March 08, 2016

30 amazing historic photos of Detroit wartime women at work

March 8 is International Women's Day and to celebrate we've combed the archives of Virtual Motor City and come up with these 30 empowering images. The photos span the first and second world wars and show women who went to work in crucial manufacturing jobs in factories and plants to aid in the war effort. Rosie the Riveter may be the go-to feminist symbol for women's employment, but these real photos of Detroit women hard at work are even more inspiring today.

All photos are courtesy of Detroit News Collection, Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University.

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Tire workers, Morgan & Wright Factory, 1910s
Tire workers, Morgan & Wright Factory, 1910s
Auto assembly worker, 1910s
Auto assembly worker, 1910s
Assembling workers, 1910s
Assembling workers, 1910s
Assembling workers, 1910s
Assembling workers, 1910s
Assembling workers, 1910s
Assembling workers, 1910s
Munition workers, Maxwell Motor Company, Oakland Avenue Plant, 1910s
Munition workers, Maxwell Motor Company, Oakland Avenue Plant, 1910s
Munition workers, Maxwell Motor Company, Oakland Avenue Plant, 1910s
Munition workers, Maxwell Motor Company, Oakland Avenue Plant, 1910s
Munition workers, Maxwell Motor Company, Oakland Avenue Plant, 1910s
Munition workers, Maxwell Motor Company, Oakland Avenue Plant, 1910s
Munition workers, Maxwell Motor Company, Oakland Avenue Plant, 1910s
Munition workers, Maxwell Motor Company, Oakland Avenue Plant, 1910s
Munition workers, Maxwell Motor Company, Oakland Avenue Plant, 1910s
Munition workers, Maxwell Motor Company, Oakland Avenue Plant, 1910s