1940s home history

“Mrs. Mary Couchman, a 24-year-old warden of a small Kentish Village, shields three little children, among them her son, as bombs fall during an air attack on October 18, 1940. The three children were playing in the street when the siren suddenly sounded. Bombs began to fall as she ran to them and gathered the three in her arms, protecting them with her body. Complimented on her bravery, she said, ‘Oh, it was nothing. Someone had look after the children.’”


Ida Lupino, 1943, with her hair in a ‘victory roll’

During World War Two, when women took over the factory jobs vacated by men going off to war, they were required to wear their hair securely tied up and out of their faces. Hollywood stars also adopted the style, both out of solidarity with the women who were keeping the country going and to give an air of glamour to the style so that working women would not feel discouraged by their appearance.

“Princess Elizabeth of England (center), 14-year-old heiress presumptive to the British throne, makes her broadcast debut, delivering a three-minute speech to British girls and boys evacuated overseas, on October 22, 1940, in London, England. She is joined in bidding good-night to her listeners by her sister, Princess Margaret Rose.”


Long distance calls

Photograph of Women Working at a Bell System Telephone Switchboard, 12/22/1943
From the series: Women Working In Industry, 1940 - 1945; Records of the Women’s Bureau

This photograph shows a telephone switchboard where overseas phone calls were handled during World War II. Many women patriotically joined the industrial workforce to work in shipyards or an aircraft factories, but many more worked in service or clerical jobs as secretaries, bank tellers, retail clerks, and telephone operators.

via DocsTeach