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From the Epilogue

Working women of the generation born around the turn of the century earned little praise and few lasting opportunities during the First World War. Still, they had accomplished much. In the midst of a national crisis, more than a million women had moved boldly into war jobs, where they proved their adaptability and their grit. They pushed heavy trucks, mixed chemicals, assembled airplanes, and learned to weld and rivet and operate machine tools. They died in explosions and lost fingers and hands in machinery. They inhaled noxious fumes and faced down prejudice. They struggled to establish their own rights, and they helped win the war.

Rivet heaters and passers at Puget Sound Navy Yard. Women's Bureau photograph, courtesy of the National Archives at College Park (RG 86G-11F-7).