WWII Home Front: Women Join the Workforce in 'Manpower' (1943)

Alan Taylor's twenty-part World War II restrospective is a sweeping look back at the war that defined a century. This week he shares photographs from the home front, so here at the Video Channel we've selected a few highlights from the Internet Archive's vast collection of films from this era. 

"With every man utilized, we are still short millions of hands. We must call upon women. At first, women go into service jobs, releasing men for the army and for war industries. Out of 50 million women at the beginning of the war, 10 million were working. In war towns all across the United States, women are called upon to leave their homes and take jobs ... They discover that factory work is usually no more difficult than house work. Employers find that women can do many jobs as well as men. Some jobs, better." 

This 1943 film, "Manpower," promotes various initiatives to meet the desperate need for labor during the war, and this excerpt focuses on how women entered the workforce for the first time in unprecedented numbers. 

To watch the film in its entirety, visit the Internet Archive

Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg joined The Atlantic in 2011 to launch its video channel and, in 2013, create its in-house video production department. She leads the development and production of original documentaries, interviews, and other video content for The Atlantic. Previously, she worked as a producer at Al Gore’s Current TV and as a content strategist and documentary producer in San Francisco. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Video

Just In