described in this post is bubbling on my stove. My absolute favorite meal growing up was my mom’s spaghetti sauce. I loved coming home from school to the familiar smell of it simmering on the stove. It doesn’t taste like any other sauce I’ve ever had.

Including my own attempts to make it. Lest any of my relatives think I’m blasphemous for posting mom’s spaghetti sauce recipe on the Web, never fear. I’m not. Because I don’t have it.

Oh, I have a recipe, but it’s not the real deal.

What I do have is a recipe that mom dictated to me about eight years ago. My mom was dying of cancer and as I spent time with her during those last couple of months, I asked her to tell me how she made some of my favorite dishes.

She struggled with this one. She never made it from a recipe herself and she almost never measured, so she had to guess as to whether she used a tablespoon vs. a teaspoon of this or that.

At a different time, she dictated a recipe for the same dish to my sister, but there were differences. In the photo I’ve taken of my version of the recipe, which is much splattered with tomato sauce, you can see some ingredients written in different ink from the rest. These I added when my sister and I compared notes after I complained that I just couldn’t get the recipe right.

In the years since, I’ve come close to recreating the spaghetti sauce of my childhood. What’s simmering on my stove now smells like what I remember. But it won’t be the same.  I’ll never be able to adjust the recipe for what’s missing.

Mom.

This batch actually came pretty darn close...

Fearless Females: How Did They Meet?

This is my first post for the Fearless Females blogging prompts during the month of March. Thanks to Lisa Alzo for putting together this list!

Today’s prompt asks: “How did they meet? You’ve documented marriages, now, go back a bit. Do you know the story of how your parents met? Your grandparents?”

Well, I didn’t get a chance to document their marriage, but the story I’ve heard about how my maternal grandparents goes like this:

My grandmother was working as an office manager at the Pentagon when she and the other office girls received a file about the new set of officers who were going to be transferred to their office. They were browsing through the photos that accompanied each officer’s file when my grandma stopped flipping through the photos and pointed at one in particular.

“That one,” she said. And the rest is history. She married that officer, who also was an accountant.

I forget who told me this story — it must have been one of my aunts. I love this story though. My grandma could come across as mild-mannered, but she was a firecracker too. I think this story demonstrates that well.